Side-impact collisions, also known as broadside or T-bone collisions, kill thousands of people each year and injure many thousands more. While rear-end accidents are most often the fault of the driver in the following vehicle, there are no consistent rules like that for determining who is liable in a side-impact collision. Instead, an investigation must be performed to determine whose negligent driving behavior caused the accident to occur.
If you’ve been injured in a side-impact crash, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine all sources of liability. Our team at Setareh Law will work with you throughout the legal process in order to help make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Liability in Side-Impact Collisions
When a side-impact collision occurs, the source of liability is generally the driver whose negligence led to the collision. However, other parties may be liable as well. Liability is proven by showing these three elements in the case:
- The at-fault driver had a “duty of care.” This means they had a legal responsibility to take reasonable actions in order to avoid causing harm to others while operating a vehicle on a public roadway.
- There was a breach in the driver’s owed duty that led to an accident occurring. Common causes of car accidents occurring in intersections, which is where most side-impact crashes take place, include failure to yield the right-of-way and speeding, distracted driving, or driver’s fatigue.
- The breach resulted in an accident in which the claimant was injured.
An attorney will perform an investigation into the accident in search of evidence that can be used to prove liability. Evidence that is commonly used in side-impact collision claims includes the police accident report, surveillance footage or photos from the accident scene, the testimony of eyewitnesses, and even the work of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists.
Why Does It Matter Who Was At Fault?
Liability matters because the party who was at fault for causing the crash is responsible for compensating the injured party for the expenses and quality-of-life impacts they experienced as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. One of the first services a lawyer will perform when handling your case is an extensive investigation of the accident in order to identify all sources of liability.
Likewise, the insurance company that services the at-fault party’s auto insurance policy will also need to see proof of liability. When the claim is submitted to the insurance provider, it will be assigned to the claims adjuster who will evaluate the claim. In addition to ascertaining the insured’s liability, the claims adjuster will also seek through their evaluation to determine whether coverage is available through the policy the claim was filed against.
While most car accident cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement in which the insurance company accepts the liability of their insured and makes a settlement offer that the claimant agrees to accept as fair compensation, if the insurance company disputes liability, they can refuse to settle the claim or reduce the level of compensation they offer to settle the claim. The case is often then filed as a personal injury lawsuit so that a judge or jury can consider the evidence and make determinations about liability and compensation.
Injured in a Side-Impact Accident? Contact Setareh Law
Side-impact collisions are among the most serious and devastating types of accidents to be involved in. If you’ve been injured in this type of crash, the legal team at Setareh Law can provide our many years of experience to help you obtain the compensation you need. We have garnered millions of dollars in settlements and awards for our clients while providing unparalleled customer service and garnering the reputation of being aggressive advocates who never give up.
Let an experienced car accident attorney from Setareh Law explore your legal options with you. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (310) 659-1826. Our team also speaks Spanish.