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Sideswiped? Know Your Legal Rights

Car Accidents

A congested multi-lane highway with impatient rush-hour drivers darting back and forth, looking for the “fastest” lane. A bustling mall parking lot with a large SUV, trying to cram itself into a space labeled “Compact Cars Only.” A quiet neighborhood street with a distracted driver zooming by cars parked on both sides. What do these three situations have in common? 

You probably already know if it’s happened to you: Someone’s car is about to get sideswiped!

What Does It Mean to be Sideswiped?

A sideswipe accident happens when the sides of two vehicles collide. Often (but not always), the vehicles are traveling or facing the same direction. There are a variety of causes that can range from impaired or distracted driving, road rage, inclement weather, a simple failure to use a turn signal or check a blind spot, and everything in-between. 

Sideswipe collisions could take place at high speeds or lower speeds. But it’s vital to take all collisions seriously. After all, even slight contact can lead to significant issues. What seems like cosmetic damage to a car’s exterior could turn out to have caused significant issues under the surface. And, of course, “minor” damage does not guarantee the impact hasn’t injured a car’s occupants. 

If you’re a victim of a sideswipe accident, you have options, and a Florida auto accident attorney may be able to help. The attorneys at Searcy Denney have extensive experience working with clients whose cars were sideswiped. For more than 45 years, we have been helping accident victims fight for their deserved compensation. Call today for a free case evaluation.

A Sideswipe Collision is Still an Accident

Just like any other collision between two vehicles, there are critical steps car accident victims should try to take in the event of a collision (if they’re physically able to do so). Taking these steps could help protect your claim.

  • Call 911 – Your top priority is to seek help for yourself or anyone injured in the accident.  
  • Document What Happened – What happened? When and where did the accident take place? If you can, record these details, including license plate numbers, names, addresses, and telephone numbers. 
  • Take Photos – Capture as many images as you can of any damage from multiple angles. Depending on the situation, pictures of key evidence at the scene – such as marks on the roadway, the location of debris, or any other damaged property – could also prove helpful. 
  • Seek Medical Attention – Even if you think you feel fine, some injuries don’t exhibit symptoms right away. These injuries could end up dramatically impacting your life. A physician will be able to diagnose your medical condition and injuries from the accident. Your medical records will be key evidence in your claim for compensation.
  • Notify Your Insurance Carrier – Insurance companies require you to file with them in a timely manner after you’ve experienced an accident. Take note of when you do so. However, remember that you’re not required to accept any of their offers for reimbursement or settlement of potential accident claims.
  • Contact Authorities – Even if the damage is minor, contact the police. If you are to pursue any claim against the person who caused your car accident, you will need to obtain a copy of the police report to substantiate what happened.
  • Contact a Florida Auto Accident Attorney – An experienced, trustworthy attorney can protect your interests and advocate for you and your family as you seek the justice you deserve.
  • Follow Your Doctor’s Orders – If you’re injured, it is critical that you follow your doctor’s advice. Some insurance companies will monitor claimants to see if they are going to work or engaging in strenuous activity when they should be resting. Also, attend all follow-up appointments and therapy sessions to help your recovery as much as possible.
  • Keep a Journal – Your claim may also address non-financial losses (see below). One of the best ways to document these losses is to keep a diary or journal. Take note of your level of pain each day and any events you may have had to miss due to injury or soreness (such as a child’s game or social event). These are all key details that can help maximize your financial recovery.

What If the Other Driver Flees the Scene? 

Sadly, there are times when the driver who causes an accident decides to flee the scene. This type of incident may be considered a hit-and-run, which is against the law – even if your car is parked. If your driver flees the scene, contact the police to file a report. Make sure you take note of any details you were able to determine about the other party, including the make and model of the car.

In most cases, if your parked car was hit, it’s important not to leave the scene of the accident or move your car until you properly document the accident and contact authorities. 

What Damages Could I Recover? 

If another driver sideswiped your car, you might have options to seek compensation for the damages and injuries that occurred. This could include the following:  

  • Medical expenses – including future medical expenses, as well as losses of future wages as a result of your injury
  • Loss of wages
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Damage to any personal property inside your vehicle

An experienced Florida auto accident attorney can help you understand the remedies available for you and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Next Step: Avoid Costly Mistakes by Working With a Skilled Florida Auto Accident Attorney  

Was your car sideswiped? If so, and you have questions, contact Searcy Denney today. An experienced Florida auto accident attorney at Searcy Denney can help you avoid costly mistakes and deal with the insurance companies for you so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Call us toll-free at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida auto accident attorney. We have offices conveniently located in TampaWest Palm Beach, and Tallahassee.

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Posted By: Samantha Saundry