One of the most common types of serious car accidents is sideswipe accidents. A sideswipe accident can happen in several ways. But no matter how it happens, it can cause serious damage and traumatize the passengers involved.
If you’ve been in a sideswipe collision, you may experience various emotions after, including shock, confusion, fear, and anger. If you’re feeling overwhelmed after a car accident, it’s important to seek legal representation. A car accident lawyer can provide support and guidance as you move forward with your case.
The car accident lawyers at The Fran Haasch Law Group have years of experience representing clients in car accident cases. We know what it takes to get results for car accident victims, and we are ready to fight for you.
What is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when two cars collide while traveling in the same direction. It can happen in many ways but typically occurs when one driver tries to change lanes and drifts over into another car’s lane.
Sideswipe accidents can also occur at intersections when a car is turning left, and another vehicle trying to go straight hits them on the side, or in parking lots when a passing vehicle hits a parked car.
What Causes Sideswipe Car Accidents?
There can be several factors that contribute to side-wipe accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Driver distraction – when drivers are not paying attention to the road, they’re more likely to drift into other lanes.
- Drunk driving – alcohol impairs judgment and makes it harder for drivers to stay in their lane.
- Drowsy driving – fatigue can make it harder for drivers to stay focused on the road and pay attention to their surroundings.
- Weather conditions – slick roads from rain or snow can make it more difficult for drivers to control their car, increasing the risk of a sideswipe accident.
How to Avoid a Sideswipe Car Accident
There are a few things you can do to avoid a sideswipe accident:
- Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the cars around you. If you see a car drifting into your lane, slow down or move over to avoid them.
- Use your turn signal when changing lanes or turning so that other drivers are aware of your intentions.
- Be cautious when driving next to large vehicles like trucks – they have a larger blind spot, and it can be harder to see them moving around.
If you follow these tips, you’re less likely to end up in a sideswipe accident. But if one does happen, make sure you know what to do next.
What To Do If You Are in a Sideswipe Accident
If you’re involved in a sideswipe accident, the first thing you should do is pull over to a safe location. Then, once you’re out of the way of traffic, turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers know to be careful around you.
Then, it’s important to assess the damage and make sure everyone is okay. Then, call 911 immediately.
Once you’ve checked for serious injuries and made sure the scene is safe, you can start to exchange information with the other driver. This includes your name, contact info, insurance company, and policy number. You should also take down the other driver’s name, contact info, and the insurance company.
If there’s any damage to either of the cars, take photos of the accident scene and make sure to keep all evidence until you can speak with an attorney.
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Sideswipe Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe accident, you may want to consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure the compensation you deserve.
If you decide to hire an attorney, make sure to choose one with experience handling car accident cases. They will know how to deal with the insurance companies and build a strong case for you.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we value the attorney-client relationship and do everything we can to ensure you are treated fairly in the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve, so you can focus on recovering.
Who Is At Fault in a Sideswipe Collision?
Determining who is at fault in a sideswipe accident can be tricky. In some cases, both drivers may share the blame. For example, if one driver was distracted and drifted into the other lane, and the driver didn’t see them and hit them, both drivers may be at fault.
One driver may be more at fault than the other in other cases. For example, if one driver were speeding and hit the other car trying to merge into their lane, the first driver would likely be considered at fault.
How to Determine Fault in a Side Swipe Collision
There are a few things that will be considered when determining who is at fault in a sideswipe accident:
- Who was driving recklessly or erratically?
- Who was distracted at the time of the accident?
- Who failed to signal before changing lanes?
- Who was speeding at the time of the accident?
- Who was in the wrong lane when the accident occurred?
It can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a sideswipe collision, especially if there are no eyewitnesses. That’s why it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you investigate the accident and piece together what happened.
The Rule of Comparative Negligence in a Sideswipe Accident
If both drivers are found to be at fault in a sideswipe accident, the rule of comparative negligence will come into play. As per HB 837, Florida has transitioned from a pure comparative fault system to a “greater percentage of fault” system, effective from March 2023. This implies that if a party is determined to be more than 50% responsible for their own injuries, they will be prevented from obtaining any compensation.
What Can I Do to Help My Car Accident Claim?
If you’ve been in a sideswipe accident, there are a few things you can do to help your claim:
- Take photos of the damage to both cars.
- Get the contact information and insurance information from the other driver.
- Speak with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.
- Speak with witnesses and get their contact information.
- Go to the doctor and get a medical evaluation, even if you don’t think you’re injured.
- Keep all evidence from the accident and records of the costs you’ve accrued.
Damages to Fight for in Your Personal Injury Claim
If you decide to file a personal injury claim after a sideswipe accident, there are several damages you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses – This includes past and future medical bills and any costs related to treatment.
- Lost wages – If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you’ve lost while you recover.
- Pain and suffering – This type of non-economic damage can be difficult to quantify. It includes physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Wrongful death – If someone died due to a sideswipe accident, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement – If you’ve been left with a permanent disability or disfigurement as a result of the accident, you may be able to recover damages.
It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you determine what damages you may be able to recover in your case.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer at The Fran Haasch Law Group Today
Our accident lawyers are well versed in personal injury law. They have extensive experience filing personal injury claims for car crash victims to get the fair compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and wishes to file a car accident claim, contact The Fran Haasch Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
Our car accident attorneys can help you get the damages you are entitled to for your injuries and other losses.