What To Do After a Side Swiped Car AccidentPosted on: September 19, 2023
All car accidents are disorienting, but side swipe accidents can be especially surprising.
In the blink of an eye, you suddenly find yourself thinking about insurance policies, repairs for your sideswiped car, and even medical appointments. Meanwhile, your mind is reeling with what to do next.
Car accidents might be common, but they don’t feel commonplace. In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about sideswipe accidents so you are prepared for the road ahead.
What Is a Side Swipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles that are moving parallel to each other collide.
Sideswipe collisions can be caused by a number of factors, from aggressive driving maneuvers to poor road conditions that cause drivers to lose control. However, most occur due to some form of driver error. Falling asleep behind the wheel, distracted driving, and failing to check blind spots are some of the most common causes of sideswiped car accidents.
Despite improving technology, side swipe accidents continue to cause damage on the road. According to the National Safety Council, sideswipe collisions account for roughly 20% of all accidents—about 2,000,000 a year!
Side Swiped Car Accident Injuries
Compared to vehicles involved head-on collisions, side swiped cars typically aren’t damaged too severely. However, the greater the size difference between the two vehicles, the worse the consequences.
For instance, being side swiped by a Toyota Corolla won’t cause as much damage to your vehicle as being side swiped by an 18-wheeler. Head and neck injuries—such as whiplash and herniated discs—are common across all types of accidents.
Because side swipe accidents involve two vehicles moving in the same direction, the forces involved tend to be much less than a typical car accident. However, they can still cause just as much damage.
In addition to housing your engine, the long front end of your car is designed to crumple under direct impact, absorbing the brunt of the crash. The sides of your car, however, offer far less protection. The fact is that side-impact crashes—including side swipes—can have devastating effects on your health.
What To Do After a Side Swiped Car Accident
First and foremost, treat your sideswipe accident as you would any other.
After the accident, assess yourself and any passengers for injuries, and call 911 if medical treatment is necessary. Next, call the police to report the accident. The point of this is not to “get anyone in trouble” for causing the crash, but to create an unbiased report of the details.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, swap contact information with the other driver(s) as well as any witnesses to the crash.
The insurance company will want detailed documentation of the scene of the accident, so if you are able, take pictures of the damage, the spot where the accident occurred, and any bruising or injuries you may have. The location of impact is crucial because it often becomes a fight concerning who entered the other’s lane. Therefore, taking photos of debris in the road showing where the impact occurred or even where vehicles came to rest can be paramount to proving your case.
Do not skip this step! We have seen plenty of car accidents where photographic evidence was the key to our clients’ success.
Once the scene has been cleared, seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you are injured. Car accident injuries have a way of disguising themselves, only to crop up weeks later.
Tell Us About Your Case
Under Florida law, you only have 14 days following the date of a car accident to use your PIP benefits. Seeking medical attention right away ensures that these benefits don’t go to waste.
Finally, contact an experienced car accident attorney right away. It is nearly guaranteed that the insurance company will play hardball, even if they are your insurance company! Having a lawyer on your side from the start gives you a better chance of a successful personal injury case.
Who Is At Fault?
Florida is a No Fault state when it comes to car accidents, which means that each person involved in a crash must turn to their own insurance policy for medical treatment, regardless of who is at fault. But this doesn’t mean that reckless drivers get off “scot free”.
The driver at fault in a sideswipe accident is responsible for 20% of the medical expenses and 40% of the lost wage reimbursement not covered by your PIP benefits. And if you experienced permanent or significant injuries, Florida law allows you to recover pain and suffering damages.
The Road To Recovery
Being involved in a side swipe accident can leave you feeling totally blindsided, not to mention hurt, scared, and confused.
At Beers & Gordon, our primary goal is to set you at ease and fight tirelessly for your rights so you can focus on rest and recovery. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience, we have the knowledge, expertise, and resources needed to determine who sideswiped who and ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a licensed attorney.