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Lane Change And Sideswipe Collisions
In addition to rear-end collisions and intersectional collisions, personal injuries oftentimes result when one vehicle makes an improper lane change and makes contact with the vehicle in the adjacent lane. There may be a presumption of negligence on the part of the lane-changing vehicle. Before a lane change is attempted, the driver has a duty to make sure it is safe to do so. Liability may arise when a driver sideswipes another vehicle and fails to accomplish the lane change in a safe and prudent manner.
The offending driver’s insurance company may attempt to minimize any injuries suffered by the other vehicle, arguing that the impact forces are low since the vehicles were traveling in the same direction. This argument is made even when there is significant property damage to the vehicles involved. Insurance adjuster’s routinely decline these claims or try to settle them for unreasonably low amounts.
The offending driver’s insurance company will try to use the fact that the emergency room x-rays are negative and therefore justify a low or no settlement. What the insurance adjuster will not tell you is that an x-ray can be perfectly “normal” and the victim will have suffered a bulging or herniated disc in the spine. A quick settlement based on a strain or sprain should be avoided if the victim is still experiencing difficulty. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test may be the best diagnostic tool for evaluating injuries to the spine.
In reality, the victims of these accidents may experience a significant jolt or jerking motion that can cause significant neck and low back injuries. Today’s cars are being made smaller and do not provide the same protection larger, older model cars do. In addition, older cars were made with a lot more steel providing another layer of protection. While some of today’s automobiles have side airbags which can help minimize injuries in a side swipe accident, there are still a lot of cars on the road that do not. Making the passengers/driver in the car more vulnerable to injuries.
After an accident it is not uncommon that an x-rays done at the emergency room ais normal. A serious injury may not be seen on an X-ray or felt by the victim for a couple of days after an accident. In addition, an X-ray cannot identify injuries such as bulging or herniations to disc and other structures of the spine.
It is always the safest bet to see your doctor after an accident. Even if you feel “okay” a doctor is best qualified to determine whether or not you sustained an injury in an accident.
If you or someone your care for has been injured in an auto accident , call 800-437-2571 anytime for a free no obligation confidential consultation with one of our lawyers experienced in handling auto accident claims or use our convenience Free Case Evaluation submission form.
Should you decide to retain our services, we will work on a 100% contingent fee basis. Simply stated, we get paid for our services only if we recover monies on your behalf from the insurance company.