Responsibility for a side-impact car accident depends upon the accident’s specifics. Determining which party behaved negligently is an integral part of deciding liability. At times, the answer to whether both parties can be at fault in a side-impact accident is fairly clear, and other times, less so.
For example, if a driver runs a stop sign, crashing into a minivan, it is easy to see who the at-fault party is. Sometimes, who is to blame is less clear. Speak to a side-impact car accident lawyer in Oklahoma to ensure you are not blamed for an accident that is not your fault.
Side-Impact Automobile Accidents
The circumstances of a side-impact accident can vary, as can who is to blame for such accidents. There are quite a few ways that side-impact wrecks occur. Listed below are a few common examples:
Drifting into the Wrong Lane
Drivers sometimes drift into the other lane of traffic, sideswiping other automobiles. This can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons that drivers drift between lanes are as follows:
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Distracted driving can occur when using a mobile phone, changing radio stations, or tending to a child in the back seat. Any number of things can cause drivers to take their attention away from the road.
- Fatigued driving is as dangerous, in many cases, as driving under the influence. A drowsy driver does not have the control or the rapid response time needed to safely operate a vehicle.
When a driver drifts into the other lane of traffic, it is typically their fault that the wreck happened. Insurance companies, who try every imaginable tactic to avoid big payouts, will often argue that the plaintiff shares the blame for the accident. The argument is that the plaintiff shares the fault since they should have tried harder to avoid the car accident.
An Oklahoma side-impact car accident lawyer can help you navigate the often complex negotiation and litigation that sometimes surround confusing accidents.
Left-Turn Side-Impact Car Accidents
When a vehicle is turning left, there are a couple of incidents when a side-impact accident might occur. This may happen if the car turning left hits another car. Another way a left-turn accident might happen is if the car going straight hits the car that is making the left turn.
Discovering which driver is guilty of negligent behavior, the circumstances of the wreck must be investigated. It is critical to consider whether the driver turning was supposed to yield the right of way. If they were but failed to do so, they, the driver making the turn, would be held responsible.
Another incident might occur if the driver was proceeding with a legal left turn at a signal light that indicated with a green arrow that they had the right of way. If a car runs the traffic light and hits the car turning, they are at fault in the collision.
Failure to Stop at a Traffic Light or Stop Sign
Intersections are safe when everyone follows traffic laws. However, it only takes one driver to behave negligently to cause an accident. To avoid accidents, drivers must follow the rules of the road.
A crash becomes imminent when a vehicle operator does not stop at a stop sign or fails to stop at a stoplight, or does not follow laws that govern intersections. Drivers who are unfamiliar with the area and are confused about their next move, those who have been drinking or using drugs, or distracted, inattentive drivers can make intersections far more treacherous than they should be.
If a driver fails to stop at a sign or a red light, there will be no shared blame for the side-impact car accident.
Losing Control of the Car
When drivers are unable to maintain control of their vehicles, they can hit the side of another car. Whether the driver is at-fault will depend on the reason they lost control. Here are various examples of how these accidents might happen and how responsibility is determined:
- Drivers driving too fast in bad weather can cause them to lose control of the vehicle. If the speed, paired with the snow, fog, or ice, made the car skid or spin, then the vehicle’s operator was negligent and, therefore, liable.
- If the driver lost control of the vehicle because a tire blew or because the brakes failed, it could be that the manufacturer or the auto mechanic who serviced the car could be at fault.
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Side-Impact Car Accidents and the Damages They May Cause
Side-impact auto accidents can be especially dangerous since there is less protection between the driver and passengers and the side of the car than there is in the back or front. Some of the damages that a side-impact car wreck might cause are as follows:
- Medical costs add up quickly and may include ambulance travel, airlifts, emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits and follow-ups, specialists, procedures, tests, surgeries, and treatments.
- Loss of income is often attributed to car accidents. If the side-impact accident victim cannot attend work or can no longer do their job because of the injuries they sustained, the lost income can be tremendously damaging.
- Earning potential can be compromised if an accident happens and you can no longer make the same money you were able to make before the wreck.
- Pain and suffering are hard to calculate but are very real and a person suffering following a side-impact car accident may be eligible for damages.
- Permanent or long-term impairments due to your injuries can be painful, require a lot of time and money, and potentially require additional care.
Speaking to a side-impact car accident attorney in Oklahoma can help you determine if you might be eligible for compensation. They can guide you through the often complex court system.
Both Drivers Can Be At-Fault
Comparative negligence in Oklahoma means that even though you may be partially at fault, you might be eligible for compensation. The percentage of negligence you are assigned will determine the rate of damages you can recover.
Sometimes, both drivers share the fault of the accident. In these cases, determining the amount of fault you are responsible for will decide what you can recover in damages.
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Examples of Both Drivers Causing a Side-Impact Collision
Many times, both drivers are at fault for side-impact car accidents. For instance, if one driver did not yield, but the other driver was exceeding the speed limit, both drivers would be partially responsible for the wreck.
If one driver is impaired, and the other driver fails to yield when entering a roundabout, a car accident caused by both drivers could be the cause. In these cases, determining accountability can be complex.
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It is imperative to have an Oklahoma side-impact car accident attorney with experience settling side-impact car accident claims to secure maximum damages. Insurance companies will try to shirk their responsibility. The personal injury attorneys with Boettcher, Divenney, Ingle, and Wicker have experience and knowledge of how to advocate for you. Reach out today if you have been involved.
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