There is a general idea floating around that if you hit another car, you are automatically to blame, but this is by no means always the case. If you were driving down the road safely and concentrating on the task at hand and another driver pulled out in front of you seemingly out of nowhere, he or she will very likely be deemed responsible for the ensuing accident, even though you struck their vehicle.
These car accident claims tend to be even more complicated than most others are, and having an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney on your side is always well advised.
When you are traveling down the road unencumbered by red lights, stop signs, or anything else, you have the right-of-way, which means that anyone entering your lane must do so in accordance with traffic signs and signals (and only when it is safe to do so). Only when a vehicle is pushed into the lane in front of you as a result of another driver’s negligence (via the impact of a car accident) would he or she not be responsible for failing to yield the right-of-way to you.
Some of the most common reasons for vehicles pulling out of nowhere into lanes they should not be in include:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or stoplight
- Proceeding through a stop sign or stoplight before it is safe to do so
- Ignoring a yield sign or failing to yield safely
- Pulling into traffic from a driveway, parking lot, or alley when it is unsafe to do so
- Failing to pay adequate attention to driving safely due to distractions, such as smartphone usage
» [Related] Texting While Driving Statistics (Updated 2021)
First Things First
If you T-bone (or broadside) another vehicle that speeds directly in front of you, the accident is likely to be quite dangerous, and there are some important first steps that you should take, including (as applicable and as you are able):
- Call 911
- Put on your hazard lights, put out warning triangles or flares, and/or do anything else you can safely do to warn other drivers
- If anyone at the scene requires assistance, render aid if you are able to do so
- Accept medical attention at the scene and/or obtain the medical care you need as soon after the accident as possible
- Gather evidence at the scene of the accident
- Refrain from talking about the accident to the Defendant insurance company as the insurance company will use your words against you if it is possible for them to do so. An attorney should handle all insurance communications.
- Call an experienced accident attorney who is close to you.
The Police Report
The police report generated by the accident that was caused by another driver pulling out directly in front of you will likely include a preliminary determination of fault in the matter, which may be helpful to your claim. Obtaining a copy of the police report is important, but it is also important to recognize that this report is not necessarily the final say in the matter.
If the cause of the accident – the other driver negligently pulling into your lane and leaving you with no safe options – is obvious (and corroborated by eyewitnesses at the scene), the attending officer may include this in the report. If, however, the officer can’t ascertain the cause by simply looking and asking basic questions, the report may not accurately reflect what actually happened, and there is more investigative work to be done.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene
When someone pulls directly in front of you while you are driving safely down the road, there is often very little, if anything, you can do to avoid a dangerous collision. In fact, you may not have time to register that the vehicle is even there before you hit it.
Generally, physical evidence at the scene will corroborate this fact, but this physical evidence has a way of quickly disappearing with accident cleanup and traffic’s forward march. As such, there are some important evidence-gathering steps you should take (if you’re able to do so), including:
- Use your phone to take pictures and videos from every angle, including closeups and views from farther out. It’s impossible to say which images will be the most useful moving forward, and because you can’t take too many, you’re well-advised to snap away.
- Document eyewitness testimony by recording it on your phone and don’t forget to obtain contact information. This not only provides you with valuable evidence about how the accident happened but also locks eyewitnesses into their initial impressions before the passage of time has the opportunity to erode their memories.
- Jot down everything you can remember about how the accident happened and its immediate aftermath as soon as you have a chance to do so. This helps to preserve your memories and can prove invaluable when it comes to bolstering the strength of your claim.
- Get the name and contact information for all witnesses at the scene. If you are not able make sure that another person at the scene does so or ask the police to get this information.
Follow through with Your Medical Care
At Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers we go the extra mile to include setting up appointments with excellent physicians to treat our injured clients. This is a crucial part of what we do so our clients can get the medical treatment they need after being injured in an accident and we will have the documentation we need to maximize their settlement.
One of the main components of obtaining excellent settlement is having expert physicians treat our clients. At our law firm we provide personal representation with a top attorney to make sure our clients get the medical care that they need.
An Experienced Kentucky Car Accident Attorney Is on Your Side
If another driver pulled out in front of you leaving you with no safe recourse, the Kentucky car accident attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers have a wealth of experience guiding claims like yours toward favorable resolutions that help our clients reach their fullest recoveries. We’re here for you, too, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-782-9090 for more information today.
Remember, we have offices in Kentucky and Tennessee close to you and travel to our injured client when they cannot come to us. With our firm you never need to leave your home after an accident.