Sacramento Sideswipe Accident Lawyers
If you suffered injuries in an accident involving a driver who sideswiped your vehicle, you should contact the Sacramento car accident lawyers of Tiemann Law Firm immediately. You might be entitled to compensation from the at-fault motorist. They failed to operate their car safely and put you and your passengers in danger. You deserve to seek justice and hold them liable for the harm they caused.
Sideswipe collisions are typically the result of merging without checking blind spots or becoming distracted behind the wheel, and drifting into someone else’s lane. Driver error is a common cause of car accidents, especially those involving crashing into the side of another vehicle. You have the right to pursue compensation from the negligent motorist, so you’re not forced to pay for your expenses yourself.
At Tiemann Law Firm, our dedicated and qualified Sacramento sideswipe accident lawyers are available 24/7 to take your call and discuss your case. We will review the facts of the crash and determine who was at fault. We can obtain all available evidence to show another person was responsible for your injuries and should suffer the consequences of their mistakes. Call us at (916) 999-9000 right now for a free case evaluation.
What Is a Sideswipe Car Accident?
A sideswipe collision occurs when two vehicles are traveling next to each other in the same direction, and one driver swerves or merges into the lane occupied by the other car, crashing into it. Sometimes, the quick reaction of both motorists could prevent a serious accident. However, there are often severe consequences when someone clips the side of another person’s vehicle. One or both drivers could lose control, get into an accident, and become seriously hurt.
The most common causes of sideswipe collisions are:
- Distracted drivers – Motorists encounter various distractions while behind the wheel. They might receive a text message, change the radio, reach for something in the backseat, or turn to look at a passenger. When that happens, they’re not paying attention to the roadway around them, causing them to drift into the adjacent lane.
- Blind spots – Blind spots are the areas around a car that the driver cannot view easily, and even mirrors cannot fully display. If another vehicle is in these zones, the driver can’t see it without making a purposeful effort. Drivers should always check their blind spots before maneuvering their vehicle into another lane. If they don’t, they could end up colliding with the side of another car.
- Failure to use turn signal – When someone plans to switch lanes, they must use their turn signal to inform others of what they’re about to do. Quickly merging into the next lane without taking proper care to check for other cars or warn them of their maneuver puts other drivers and passengers at risk of injury.
- Speeding – Driving too fast for conditions or behaving recklessly increases the risk of an accident occurring. When a driver speeds, they can’t control their car as easily as they could if they were driving the speed limit. It becomes difficult to maneuver safely around other vehicles, especially while changing lanes.
- Driving under the influence – Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s reaction time, decision making, and coordination behind the wheel. An impaired driver often can’t stay in a single lane and can end up drifting into a car traveling beside them.
- Adverse weather – Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain, reduce visibility. It’s crucial that drivers adjust their speed and look carefully before making a move on the road. Carelessness in dangerous situations like this typically leads to accidents, such as can occur when an inattentive motorist decides to speed or merge without checking for vehicles around them.
The injuries you sustained in your sideswipe accident could result in permanent physical or mental damage. The cost of treating your injuries shouldn’t be your burden to bear. Tiemann Law Firm can help you build a strong case with substantial evidence to prove another driver was responsible for the crash and should face the legal ramifications of their actions.
Protect Your Rights After a Sideswipe Collision in Sacramento
The moments following a car crash are crucial. The weeks and months that follow are also critical. The actions you take after suffering injuries in a sideswipe crash could determine whether you receive adequate compensation for your losses. Your first actions should be to hire a Sacramento sideswipe accident lawyer and seek medical care as soon as possible. It would be best to call an ambulance to transport you to a nearby hospital, or you could drive yourself to the doctor if your injuries aren’t too severe.
Don’t wait too long before your initial medical evaluation. A delay could negatively impact the outcome of your case. Insurance companies often use tactics to diminish a settlement offer or deny a person’s claim. If they can find substantial evidence that the injury didn’t happen, that you weren’t really injured in the accident, or you don’t deserve as much compensation as you’re seeking, they could withhold a fair settlement amount. The more evidence you can provide showing your injuries are real and connected to the accident, the better chance you have of recovering an appropriate financial award.
Follow your doctor’s orders and continue with the recommended treatment plan until your healthcare professionals determine you have healed and no longer require medical intervention. While you’re treating your injuries, Tiemann Law Firm can take on the legal aspects of your case. We will gather sufficient evidence to prove the other driver was at fault for the collision and that you suffered injuries as a result of their actions.
Once you complete treatment, we can begin gathering copies of your doctor’s notes, surgical reports, imaging results, and other records. The more documentation we can provide to the insurance company, the better. We need indisputable proof that your injuries that weren’t the result of a prior accident or preexisting condition. Be sure you maintain all records associated with the case and forward them to us to build your file.
Besides taking specific steps following a car accident, there are some things you should never do. Saying or doing the wrong things could result in the loss of your case or reduced compensation. Here’s a partial list:
Don’t sign anything the insurance company sends you. If you’re dealing with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance carrier, they might send you documents to sign and forms to complete. The language might be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with claims. You could unknowingly sign away your rights to the maximum available insurance coverage.
Don’t handle your case without hiring a Sacramento sideswipe accident lawyer. There are confusing laws, strict deadlines, and mountains of paperwork to contend with. If you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s an increased chance of doing something that negatively affects the results.
Don’t admit that your actions might have contributed to the accident. If a jury assigns you any degree of fault, you could receive much less compensation than you deserve. California’s pure comparative fault statute diminishes an injured party’s losses by the percentage of liability they share for an accident. To clarify, let’s say you end up with $20,000 in expenses. If the jury decides you were 20% to blame, you would be entitled to no more than $16,000 in compensation.
How Car Insurance Works in California
In California, whoever causes an accident becomes liable for the victim’s injuries, medical expenses, and other losses. State law requires drivers to carry liability insurance with minimum limits to cover the costs associated with bodily injury and property damage.
When you file a liability claim, you could pursue compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
You might also recover compensation from a claim with your own auto insurance carrier. It’s not a legal requirement for drivers to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM), but insurers are supposed to offer it. UM insurance covers an accident victim’s losses if the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance or high enough coverage to compensate for everything that’s owed. When you file a UM claim, you could seek:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
Auto insurance policies can be confusing to read, so Tiemann Law Firm can review all available policies for you. We will determine the coverage amounts and whether they can adequately compensate for your past and future losses. If necessary, we could file a lawsuit against the negligent driver and take your case to court for any damages not covered by the policies.
Deadline to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
A strict deadline known as a statute of limitations requires that accident victims file a lawsuit against another driver within two years of the crash date. There is practically no way around this law unless your case meets particular circumstances. If someone sideswipes your vehicle and you don’t sue them within two years, you could lose your right to sue in court for a financial award for your losses. It’s critical that you begin the legal process immediately following the collision so you don’t miss any filing deadlines.
The Sacramento sideswipe accident lawyers of Tiemann Law Firm have been representing clients in Sacramento and California since 1998. Since then, we have been able to recover millions of dollars for members of our community. We care about our clients’ safety and future and will not rest until we reach your legal goals.
If you were involved in a sideswipe accident and want to discuss your case with us, call (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation.