A car accident can leave even the most sensible and pragmatic person feeling confused, terrified and overall overwhelmed. There are many causes of car accidents, which can be driver error, pedestrian error, weather, and other factors. In some cases where a driver is distracted, or is under the influence, he/she may cause sideswipe traffic accidents.
What is a sideswipe collision and what causes them?
Sideswipe collisions happen when the side parts of two collateral or parallel vehicles meet and “swipe”each other. This is also occasionally illustrated as a “glancing blow.”
In worst cases of sideswipe collisions, one or both drivers have lost control of their vehicle. This may result in a disastrous single-car accident with an immobile object such as a pole, wall, tree, or fire hydrant with severe personal injuries.
Generally, the causes of sideswipe collisions boil down to absent minded, or careless driving. Whatever caused the accident, the results or consequences may cause severe personal injuries, damage to the vehicles and worst, death.
What You Should Do As A Driver If Your Car Was Involved In A Sideswipe Collision
The damages to a vehicle after a sideswipe collision may only be minimal and is restricted to cosmetic damages such as: dents, dings, scrapes, loss of mirror and other features that signify an accident transpired. There are legal things you can do to make sure that things won’t get much worse.
Call the police
Take a deep breath, get out of the car and assess the situation. The first thing you must do is call the police. It is important to file a police report so that details of the accident can be recorded.
Even if you think the damages are minor, you still need to file that police report. This way, the accident is documented, and you can file an insurance claim.
Likewise, you will need to acquire a copy of the report as you will need that in case any legal matters or proceedings occur.
Document the scene
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, make necessary actions to document the scene.
- Take photographs as evidence: This includes the vehicles that were involved, the damages, and injuries. Make sure to capture the conditions of the accident and that the photos can illustrate what happened.
- Look for potential witnesses: If possible, try to check your surroundings and see if there are possible witnesses. Approach them, get their personal information including names, contact information, and address. Also, ask them if they are willing to make a statement. Their statements will be useful for your case in case you intend to file a lawsuit.
Seek medical attention
Also call the emergency rescue team to acquire treatment for any injuries. Even if you think your pain and injuries are minor, you must let a medical professional know that you have been involved in a sideswipe collision.
Injuries can be internal: Not all injuries are visible. Your head, back or neck may need further medical examination to determine the magnitude of your injuries. Also, just because you do not feel any pain or there are no visible injuries does not mean you are safe. Internal injuries may be present which can be undetectable unless checked by a doctor. Not doing so may make potential injuries worse.
Acquire the medical evaluation: Visiting your doctor will further document your injuries thus improving your case in case you need to file a lawsuit.
Never agree to a settlement
In case the other driver or the pedestrian initiates an agreement or settlement, then a wise thing to do is not agree to anything. Never agree to anything until you have consulted with an attorney.
Settlements may harm your case: Attempting to agree to a settlement with the other driver or a pedestrian may delay or harm your case. For instance, they may change the story and instead say that you ran from the scene. You may then be accused of hit and run on top of reckless driving.
- Do not say sorry: Most importantly, never say sorry or show guilt for what happened. This may indicate that you admitted to causing the accident, and they may file a lawsuit against you.
- Don’t settle with an insurance company: If ever your car insurance company offers an immediate settlement or negotiates to pay for your vehicle damages, do not accept any terms until you speak with your lawyer.
- You may lose your rights to compensation: If your insurance company rushes through the process, they may not account for your injuries and thus inadvertently signing away or losing your rights to have compensation.
- See an attorney: Always seek legal advice first before attempting to accept any settlements offered to you by your own or other insurance company.
Call a lawyer
A legal professional who is familiar and experienced with sideswipe accidents and injuries from car accidents can help deal with your claim seriously. Also, they can help you get the results you want. Contacting an auto accident attorney is the best way to protect your rights after getting involved in a sideswipe accident. You may click here for additional information.
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.