Side-impact crashes present a high risk of injury and even death, especially for the driver and any passengers inside the struck vehicle. This type of crash, also known as a broadside, sideswipe, or T-bone collision, happens when the side or front of one car hits the side of another vehicle. When a side-impact crash happens because of another person’s negligence, a Seminole side-impact car accident lawyer could assist.
Victims of side-impact crashes could suffer from neck and back trauma, head trauma, internal injuries, broken bones, and paralysis. An accomplished personal injury attorney could support you in pursuing justice and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses from the negligent party.
Causes of Side-Impact Car Collisions
A side-impact collision could occur in intersections, parking lots, or anywhere that cars travel at a 90-degree angle to each other. These crashes may also happen when one car is driving parallel to another vehicle and sideswipes them. Common causes of side-impact accidents include:
- Drivers running red lights
- Failure to obey a stop sign
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Manufacturing defects
Seeking Financial Recovery
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that an injured party must generally recover compensation through their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage first before they may file against the other driver. PIP applies regardless of fault and all vehicle owners in state are required to carry minimum PIP policy limits of $10,000. A Seminole attorney representing a side-impact car crash victim could explore a variety of options to achieve financial compensation and handle all interactions with insurance companies on their behalf.
A crash victim may recover compensation for past, present, and future medical bills and lost wages. Other damages that could be awarded include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
In cases where the at-fault party’s actions are found to constitute egregious misconduct the court may also awarded the plaintiff punitive damages. These damages punish a defendant for wrongdoing while serving as a deterrent to others who might engage in similar misconduct in the future.
Elements Required to Prove Negligence
With any personal injury case, including side-impact accidents, a Seminole lawyer must prove that the other side acted negligently. To do so, the following must be established:
- The at-fault party owed the injured victim a duty of care (such as the duty to drive safely)
- The at-fault party breached their duty (making a left turn without looking, backing out of a parking space without checking blind spots)
- The at-fault party’s breach was directly responsible for the victim’s injuries
- The victim suffered damages, (lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering)
Florida Statutes §768.81 outlines the state’s comparative fault rule, stating that the total compensation a victim would recover in a personal injury case may be reduced if they contributed to the accident that caused their injuries.
While a plaintiff could be partially at fault and still recover financial damages, the court would reduce their award of compensation in accordance with their percentage of liability. This means that if, for example, an injury victim is found to be 50 percent to blame for the accident, they would only be entitled to half of their damages.
Time Limits to Pursue Compensation
Under Fl. Stat. Ann. §95-11, there is a four-year statutory deadline by which an injury victim must file their car accident lawsuit, or else be time-barred from recovering compensation. If someone attempts to file their personal injury lawsuits after the four-year deadline has passed, the court could very well dismiss their case.
Seek Guidance from a Seminole Side-Impact Car Accident Attorney
You could recover compensation for your lost wages, lost future earnings, future care costs, and medical bills. A Seminole side-impact car accident lawyer could handle all aspects of your claim for damages and help restore your peace of mind while protecting your legal rights.
Contact an attorney today if you have been hurt in a side-impact auto accident.