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How to Handle a Sideswipe Collision in Arizona

Posted on July 3, 2024 in

Artumn road. Front of black color car big damaged and broken byCar accidents are a stressful and sometimes overwhelming experience, especially when they involve a sudden and unexpected sideswipe collision. This type of accident, where two vehicles traveling in the same direction hit each other, can result in serious damage and injuries. However, knowing the proper steps to take following a sideswipe collision can help alleviate some of the stress and make sure that you handle the situation correctly.

Since 1974, Jensen Phelan Law Firm has helped Arizona victims navigate the aftermath of car accidents and fought for compensation on their behalf. If you were injured in a sideswipe accident, our experienced team can guide you through the process and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the complexities of a sideswipe collision overwhelm you – let us handle the legal aspects while you focus on recovering.

Steps to Take Immediately Following a Sideswipe Accident

Navigating the moments right after a sideswipe collision can be confusing, and prioritizing your safety and legal interests is crucial during this time. Here’s a simple guide to follow right after an accident: 

1. Call the Police to Report the Accident Immediately

ARS 28-663 states in part:

  1. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident on public or private property resulting in injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall: 
  2. Give the driver’s name and address and the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving. 
  3. On request, exhibit the person’s driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupants of or person attending a vehicle collided with. 
  4. Render reasonable assistance to a person injured in the accident, including making arrangements for the carrying of the person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if the carrying is requested by the injured person.

[Autonomous vehicles have separate requirements.] 

Violation of this statute is at minimum a Class 1 misdemeanor and may be a Class 6 felony if alcohol, drugs, etc., are involved and the crash is not promptly reported.

The resulting police report will serve as an essential document when asserting any insurance claims or other legal matters that may arise.  

The police will document the scene and gather statements from those involved and any witnesses, creating an unbiased record of the events. Officers will also assess the scene for immediate dangers and help manage the situation, ensuring everyone’s safety.

2. Document the Accident Scene and Your Injuries

Once you’ve established that it’s safe to do so, take photos of the vehicles, focusing on where they were hit, any skid marks on the road, and any details of the surrounding area. If you have visible injuries, document them by photos or otherwise as well. 

These visuals can be compelling evidence when filing a claim or if your case goes to court. Also, gather contact information from witnesses and the other driver, including their driver license and insurance details (which you are entitled to see by law as indicated above). Photograph both if you can.

3. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel fine, it’s wise to get a medical evaluation very soon after an accident. Adrenaline can mask pain, and some injuries might not be immediately apparent. Seeing a healthcare professional as soon as possible is not only crucial for your health but also creates a medical record of your injuries directly linked to the accident. This documentation is essential when seeking compensation later on (to avoid the defense that the collision did not hurt you, you are just trying to get paid without legitimate injuries). A trained medical professional can create records that become evidence if you make a claim, so even mild pain, minor swelling, etc.,  should be evaluated because the symptoms can be much worse the next day. 

4. Contact an Arizona Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating the aftermath of a sideswipe collision involves complex legal nuances. Consulting with a lawyer who specializes in car accidents in Arizona is important in order to make sure that your rights are protected.

An experienced car accident attorney can guide you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and, if necessary, represent you in court to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. With our expertise, you can focus on your recovery while knowing that the legal aspects of your situation are in capable hands.

What Are Arizona’s Fault Laws for Sideswipe Collisions?

In Arizona, if you’re in a car accident, like a sideswipe collision, it’s your job to show evidence that the other driver was at fault. This means you need to prove they broke traffic laws or weren’t driving safely. For instance, if one car drifts out of its lane and hits another car traveling in its lane, the drifting driver is usually the one at fault. However, situations can get complicated and proof of the facts can be difficult if the negligent driver claims the other is the one who drove out of his/her lane. 

Sometimes, both drivers may share some blame. In these cases, Arizona uses the pure comparative negligence rule. This rule allows you to get some compensation for your damages even if you were partly at fault (e.g., if you are 50% at fault for the crash, you can only recover 50% of your full damages because the other driver is only 50% at fault). So, no matter the situation, it’s always worth exploring your options for compensation.

Injured in a Sideswipe Accident? Contact Jensen Phelan Law Firm Today

If a sideswipe accident has left you feeling lost and unsure of your next steps, we’re here to help. Our experienced team at Jensen Phelan Law Firm can provide you with the support and guidance you need during this stressful time. 

Reach out to us by either calling (928) 778-2660 or filling out our contact form. Our dedicated attorneys are ready to listen to your story and help you understand your legal options. Let us take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on what’s most important: your recovery.