Auto Accident Settlement
You may very well have the ‘right-of-way’ as you enter an intersection. After all, you have the green light, or it’s your turn at a 4-way stop. Suddenly, another vehicle broadsides you and there you are — the victim of a side-impact collision. Unfortunately, all bets are off when we presume all drivers sharing the road will inherently ‘do the right thing’.
What is a Side-Impact Collision?
By definition, a side-impact collision is defined by the front of one vehicle running into the side of another (aka broadsiding). There are only a few inches between a driver (or front-seat passenger) and the door frame, and the window. If you are the victim of this type of car accident, it can be terrifying and cause significant injury or even fatality.
In order to avoid a side-impact collision you should:
- Use caution at blind corners where you cannot see oncoming traffic.
- Slow down when coming up to an intersection, even if the light is green.
- Drive defensively to avoid being the victim of another driver’s mistakes.
Side-Impact Collision: Who’s at fault?
Whether or not a tape or witness is available, there is no question as to which vehicle was hit by the other. However, this may not automatically indicate who is at fault. Maybe the driver impacted by another wasn’t paying attention, or perhaps a 3rd party caused the colliding driver to run into you. There may even be ‘shared’ blame when all the facts are weighed.
That being said, because Florida is a ‘no-fault’ state, all drivers must carry their own personal injury protection (PIP). These policies require a coverage minimum limit of $10k — which may be applied to only a percentage of personal medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle repairs. Also, a PIP policy does not include any liability coverage.
Side-Impact Collision: Legal Advocacy
One thing is generally a ‘given’ in a side-impact collision — there will almost always be witnesses. Maybe they will stop and give you their contact information, but it’s not a guarantee. If the accident occurs at a major intersection, there could be a traffic camera atop the light that recorded it on tape. (Note: ‘Redlight’ cameras are usually stand-alone and only record red-light-runners for the purpose of issuing citations.)
It is always a smart move to connect with a local personal injury lawyer to make certain all your boxes are checked. There is no fee to speak with an attorney to discuss your situation and determine the claim potential. More importantly, legal fees are paid from a settlement when your case is won; i.e. no out-of-pocket payments are necessary.
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