Determining Fault and Liability for a Side Impact Collision
A sideswipe or T-bone accident can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. Twenty-five percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities in 2014 were the result of side impact collisions, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). If you can prove another driver caused it, you may be entitled to file a liability claim to get compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
But the case will hinge on being able to prove who was at fault. This can be difficult and complicated. Car accident lawyer Jason Schultz can evaluate your claim and discuss your legal rights. Call 404-474-0804 to schedule your free consultation.
Types of Side Impact Collisions
Side impact collisions are so lethal because the vehicle occupants are exposed and vulnerable. The front and back of a vehicle have substantial “crumple zones,” which can shield occupants and absorb impact. The sides of the vehicles, however, do not provide that level of protection. Even with side airbags, side impact collisions can be dangerous due to the lack of physical structure on the sides of vehicles.
Common scenarios that lead to side impact collisions include:
- A driver runs a red light and crashes into the side of vehicle passing through the intersection.
- A driver fails to stop at a stop sign and collides with the side of the vehicle that has right of way.
- A driver turning left tries to beat another car that is going straight through the intersection, but either strikes that vehicle or that vehicle strikes it.
- A driver changes lanes and sideswipes another vehicle.
Who is liable in a side impact collision?
Determining who is liable for a side impact collision depends on the situation. For example, in the scenario where a vehicle turning left collides with a vehicle passing straight through an intersection, liability depends on right of way and the behavior of either driver.
If the driver turning left was recklessly trying to turn in front of the driver going straight, the driver turning left will likely be liable. But if the driver going straight ran a red light and struck the driver turning left, the driver going straight is likely liable.
Proving liability will require evidence. This may include a police report, eyewitness reports, surveillance video, photos of the scene, and, in some cases, even testimony from accident reconstruction experts. Attorney Jason Schultz can help you investigate the accident and compile the evidence necessary to establish fault and liability.
Get Help after a Side Impact Collision in Atlanta
If successful, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you have been injured in a side impact collision auto accident, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 to speak with a lawyer.