The always busy streets of Rochester, NY, mean accidents frequently occur throughout the city. Merging vehicles lead to sideswipe accidents that result in property damage and injuries. Often, careless drivers don’t take precautions to look for cars around them. Distracted driving is a significant factor in sideswipe crashes. People texting while operating a vehicle drift into other lanes without realizing it. If a side-impact crash happens at higher rates of speed or between unequally sized vehicles, the results can be disastrous.
Injuries can range from minor to severe, depending on the circumstances of a crash. Establishing who’s at fault can be tricky regarding a sideswipe accident injury claim. Insurance companies haggle over every detail to whittle down damages or get a claim dismissed. It is best not to talk with the other driver’s insurance company without consulting an attorney. You need Cellino Law to protect your rights when you have compensable damages.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
Sideswipes occur when two vehicles collide by making side contact. Vehicles are either in motion, or one vehicle may be briefly stopped or parked. Drivers can be moving in the same or opposite directions. Merging or drifting into another lane are common causes of these accidents. Side-impact crashes frequently happen due to distracted, intoxicated, drowsy or aggressive driving and other dangerous behaviors.
When speed is involved, the outcome of an accident can be catastrophic. Sideswipes can push vehicles against guardrails or other vehicles, causing them to flip or spin out of control. This can lead to multiple car pile-ups. If an 18-wheeler sideswipes a passenger vehicle, it can crush the cabin, and the resulting injuries can be deadly.
Why Is Proving Fault Essential To Make Your Case?
To have a case for personal injury, you need proof of the other party’s fault in a sideswipe accident. If you fail to establish that a driver’s actions (or inactions) caused your injury, you don’t have a case. Proving negligence necessitates these four elements be met:
- The driver did not remain in their lane or did not merge with proper care, as is expected of any other driver in the same situation.
- The driver did not operate a vehicle safely as required by traffic safety laws.
- The driver’s actions caused the sideswipe accident.
- You were harmed because of a driver’s negligent actions resulting in injuries and other damages.
Drivers acting carelessly or recklessly endanger occupants of other vehicles and anyone else in their pathways. From a legal perspective, there is not much room to move when drivers clearly violate their duty to act with reasonable care toward others. When handling your personal injury claim, an attorney makes this point stick with the insurance company and the liable driver.
To prove fault in a sideswipe, an in-depth investigation must uncover ample evidence to support your case. Your attorney handles the majority of crash investigation work. A police report gives an account of what transpired, but more critical details describing the crash scene and what led up to the accident are needed. An attorney may acquire the assistance of an accident reconstruction specialist to recreate the event and demonstrate the other party’s liability. This is how a lawyer conducts investigations:
- Obtains police reports
- Interviews witnesses and takes statements
- Surveys accident scenes
- Probes physical evidence
- Collects photographs and video evidence
- Involves experts to verify facts
Damage recovery calculations are based on your losses in light of the facts of your case. Fault is a question answered by solid evidence which meets the legal precepts for a viable personal injury claim.
How Is a Side-Swipe Accident Claim Handled in Rochester, NY?
New York is a no-fault insurance state, so you would file a claim with your insurance company after a car accident, no matter who is at fault for the crash. Individuals carry personal injury protection to cover damages. No-fault insurance is designed to expedite claims and make sure people get what they need after suffering an accident injury.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have a serious injury, you can sue another driver for losses that PIP does not cover. However, “serious injury,” as defined by New York insurance law section 5102 (d), falls under these narrow categories:
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ
- Permanent substantial limitation of use of a body organ
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature preventing the injured person from performing daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following an injury or impairment
- Loss of a fetus
Individuals can recover pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Damage awards are determined in settlement negotiations with insurance companies or by juries in court cases.
What Injuries Occur From Side-Swipe Accidents?
Drivers hurt in a side-impact crashes in Rochester, NY, suffer these sorts of injuries:
- Lacerations and contusions
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Head traumas (including traumatic brain injury)
- Spinal injuries
Data shows the lifetime cost of having and treating a TBI is more than $4 million. TBI affects various bodily systems and functions, causing severe impairment and diminishing quality of life.
How Long Do You Have To File a Personal Injury Case?
New York law provides that injured persons have three years to begin an action to pursue personal injury damages. When a person’s negligent actions cause injury, you must file a complaint to seek a civil remedy (recovery of damages for losses) through the New York court system. Speak with an attorney immediately following an accident. Building a solid case requires collecting relevant evidence.
Missing the Filing Deadline
If you miss your chance to file, you lose your chance at a recovery. Deadlines are set for a reason, and the court recognizes few exceptions. There is no need to miss a deadline when you have a lawyer handling your case. A legal professional knows the stringent rules of the legal system. If a settlement can’t be reached with an insurer, an attorney will proceed with filing a suit to recover full and fair damages within the filing deadline.
How Soon Should You Hire a Side-Swipe Accident Lawyer?
Reviewing your case is the way to start with a law firm. Cellino Law offers a free initial consultation, so you know if you have a claim and get the chance to learn about our firm. It is essential to get the process underway soon after your accident.
An important reason to retain an attorney quickly is insurance company inquiries. Insurers get right to calling and pressuring you to settle. Their initial offers are typically lower than the losses you’ve incurred or will incur, especially given serious injuries. As soon as you hire us, we take over your case management and allow you time to concentrate on healing. We inform and counsel you every step of the way.
Talk With Someone From Our Legal Team About Your Accident
Cellino Law is the firm you need to stand by you after a sideswipe accident in Rochester, NY. We get right to investigating and developing your injury case. Our attorneys know how to determine fault and use the law to your advantage. Let us help you get your case started today!