Side Impact Car Accidents
Experienced Lake Charles Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Side impact collisions may not be as common as rear-end crashes or as feared as head-on collisions, but they can be just as devastating. In fact, about a quarter of all people who die in car accidents in the United States die in a side impact collision, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a Louisiana side impact crash, you need a knowledgeable and skilled car accident attorney on your side. At Lee Hoffoss Injury Lawyers, we can help you navigate the claims process, holding the at-fault driver responsible for the damage he caused and getting you and your family the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 337-433-2053 to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
Who is liable for a side impact crash?
While most people assume that the person who crashes into the side of the victim’s car would be the liable party, this is not always true. The driver who hits the side of the victim’s car can be liable if:
- He ran a red light or stop sign.
- He was speeding to beat a yellow light.
The driver in the struck car can be liable if:
- He turned on a solid green light without checking that the intersection was clear.
- He ran a red light or stop sign.
Determining fault is crucial. Louisiana follows a comparative fault system, meaning you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault as long as your share of responsibility is less than 50%. While liability can be clear in certain cases (e.g., running a red light or stop sign), it can be more difficult to determine in cases where a driver made a left turn or sped up to make it through a yellow light. If liability is unclear or disputed, our investigators can recreate the accident to determine exactly how the accident occurred.
How can I get compensation for damages after a Louisiana side impact car accident?
Once we have determined who was responsible for your accident, we can work on holding that party liable for your injuries. To hold that party liable, we must gather evidence that establishes the following:
- The other driver had a duty to prevent you from suffering injuries.
- He failed to uphold this duty, causing a crash.
- You suffered injuries in the crash.
- This caused you actual financial damages.
When a driver gets his driver’s license — or an unlicensed driver gets behind the wheel — he accepts the duty of following all traffic laws and driving in a manner that protects other drivers around him. However, sometimes people fail to uphold this duty, breaking traffic laws and causing accidents.
Imagine a driver who failed to stop at a red light and hit you as you turned left on a green arrow. When this causes an accident and you suffer injuries, this is negligence. Within the one-year Statute of Limitations for car accidents, you can file a claim, hold the driver accountable for his actions, and collect the compensation you deserve.
What can I expect during the Louisiana auto insurance claims process?
We manage all aspects of your insurance claim, from collecting evidence and estimating a value to filing the claim, protecting your rights during the investigation, and negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
We fight aggressively to ensure you recover the maximum payout possible, and to protect your rights throughout the process.
We can settle most side impact car accident claims out of court, meaning we negotiate a settlement with the insurance company and do not need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Occasionally, though, an insurance company refuses to negotiate or will not give you a fair payout. When this happens, we will discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
In a Louisiana car accident suit, we present all the evidence in your case, as well as any eyewitness and expert witness testimony. The judge or jury hears both sides of the case, and makes a decision. The judgment includes the amount of money due to you for your damages.
What is my Louisiana side impact accident case worth?
While we cannot give you an accurate value of your case without conducting an in-depth investigation of your accident and the damages you suffered, the value of your claim often depends heavily on the type of injuries you suffered and how they impact your everyday life.
We can recover compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages for our clients. We will collect receipts, bills, and other documentation to prove your economic losses, and demonstrate how the accident and your injuries affect your life to bolster our request for noneconomic damages.
Some of the damages you may be eligible to recover include:
- Medical care costs
- Car repair or replacement
- The cost of rehabilitation and therapy
- Current lost wages
- Future income losses
- Funeral costs
- Other accident-related expenses
- Pain and suffering
Causes of Side-Impact Accidents
Side-impact collisions can happen for various reasons, and pinpointing the cause is crucial in determining liability. Common causes include:
- Running Red Lights: One of the most frequent causes of T-bone accidents is when a driver runs a red light or disregards a stop sign, striking a vehicle in the intersection.
- Failing to Yield: When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, it can result in a side-impact crash, especially in situations like merging onto highways or turning at intersections.
- Speeding: Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the severity of side-impact accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Taking attention away from the road, whether due to texting, eating, or other distractions, can lead to T-bone collisions.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment and reaction time, increasing the likelihood of side-impact crashes.
Side-Impact Crash Injuries
Side-impact accidents often result in severe injuries and property damage due to the limited protection offered by vehicle doors compared to front or rear-end collisions. Common consequences include:
- Whiplash and Neck Injuries: The abrupt side-to-side motion in T-bone accidents can cause whiplash and neck injuries.
- Head Injuries: Passengers can hit their heads on windows, doors, or steering wheels, leading to concussions or traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal Injuries: The force of impact can cause spinal injuries, ranging from herniated discs to paralysis.
- Broken Bones: Fractures are common in T-bone crashes, particularly in the arms, legs, and ribs.
- Internal Injuries: The impact can cause internal bleeding or damage to vital organs.
- Emotional Trauma: Victims often suffer from emotional trauma, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Need help filing a side-impact accident claim in Lake Charles? Call us today.
Lee Hoffoss Injury Lawyers handles all types of Louisiana car accident claims, including side impact crashes. We work on a contingency basis, so you do not pay anything until you secure a settlement in your case. We also offer no-obligation case evaluations, during which you can discuss your questions and concerns with one of our lawyers.
Call our office today at 337-433-2053 to schedule a time to meet.