Side Impact Accidents
Also known as T-bone collisions, side impact accidents are those that occur when one vehicle strikes another at a 90-degree angle. They happen for a variety of reasons, including distracted driving, drunk driving, and failure to yield. For example, at an uncontrolled intersection, a speeding car may hit a car driving on a perpendicular street when the driver has misjudged the amount of time it will take to cross. Serious injuries can arise out of side impact accidents because most cars do not have side airbags or substantial protection against the force of the striking vehicle. If you are harmed by a careless driver, the experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm, APC can represent you in pursuing compensation.Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable for Damages
Most side impact accidents are the result of negligence, but it is not always clear whose fault the accident was. A crash victim suing a negligent driver will have to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant breached this duty, the breach caused an accident, and actual damages were incurred. It is generally established that every individual operating a vehicle in California is obligated to use at least as much care on the road as the ordinary, prudent person in a similar situation. A breach is any conduct that falls short of this reasonable-person standard, including running a red light, texting while driving, or speeding in bad weather.
In some complex side impact cases where the parties have extremely different accounts of what happened, an attorney can hire an accident reconstruction expert to determine causation and fault. The expert may consider property damage, debris, skid marks, and eyewitness testimony to determine what happened and whose fault it was.
What if you think you may have been partly at fault for a side impact accident in which you suffered injuries? California follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. This means that a defendant can ask the jury to evaluate the plaintiff's degree of fault, and a plaintiff's recovery will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. If a judge or jury awards you $500,000 in damages, but finds you 50 percent at fault, you will only be able to recover up to $250,000.
A successful plaintiff may be able to assert the right to compensation for special damages (economic damages) such as medical bills, lost wages and income, vocational rehabilitation, and out-of-pocket expenses. Sometimes, the larger portion of the damages award is general damages, which includes those intangible injuries that the jury believes naturally flow from the accident, including loss of enjoyment of activities, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collision Claim with a Los Angeles Lawyer
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle collision in Los Angeles or the surrounding communities, our attorneys can help you bring a claim against any party that may have been at fault. Contact us at (866) 422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and San Bernardino, among other areas across Southern California.