Side-impact collisions can create serious problems for accident victims. Most of the safety features installed in cars are within the front and the rear third of each vehicle. There are some side-impact safety features, such as side airbags, but the overall design of most vehicles leaves them weaker along the sides. Because of this, your accident likely left you with serious injuries and extensive repair costs. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with these costs on your own.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a side-impact collision, you may be able to seek compensation to cover your recovery expenses. Guidance from an Oakland side-impact collisions lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to recover that compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 683-5111 to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Understanding Side Impact Collisions
Side impact collisions happen when one vehicle hits the side of another. This can happen in a variety of ways, with one of the most common being changing lanes. Drivers forget to look in the lane next to them. The car that is hit may spin out and experience significant damage. In other cases, side-impact collisions happen in intersections where cars speed through the intersection or do not yield according to intersection regulations.
According to Injury Epidemiology, side-impact collisions are particularly dangerous for drivers and passengers. The inherent weakness in the side of a car is that it does not provide as much material to absorb the impact. This means that a rigid frame and side-impact airbags are the only means of protection, and are commonly not enough to prevent serious injuries.
Aside from significant injuries, the damage to cars is extensive. The impact may be strong enough to bend the frame of the vehicle, which is designed to be rigid and bend as little as possible to protect anyone who is in the car. This problem alone may lead to the insurance company totaling your car since frame repairs can be expensive and often require extensive work.
For a free legal consultation with a side-impact collisions accidents lawyer serving Oakland, call (800) 683-5111
Settlement Versus Trial
Many accident victims worry about taking their case to trial. Cases often take a long time to go to trial because the court systems are always backed up with so many cases. Because of this, victims tend to be nervous about the potential outcome and just want to get cases over with as soon as possible. However, this often works out in a way that benefits the victim.
The majority of car accident cases never make it to trial because the defendant, the person facing accusations of causing the accident, offers a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a contract that says that he or she will pay a specific amount of compensation in exchange for ending the lawsuit out of court.
While settlement agreements are common, it is important to have your lawyer review it before you agree to it. That initial offer may not cover your expenses. Fortunately, your lawyer can renegotiate the deal to better align with your needs. In this way, you may be able to get the compensation you deserve in your case without a lengthy and stressful trial.
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Statute of Limitations
If you think you might want to pursue a lawsuit, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit, and the period starts on the day of your accident. According to California Courts, you have two years to file injury claims. Combining your property damage claims and personal injury claims is the most common and efficient way to handle the situation.
Building a case can take time, and most lawyers are given cases at least several months after the accident, as the victim recovers from their injuries. You want your lawyer to have as much time as possible to build your case so that all of the available evidence and witnesses can be identified. Give your lawyer as much time as possible by contacting a lawyer as soon as you are able.
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Possibly Recoverable Compensation
The point of filing a lawsuit is so that you can recover compensation for your recovery expenses. There are several types of car accident compensation you can claim. Medical expense claims are the most common since it is often the biggest threat to your finances. Property damage claims are also common, specifically the costs for car repairs or car replacements. Other pieces of property, like your cell phone or your laptop, can be claimed if they suffered damage in the accident.
If the damage to your vehicle or your injuries keeps you out of work for an extended period of time, you may be able to seek compensation for your lost wages. For a side-impact collision lawsuit, this may be something to consider if you have extensive injuries and have a job that is too difficult to do because of a serious injury or permanent impairment.
You may also be able to claim pain-and-suffering compensation, which is awarded to help address an emotional or mental impact from the accident. This is a type of compensation that is not calculated based on billing statements, but by the judge for a perceived impact on your life. You can also recover pain and suffering damages in an out-of-court settlement.
If the other driver behaved in a very reckless or intentional way when causing the accident, the judge may also award punitive damages. The judge in your case may award punitive damages to the victim as a punishment for the defendant so that they will be less likely to act the same way in the future. Punitive damages, however, are extremely rare in car accident cases.
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Contact a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Dealing with the fallout from a side-impact collision can be difficult, but you can get help dealing with the financial aspect of it. An Oakland side-impact collisions lawyer can walk you through the process of building and filing a lawsuit to collect compensation for your expenses. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 683-5111 for a free consultation about your case.
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