Sideswipe Accidents

Side impact accidents, typically caused when there are two vehicles going in the same direction, but in separate lanes, and one of those vehicles veers into the other vehicle's lane strike that vehicle. Although at the scene the at-fault party may apologize and cooperate, it is not unusual for that party to change his or her story when they talk to their carrier. If the tortfeasor's carrier has doubt as to who is at fault, that carrier will deny the claim. Remember, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, and often these cases are word versus word contests. It is therefore extremely helpful to break the tie with an independent witness who corroborates the plaintiff's story; if the witness is truly independent (didn't know the plaintiff before the accident), then their testimony should win the day for the plaintiff.

In a 2016 case, Mr. Gelb represented a forward-thinking client ask the defendant if he could record his admission and recorded the defendant's report to the his insurance company; naturally, having such a recording, although potentially not admissible at trial, may prove pivotal.  Additionally, nowadays there are often video cameras in close proximity to where the accident occurred, which may have inadvertently captured the accident. Although the video is not a public record, and thus not easily accessible by the attorney, the client may have luck viewing or copying the video.  

Case Study

Another recent case that Mr. Gelb handled involving a side impact, involved a motivated investigating police officer who found a nearby video camera at a gas station, and was able to gain the trust of the attendant and view the video which proved that the Gelb & Gelb, P.C. client was telling the truth.  The officer noted what he viewed the video on the police report and tickited the adverse driver.  The insurer paid the claim.