What Happens If You Get Sideswiped?

May 2, 2024 | Gary Annes
What Happens If You Get Sideswiped?

If you get sideswiped, you may need to exchange insurance information and deal with insurance companies. However, the post-accident process depends on your choices.

If you hire a car accident lawyer in Phoenix, the process ahead will grow considerably less complicated. Your attorney will handle every aspect of your insurance claim or lawsuit. You will simply have to focus on recovery and other personal matters while they seek all of the compensation you deserve for your accident-related losses.

Steps You Should Take After Getting Sideswiped

Protect your health and case for compensation after being sideswiped. To put yourself in a position for physical, psychological, and financial recovery:

See a Doctor (Even if You Don’t Have Obvious Injury Symptoms)

car accident lawyer in Phoenix

Injuries are common among car accident victims.

See a doctor because:

  • If you suffered an injury, seeing a doctor as soon as possible will establish the connection between your sideswipe accident and your injuries
  • Some injuries like whiplash don’t immediately cause symptoms (which is why you should seek medical care even if you aren’t currently experiencing symptoms)
  • Your doctor will document your injuries (perhaps with X-rays, other medical imaging, a physical exam, and other diagnostic measures)
  • Your doctor should provide clear advice about how to prevent further injury and care for existing injuries.

If you are uncertain whether you need further medical care, an attorney will help you.

Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Hopefully, insurance companies will provide the compensation you need, but you never know. You can face bad-faith tactics aimed at depriving you of the money you deserve.

Hire a car accident lawyer because:

  • An attorney will work to secure all the compensation you deserve, whether or not insurers show bad faith
  • Your attorney will complete time-sensitive duties like gathering evidence and notifying liable parties of your injuries
  • You can spend more time on health and recovery once you hire a lawyer to handle your case
  • You may be uncertain of how to proceed after getting sideswiped (many accident victims are), and a lawyer will remove all doubt from your mind

Knowing that a car accident lawyer has your back, you may be less anxious and uncertain.

Prioritize Your Health

While some factors may be beyond your control after a sideswipe accident, you can decide to focus intently on recovery. The more time and energy you have to rest and follow your doctor’s orders, the more quickly you may heal.

By allowing a lawyer to manage your case, you choose to put your health first.

Help Your Lawyer Build the Strongest Possible Case

Your attorney will handle the entirety of your case.

However, you may aid in your case’s success by:

  • Journaling about the effects of your accident, including daily challenges, physical pain, and psychological distress
  • Keeping any medical bills, invoices, and other accident-related documentation for use in your case
  • Refusing to make recorded statements to insurers without consulting your lawyer
  • Taking your lawyer’s advice to heart

A car accident lawyer can be a hugely important resource, so use them to your advantage. If you have any concerns, questions, or uncertainties, reach out to your legal team for advice.

Potential Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

There are many reasons to let a car accident attorney lead your insurance claim or lawsuit, including because:

Your Attorney Will Fund Your Case

Car accident lawyers want to ease your post-accident stress.

They know that you may already face significant financial uncertainty, so they use a contingency fee arrangement that means:

  • Your lawyer will receive no upfront compensation from you
  • Your law firm will pay the cost of completing your case
  • Your attorney receives a fee only if they secure a settlement or judgment for you (and the fee comes from the financial recovery rather than from you)

Law firms may have resources that you do not. For instance, your attorney may hire an expert in crash dynamics to reconstruct the sideswipe accident. Such services are built into the fee structure so that you won’t pay out of pocket for them.

Your Attorney Will Protect You from Bad-Faith Insurance Tactics

Many accident victims do not realize their rights and their potential financial recovery are in jeopardy every time they interact with insurance representatives.

Potential pitfalls include:

  • Accidentally admitting fault (even mistakenly) for the sideswipe accident
  • Giving a recorded statement before you are prepared or mentally fit to do so
  • Accepting an insurance company’s lowball settlement offer (often because the accident victim doesn’t realize it is a lowball offer
  • Failing to exercise all legal options before accepting a settlement

Insurance companies may try to confuse, intimidate, or financially exploit you. Having a car accident lawyer will prevent this from happening.

Your Lawyer Will Bring Priceless Experience to Your Case

Experience is one of an attorney’s greatest assets. Seek a car accident lawyer with a long history of securing large car accident settlements and verdicts for clients. Because they will have handled cases like yours, your attorney will not be caught off guard or overwhelmed by the demands of your case.

You Can Focus on Your Physical and Mental Health

Once you have a lawyer take over, you may find focusing on treatment, rest, and rehabilitation easier because you do not stress about your insurance claim or lawsuit.

How Do I Choose My Car Accident Attorney?

Finding the right lawyer is a pivotal step after your sideswipe accident. Using recommendations, the internet, or other resources, you should look for an attorney who:

Has Handled Many Cases Like Yours

Car Accident Attorney

Experience should be one of your top criteria when seeking a lawyer.

An attorney who has represented many other auto accident victims can:

  • Recognize the challenges that may arise during your case
  • Know various strategies for securing the compensation you deserve
  • Deal with insurance companies confidently
  • Identify and value your damages accurately
  • Be unflappable because experience prepares your lawyer to resolve your case

Auto accidents can cost victims many thousands of dollars, so look for a lawyer with a proven record of securing compensation for accident victims.

