Side-impact collisions occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another. These types of accidents also go by “T-bone” or “broadside” collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these types of collisions are one the most fatal, accounting for approximately 23% of car crash fatalities in 2018. They are particularly dangerous because of the proximity between the passenger and the oncoming vehicle.
If you have suffered because another person’s reckless or irresponsible actions caused a T-bone collision, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious as you grapple with injuries as well as mounting medical bills, lost wages, and emotional anguish. You do not have to go through this difficult period alone.
A Seattle side-impact collisions lawyer can help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and seek financial awards for your losses. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 to discuss your situation and determine if you have legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Establishing Liability in Your Accident
Often, side-impact collisions occur when one car merges into another’s lane unsafely, speeds through a red light, or fails to yield at an intersection. Distracted driving, illegal passing, aggressive driving, inclement weather or decreased visibility, and improper turns are also common causes.
Sometimes, inadequate road maintenance may play a role too. For instance, when attempting to swerve or brake to avoid a collision, a driver may lose control because of a pothole or bump in the road. In these situations, the city or road crew might be partially responsible for the incident. At the heart of most car crashes, including side-impact collisions, is one or more parties’ failure to practice prudent, responsible roadway behavior.
Either party can be at fault in a T-bone collision. Sometimes, both drivers are partially responsible. For instance, at a four-way stop, a car may not yield the right of way appropriately and another car, whose driver was distracted or speeding, may strike them. Some indicators of fault will include witness testimony, photos from the scene, and skid marks. Traffic signals at the time of the incident and vehicle defects can also factor in. Law enforcement officials typically make an assessment and assign fault at the scene. But a lawyer can conduct an independent investigation to ensure the evaluation is accurate.
Per Revised Code of Washington (RCW) §4.22.005, Washington has a stance of “pure comparative negligence” regarding car accidents. Essentially, this policy underscores the fact that both drivers can carry some percentage of liability in a crash. In most cases, as long as you were less than 50% at-fault, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation.
A lawyer can assist you with many aspects of a case, including building a defense against the other driver. In the event that the other driver’s lawyer or insurer tries to pin a larger percentage of the fault on you and reduce or eliminate your potential compensation, our team is ready to fight back using evidence and familiarity with Washington law.
For a free legal consultation with a side-impact collisions lawyer serving Seattle, call (800) 598-7557
Following the Washington Statute of Limitations
Like other states, Washington imposes a statute of limitations for personal injury cases like side-impact collisions. Per RCW §4.16.080, you may only have three years to file a lawsuit against the driver whose negligence caused your accident. Similarly, if a member of your family passed away in this accident, you must also follow this time frame for suing for wrongful death. A lawyer can discuss the time limit and how it applies to your case. Time can pass quickly when you are dealing with insurance companies and healing from your wounds, so do not delay in seeking financial justice.
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How a Side-Impact Accident Can Affect Your Life
The injuries from a car accident, especially those injuries from a broadside collision, can cause serious injuries, especially to those people on the side of the impact. While some injuries will heal with time and treatment, others may have lingering effects or result in chronic pain.
Common injuries include head injuries, cuts from broken windows, neck injuries like whiplash, back and spinal injuries such as nerve damage and herniated discs, and soft tissue injuries. After a car crash, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Some conditions, including certain brain injuries, can be life-threatening and require prompt care to reduce your risk of permanent disability or death.
These traumatic incidents can also lead to mental health issues and psychological trauma. These can contribute to your pain and suffering and hurt the quality of your life, just like physical injuries.
Seeking prompt medical care is also essential when filing an insurance claim or personal injury suit. Your medical records are helpful for lawyers, as they can prove the severity of your injuries and determine how much compensation to fight for on your behalf.
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Find a Side-Impact Collisions Lawyer Today
If your injuries were permanently debilitating, you may be unable to return to your previous post or unable to work at all, resulting in more financial strain. But there is hope—a Seattle side-impact collisions lawyer can help you pursue monetary awards for your injuries, allowing you to preserve your financial stability and focus on your recovery.
If you were injured in a side-impact collision in the Seattle area, a lawyer may be able to help you pursue justice. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557. Our team is ready to help, no matter how tough your case may seem.
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