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Determining Fault After a Side Impact Accident

A side impact auto accident can cause a considerable amount of property damage and leave one or more drivers seriously hurt. In 2018, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) stated that nearly 25 percent of all car crash fatalities resulted from the devastation left behind by a side-impact accident.

Even if you drive safely, another driver can make an unpredictable move that puts you in harm’s way. Be proactive after a side-impact crash by getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer.

Common Causes of Side Impact Accidents

Drivers that blow by yellow lights represent one of the most common causes of side-impact crashes. Distracted driving, whether it involves read a text message or grabbing a sandwich that is inside of a bag located on the front passenger seat also causes this type of auto accident.

However, not every side-impact crash is associated with driver negligence. Poor weather conditions can force a driver to make an operating decision the driver would not have ordinarily made.

Examples of Damages

Every motor vehicle that rolls off an American assembly line must meet the safety standards imposed by the federal government for side-impact crashes. However, there is not a federal safety guideline that protects a motorist from the damaging collision made by an 80,000-pound commercial vehicle.

The extent of the property and physical damages that are produced by a side-impact incident depends on which side the other vehicle struck your car. You might have to deal with minor cuts caused by shattered glass or a much worse injury such as a herniated disc. Whiplash and a concussion are common physical damages that are associated with side-impact car crashes.

Determining Fault After a Side Impact Accident

How to Handle a Side-Impact Auto Accident

The first thing to do is to ensure you and any passengers do not require emergency medical care. Side impact crashes damage the most vulnerable section of a motor vehicle, as well as seriously hurt anyone sitting in the path of an oncoming car.

If everyone is able to remain at the scene of the accident, you should call law enforcement to investigate the cause of the crash. Law enforcement completes a thorough inspection of the crash site to create a report that both your insurance company and a civil court judge consider to be the most important piece of evidence.

You should take photos of the accident scene, with special attention paid to capturing the damage done to your vehicle. Photos of skid marks can inform an insurance adjuster about how fast the other car traveled before hitting your vehicle.

Images of the road conditions at the time of the crash let your insurance company know whether Mother Nature played a factor in causing the side-impact accident.

After law enforcement processes the accident scene, contact your insurance company to start the claim process. You should reach out to a personal injury lawyer as well.

Get Help with Your Claim

Dealing with an insurance company can be frustrating at best and financially distressful at worse. Far too many auto insurance companies drag their feet when it comes to paying out justifiable car insurance claims.

Let your insurance company know that you mean business by contacting a personal injury attorney. Not only can your lawyer expedite your car insurance claim, but your legal counsel can also determine which party should assume blame for causing the car accident.

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