Most of us are familiar with a sideswipe car accident, which often occurs when one car changes lanes into another and strikes the side of another car. As a Rogers car accident lawyer can tell you, if you are involved in such an accident and the other driver acted with no regard for your safety, then you may be entitled to compensation. That could include recovery for your personal injury and damages to your vehicle as well.
How sideswipe car accidents occur
A common scenario where sideswipe accidents occur is one driver changes lanes on a multiple lane road without first checking to make sure that there is no other car in their path. As a result, the car collides with the side of the other car. In cases where the driver is rapidly making a lane change, the impact can be strong enough to force the car sideways, possibly into another lane of traffic.
Changing lanes is not the only way for a sideswipe to occur. Drifting across the line can also result in a sideswipe accident. Both of these types of slow speed car accidents are more likely to happen when a driver is fatigued, driving under the influence or distracted. Regardless of the reason, damage to vehicles and injuries can result and can be severe.
Typical injuries sustained in a sideswipe accident
Unfortunately, when it comes to sideswipe accidents, passengers may be at a higher risk of injury. That is because the protection for occupants is greater at the front and rear of the car, as that is where impacts most often occur. Even with side-impact airbags, a side collision will put the other car just inches from your body resulting in damage to your legs, internal organs, and your head.
What you should do following an auto accident
In the aftermath of an auto accident, many people are stressed or afraid, which causes them to freeze up, not knowing what to do. Most people know to exchange insurance and contact information but not much else. Unfortunately, if you fail to take a few crucial steps following an auto accident, you may jeopardize your rights. Just remember to follow these five basic steps, as explained by an experienced Rogers car accident lawyer.
First, take time to regroup
For most people, the adrenaline kicks in immediately after an auto accident and the nerves are frazzled, especially if you have never been in an accident before. The best advice is to take a few minutes to catch your breath and center yourself. In fact, don’t get out of the car unless you are in immediate danger. It is best to not move too much but try instead to stay calm and assess your injuries first. Once you are settled, gather your proof of insurance, vehicle registration and any other information you may need. If no one has called the police, go ahead and do so.
Exchange necessary information with the other driver
In situations where the injuries are minor and there is minor property damage, emergency responders and police may not be necessary. In that case, you need to exchange the necessary information with all other drivers involved on your own. The most important information includes insurance information, contact information and driver’s license and license plate numbers. Be sure to get the other drivers’ names, phone numbers, and addresses. With regard to insurance information, be sure to get the insurance carriers name and contact number, as well as the applicable policy number.
Gather other important information before leaving the scene
Before you leave the scene, if you are able of course, you should collect certain other information related to the accident. Gathering this information could help you protect any potential claims you may have, and to defend yourself if someone else files a claim against you. If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of everything you can. This will be very helpful for your Rogers car accident lawyer.
As soon as you are able, write down a statement for yourself documenting everything you can remember about the incident. This should include what people said at the scene and what you saw. The reality is, over time your memory can falter. Notes about what happened, recorded as close in time to the incident as possible, can be very reliable in the future.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury issues in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation, either online or by calling toll-free at (888) 433-4861.