Sideswipe accident injuries can run the gamut, from minor bruising to incapacitating injuries and even death. Serious injuries often require emergency medical care, hospitalization, and rehabilitation. Additional treatments such as surgery and therapy raise the price tag even further. Add this to the fact you likely cannot work during this time, and your financial health can suffer greatly.
Victims of this type of accident often have many questions, including:
- How can I pay for my medical bills after a Knoxville car accident?
- Who pays to repair my car after a sideswipe accident?
- Can I file an insurance claim to recover my damages after a Knoxville crash?
- How can I hold the at-fault driver responsible for a sideswipe accident in Knoxville?
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, our Knoxville, TN sideswipe accident lawyer can answer these questions for you, as well as offer advice about recovering the compensation you deserve. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and contingency-based representation. This means you pay nothing until we get a settlement or award in your case. Call our Knoxville office today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a time to meet with one of our car accident lawyers.
Why are sideswipe car accidents so dangerous?
Sideswipe collisions can occur when:
- A driver makes a sudden lane change without checking his blind spot and hits another car
- A distracted driver drifts into oncoming traffic and clips the side of a car traveling in the opposite direction
While a sideswipe crash might result in nothing more than a dented car door, these accidents can be serious if they occur at high speed or cause one of the cars to lose control or roll over. Sideswipe accidents are also especially dangerous when a tractor trailer or other large vehicle hits a smaller passenger car.
Tennessee law allows you to hold at-fault drivers responsible for their role in your Knoxville sideswipe incident. This means you can collect compensation to repair your car, pay your medical bills, cover lost wages, and more.
What should I do after a sideswipe accident in Knoxville, TN?
If you are the victim of a sideswipe crash, there are several things you need to do to ensure you have the best chance at recovering compensation for your losses later. After an accident:
Get medical care as quickly as possible. Seeing a doctor after a car accident is always a good idea. For some, this is simply being cautious. For others, the treatment they receive is lifesaving. And, believe it or not, many do not know which category they fall into until they visit the emergency room. Many serious injuries show no immediate signs, so you should get checked out no matter what.
In addition, seeing a doctor soon after a crash ties any injuries you suffered to the crash, which is key in getting compensation for those injuries. If you wait several days, the insurance company may deny your claim and try to pin your injuries on another cause.
Collect evidence. Because proving fault is often difficult in these cases, you will want to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene before you leave to receive medical care. Of course, your health and safety must come first. If you are not able, have another passenger or witness help you when possible.
Write down the names and contact information of everyone involved as well as any witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, the damage to both vehicles and where the vehicles came to a stop. Skid marks may also be important to your case, so take a picture of any evidence of braking left on the road.
If you or a passenger is unable to gather evidence, you can obtain a copy of the police report which should have a summary of the accident as well as any citations issued.
Write down your version of events as soon as possible. Memories tend to fade over time, so it is important to write down the facts of your accident as soon as possible afterward. Leave out any opinions (e.g., I think the other driver was texting) or emotional statements, and include only the facts as they happened from your perspective.
You may also want to start a journal to track how the accident impacts your life in the coming days. This may include suffering pain, limiting your activities or missing work. This may be useful later when your lawyer needs to build a case for awarding you noneconomic damages.
Continue your medical treatment. After an accident, it is paramount you follow all instructions your doctor gives you and continue your treatment regimen. If you miss appointments, fail to take medication, or refuse treatment, the insurance company will likely use this against you and refuse to pay your claim. If you disagree with your doctor, consider a second opinion instead of stopping medical treatment.
Call a Knoxville sideswipe accident attorney. Tennessee Code § 28-3-104 only gives car accident victims one year to file a claim for compensation. For this reason, it is important for you to discuss your case with a sideswipe accident lawyer in Knoxville, TN as soon as possible after your crash.
Contacting us and getting us on your team early also makes it easier to collect evidence to support your case. Witnesses can provide more accurate testimony, and we may be able to collect things like security camera footage of your accident that a business would record over otherwise.
How can a Knoxville sideswipe accident lawyer help me recover my losses?
Most accident victims are able to settle their sideswipe accident cases by filing an accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer pays out to repair your car, cover your medical treatment, provide your lost wages, and recoup your other losses.
While this may sound simple, sideswipe accidents are often much more complicated. Fault is sometimes very difficult to prove, and even the police report may not attribute it to the correct driver. Unlike in a rear-end accident or a crash in an intersection, sideswipe accidents often occur because of subtle movements between two vehicles.
Proving fault in a sideswipe accident requires proving where each vehicle was at the time of the crash, and who crossed the dividing line between lanes. We often rely on police reports, eyewitness testimony, and accident reconstructions to demonstrate fault in this type of accident. We can also explore any accusations of shared fault, and collect evidence to minimize your contribution to the crash.
Only once we have built a strong case and calculated the value of your claim do we begin negotiations with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement. While we can usually reach an agreement out of court, some insurance companies refuse to negotiate. If this happens in your case, we can file a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to collect the compensation you deserve.
How can I schedule a time to meet with a sideswipe accident attorney in Knoxville?
If you suffered injuries in a sideswipe car accident, our Knoxville sideswipe attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC can help you understand your legal rights, and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to set up a free initial consultation.