Has a Record of Success

Experience is important, but case results are even better. A lawyer who has handled many car accident claims and lawsuits successfully may be the ideal attorney for your sideswipe accident case.

Has the Support of Former Clients

Trust former clients to share the truth about a given law firm:

  • Look for a forum that allows all former clients to leave reviews
  • Consider the number of positive reviews in comparison to negative reviews
  • Look for common themes throughout reviews
  • Gain an understanding of how former clients feel about a law firm (or a specific lawyer)

The more positive reviews a law firm has earned from former clients, the better you may feel about hiring that firm.

Takes Cases to Trial

When reviewing a law firm’s case results, look to see if the firm has won jury awards for clients.

This indicates that:

  • The firm will take cases to trial when it is the right decision for the client
  • The firm’s attorneys do not shy away from the pressure of trial
  • The law firm can succeed in a trial setting if your case requires it

Odds are that your case will settle, but you deserve a law firm that will go to trial if necessary.

Knows Your Geographic Area

A law firm should explicitly state that it handles car accident cases in your area (specifically, where your accident happened).

Familiarity with your area will ensure that:

  • The law firm gathers evidence efficiently, as they may know the area well
  • The law firm has experience with the specific court where your case may take place
  • The law firm does not have to travel far to speak with you, gather evidence, and attend case-related appointments

Several firms may serve your area, so you should easily find one that fits this criteria.

You should also ensure that your law firm works for a contingency fee. This will minimize your financial stress, as the firm will cover case costs and have an incentive to perform well.

Services Your Car Accident Attorney Will Perform for You

Expect your lawyer to handle every step in your sideswipe accident case, including:

Communicating with Insurers

Your attorney will:

  • Handle all communications with insurance companies
  • Ensure the insurers have all relevant evidence and information related to your accident
  • Help you make any necessary statements to insurance companies
  • Ensure the insurance companies do not violate your rights

Your lawyer will also review insurance settlement offers with you, advising you whether offers are fair or not.

Securing All Relevant Evidence

Attorneys build winning cases with strong evidence, which may include:
Video footage of the sideswipe accident

  • Eyewitness accounts of the accident
  • The police report detailing the collision
  • An expert’s reconstruction of the accident
  • An expert’s testimony about who is at fault for your sideswipe accident

Lawyers collect and organize evidence in an urgent, logical manner. This evidence should prove beyond a doubt that someone else is responsible for your accident and damages.

Your legal team will prove how the sideswipe accident harmed you, and may use:

  • MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and other images of your injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Evidence of your lost income
  • Mental health providers’ diagnoses of your pain and suffering
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs
  • All other documentation indicating your economic and non-economic damages

Attorneys often hire experts whose services add weight to sideswipe accident cases. This assistance will come from the lawyer’s budget, not your pocket.

Calculating Your Damages and Negotiating a Settlement

Your attorney will consider economic and non-economic damages as they calculate the cost of your accident. They will present this calculation to those who owe you compensation, which may include one or more insurance companies.

Leading Any Necessary Trial

While most auto accident cases settle, the trial can be necessary when liable parties fail to offer fair settlements. Your lawyer will review settlement offers as they come in and may discuss going to trial with you.

Hire a lawyer with trial experience. This experience will be of great value if your sideswipe accident case goes to court.

Will I Need to File a Lawsuit Against the Motorist Who Sideswiped Me?

Time will tell whether you need to file suit.

You may choose to sue if:

  • The motorist who caused your accident did not have valid auto insurance
  • Other liable parties (like an auto manufacturer) do not have an insurance policy covering your losses
  • Insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement
  • Other circumstances warrant filing a lawsuit and going to court

An attorney will help you decide whether to file a lawsuit. If this is the right course of action, your lawyer will file the suit as soon as possible. The law sets deadlines for filing auto accident lawsuits, so never wait to hire a car accident attorney.

What Damages Will My Sideswipe Accident Attorney Demand Money For?

Communicating with Insurers

Your attorney will demand fair compensation for any damages stemming from the sideswipe accident, which may include:

  • Healthcare expenses: Car accident victims often need emergency treatment, imaging services, surgery, doctor appointments, and other medical services.
  • Pain and suffering: An accident can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, lost quality of life, and other types of pain and suffering.
  • Professional harm: You may lose income, earning power, and other professional damages because of accident-related injuries.
  • Property costs: Your lawyer will consider the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other damaged property.

Attorneys know which damages to look for, how to calculate those damages, and how to secure fair compensation for victims like you.

Hire Your Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible

Hire your lawyer as soon as possible so you don’t miss the filing deadline. Complete free consultations to determine which law firm best suits your case.

Gary Annes Author Image

Gary Annes

Partner

Personal Injury Lawyer With Over Twenty Years Of Experience

Gary Annes, a partner at Abels & Annes, P.C., has dedicated over two decades to practicing personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse. Since earning his law degree in 1995, Gary has led numerous jury trials, and adeptly resolved cases through arbitration and mediation, securing millions in compensation for his clients.

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