It is no secret that driving a vehicle comes with some inherent risks and dangers, but unfortunately, many people panic and become unsure of what to do following an accident. It is crucial to find an experienced car accident attorney when you’re struck by another vehicle, but you can’t complete this step until you know what to expect immediately following an accident.
One type of collision, side-impact car accidents, tends to cause more severe property damage and injuries than any other type of crash. Generally speaking, side-impact car accidents are deadliest because there is little to no protection in the areas where vehicles are struck in these collisions. Additionally, these types of accidents are typically the result of a serious traffic violation on behalf of at least one of the vehicles. While rear-end collisions may occur in heavy traffic due to a momentary lapse of attention, it requires a significant amount of negligence to cause a side-impact collision.
Causes of Side-Impact Accidents
While almost every car accident is caused by reckless behavior in some way, side-impact collisions are exclusively triggered by the actions of inattentive drivers. Imagine you’re halted at a four-way stop in a residential neighborhood. You come to a complete stop at the stop sign, check both ways, and proceed to move forward. Before you can even react, you see a speeding vehicle out of the corner of your eye. It is heading right for you and—at this point—there is nothing you can do to avoid the inevitable.
This terrifying scenario happens to thousands of people every single day, and as you may have guessed, it is to no fault of their own. The primary cause of side-impact accidents is failure to yield on behalf of one driver. There are times in which both drivers cruise through a red light or stop sign, but this is quite rare. The one-sided egregiousness of side-impact accidents is the reason that victims need the support of a car accident attorney who truly cares about their future. One single side-impact collision can change your life forever, and you likely did nothing to deserve this fate.
Aftermath of Your Crash
There are times when side-impact collisions end with mere property damage, but more often than not, there are more serious—sometimes fatal—consequences. Side-impact crashes are responsible for approximately 25% of all accident-related deaths in the U.S. Furthermore, these crashes may result in broken bones, brain damage, and even paralysis due to the lack of protection on the side areas of most vehicles.
If you are lucky enough to remain conscious and alert after a side-impact crash, there are a few key steps you need to take. Your first priority should be to clear the road if you are on a busy street. Side-impact crashes can be terrible on their own, but they become exponentially worse when trailing cars begin to pile up because they don’t have time to react. If there is a passenger in your vehicle, make sure they are safe and uninjured. The side of your car that is hit directly by the other vehicle is in the most danger, because the person in that seat is particularly susceptible to serious injury.
In some side-impact accidents, passengers will be violently thrown to the opposite side of the vehicle due to the force of the collision. Since you’re buckled in with a seatbelt, this can result in injuries similar to what you may experience in a rear-end collision, including whiplash and head trauma. The most common severe injury that stems from these types of collisions is torso trauma, which can include broken ribs and other internal injuries. Therefore, your first step should be calling 911 to contact the police and receive medical attention. If you are able to do this on your own, try to then identify any witnesses that may have seen the accident.
Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney
Regardless of how you feel immediately following the crash, you should never assume that you are completely healthy. You should seek medical attention every single time. By doing so, you allow a car accident attorney to represent you as well as possible in a court of law. The other driver’s insurance company may try to downplay your pain and suffering depending on how you acted immediately following the accident. If you went straight home and failed to seek medical attention, they can argue that you’re merely “making up” all of your injuries.
Since each state has specific laws when it comes to determining blame for side-impact collisions, you need a car accident attorney with decades of experience in this field, like those at DuBoff & Associates, Chartered. It is difficult to explain exactly how much this type of crash can affect the rest of your life, and you cannot afford to enter the courtroom unprepared. Contacting a car accident attorney as soon as possible after a side-impact crash will allow them to examine the time-sensitive details of your incident. Then, they can begin building a case against the person who collided with you to maximize your potential compensation.
There are few things scarier than side-impact car accidents, but understanding the causes and aftermath of these incidents will help you maintain your quality of life following a crash. Additionally, finding the right Maryland car accident attorney will give you peace of mind to focus on recovery while they work to secure your future. Contact DuBoff & Associates, Chartered to recover the compensation you deserve following a side-impact crash.