Massachusetts Sideswipe Collision Causes
Sideswipes and merging accidents are common in Boston. Whether you are driving on your neighborhood street or through the O’Neill Tunnel, sideswipes can happen any time. Almost all sideswipe collisions are due to human error. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries because of someone else’s poor choices or bad driving, you should consult with an experienced sideswipe collision attorney today to find out what legal recourse you may have. In the meantime, read on for more information about sideswipe accidents and how you may recover compensation.
Sideswipe accidents may bring to mind minor accidents only resulting in paint damage to your car. But sideswipe accidents can often be more serious, especially depending on how hard a car slams into the side of yours. If you are traveling at high speeds and the car merges into your lane where you currently are, that collision could cause enough force to not only damage the entire side of your car but also push you into another car or cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Sideswipe collisions often push the victim’s car into another vehicle, a guardrail, or even off the road entirely. Cars can be pushed into oncoming traffic, with fatal results. Sideswipe accidents are nothing to take lightly.
Common Damage and Injuries in Boston Sideswipe Accidents
When you are involved in a sideswipe accident in Boston, your car may suffer damage that goes well beyond just minor cosmetic damage. If the impact is great enough, your car could be totaled. In such instances, you might not only have serious financial concerns but also severe injuries.
Even in minor sideswipe accidents, you could suffer serious injuries.
These may include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
In pleasant summer weather in Boston, you may have your windows down and your passengers might be enjoying the wind with their arms out of the open window. Another car sideswiping you in such a case could cause serious damage to your passenger’s arm, possibly requiring amputation.
Sideswipe accidents are no small thing, and victims of such accidents should recover compensation for injuries caused by another driver’s wrongdoing.
Why Boston Sideswipe Accidents Happen
Of all car accidents, human error causes 94 percent. Sideswipe accidents in Boston are no exception.
The most common reasons for sideswipe accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving too fast for the road conditions
- Drowsy driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
Drivers not paying attention to the road often cause sideswipe collisions. When behind the wheel of a car, a driver’s responsibility is to drive safely and pay attention. That includes checking mirrors and signaling when about to change lanes.
Modern vehicles come standard today with lane monitoring and vehicle warning. But that is no excuse for drivers to not focus on the road and their maneuvering. A driver who fails to properly signal or check their mirrors can cause a sideswipe accident leading to severe injuries. Still, human error is to blame for most sideswipe accidents, and victims of such negligence shouldn’t have to bear the full brunt of the consequences that follow.
New cars have much better safety equipment, but that does not always prevent serious and life-threatening injuries in sideswipe accidents. Side-impact airbags and testing systems have helped to keep passengers safer in sideswipe collisions.
But such vehicle safety advances cannot prevent all injuries. The only way to prevent injuries is to avoid accidents. As long as humans control the vehicles, accidents may happen.
The intent of safety technology in cars is to reduce the seriousness of the injuries you receive. Even if your car is brand new, you could still suffer injuries in a sideswipe collision, leaving you out of work and with massive medical bills to pay. A side airbag may save you from dying, but could still result in a broken arm or other serious injuries.
What to do After a Sideswipe Accident
After any car accident, you may be confused and have questions about what you do next. The steps you take immediately after your sideswipe accident could play a significant role in your ability to recover maximum compensation for your car repairs and physical injuries.
Even if you think your injuries are minor, that just might be your adrenaline masking your pain. Calling 911 will let emergency medical personnel evaluate you and make sure you do not need additional medical care. If you do, they will rush you to the hospital to ensure your medical needs get prompt attention.
Calling 911 will also send the police to your accident scene. The police will speak with everyone involved in the accident and with any witnesses. They will compile this information in their police accident report. While they may not assign fault, they will show how the accident happened. This accident report can provide valuable information for your legal team to show that someone else caused your accident and should be held responsible for your car’s damage and your physical injuries.
Take Pictures and Video
Your injuries may prevent you from moving. So ask a trusted friend or family member to take pictures and video of the entire accident scene, all vehicles involved, and your injuries. The images can provide vital information about how your accident was caused.
Speak With Witnesses
The police will attempt to speak with witnesses at the accident scene. But not all witnesses will wait around for the police to arrive. So you need to at least get witness contact information so your legal team can speak with them about what they saw. Witnesses often provide valuable insight into the seconds leading up to your sideswipe accident that can make it clear the other driver is at fault.
See Your Doctor
Even if you get medical attention at the accident scene and you are allowed to leave, you should go see your regular doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor knows you better than anyone and can quickly and accurately determine the extent of your injuries and how they affect your ability to live your life. When you meet with your doctor, they will take copious notes and provide intricate detail about your physical ailments. Your legal team may find this information valuable.
Keep a Journal
In your journal, write every single day. Your journal should contain detailed notes about your pain levels, the obstacles you have overcome, any setbacks you have in your recovery, and what you could do that day. Over time, you will not remember every single hurdle during your recovery. But this information will be vital to your financial recovery. With your journal details, your Boston sideswipe collision lawyer can paint a picture of what your life was like before and after your accident, showing how badly the accident affected your life. These details may increase the amount of money you can receive.
Damages You Could Collect
When you partner with a knowledgeable sideswipe accident lawyer in Boston, your legal representative will file a car accident claim on your behalf. Thus begins the legal process through which you may collect money from the negligent driver.
But you must act fast. Massachusetts law requires that your lawyer file your car accident claim soon after your sideswipe accident. You want to give your lawyer enough time to investigate your accident and present compelling evidence that you deserve the compensation you seek.
Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Car repairs
- Car replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of consortium
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require a lifetime of medical care and attention. Even minor injuries can wreak havoc on your finances from multiple doctor visits and many medical procedures.
But covering these expenses, including any car repair or replacement, should not be your problem. That should be the sole responsibility of the at-fault driver.
Your injuries may keep you out of work. If that happens, you may have trouble paying your regular bills, let alone all of your medical expenses. Your family may feel unnecessary pressure to find additional jobs just to help cover the loss of your income. That’s not their burden to bear, either.
Your sideswipe accident lawyer in Boston can help you recover compensation so you keep your money in your pocket. This helps you and your family by letting you focus on what matters most—your recovery.
Be Cautious of Quick Settlement Offers
Just days after your sideswipe accident in Boston, you may get a call from the insurance company representing the negligent driver. This may even excite you because they called to offer you a settlement.
But you need to be careful. The insurance company is looking out for their best interests, not yours. They are preying on you, knowing that you may be out of work and need quick cash. They hope that if they throw a little money at you, you will take the offer and walk away without realizing you are leaving tons of money on the table.
The insurance company representative might even tell you that you need to decide right then and there. They may say this is the best offer they can make. They may even try to persuade you that hiring a lawyer is just a waste of time and money.
In reality, a skilled sideswipe collision lawyer can increase your settlement because they know the insurance company plays these games with you. What the insurance company will not tell you is that if you take their lowball offer, you will waive your right to bring any future claims against them for this accident. That means you could end up paying out of pocket for your medical expenses, car repairs, and financial losses from an accident you did not cause.
You can avoid this scenario by partnering with an aggressive Boston sideswipe collision lawyer who can stand up to the insurance company and combat their tactics. Your lawyer has your best interests at heart and will go to bat for you.
Speak With a Boston Car Accident Lawyer
Your lawyer is your legal advocate. You need to focus all of your effort and energy on your physical health and well-being. While you are busy getting back to your regular life, your legal team is focused on holding the negligent driver liable for your accident and injuries. Collecting maximum compensation so you do not have to pay a dime out of your own pocket is your Boston car accident lawyer’s goal.