It can be somewhat difficult to tell for sure who’s to blame when a side impact, or sideswipe, collision takes place. Like all types of car accidents, a sideswipe wreck can lead to severe injuries that can lead to tens – or hundreds – of thousands of dollars in damages. That’s why you’re going to need the help of an experienced attorney if you’ve been involved in this kind of collision.
At Sand Law, we have that experience – and we also have the skill necessary to give you the best opportunity to obtain compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. We’ll do everything we can to prove the accident was not your fault. Our firm has the resources needed to conduct an investigation and find the evidence needed to make your case as strong as possible.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please get in touch with us by contacting us online or giving us a call at 651-291-7263. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work on your behalf.
What is a Sideswipe Accident?
This kind of accident occurs when two cars going in the same direction hit each other from the side. In most instances, sideswipe collisions take place when one vehicle moves out of its lane due to negligence on the part of the driver. There are times where sideswipe accidents can result in devastating injuries, or even worse. They’re particularly dangerous when they take place at high speeds on an interstate highway.
What makes them so dangerous isn’t necessarily the collision itself, but what can happen afterward. Both drivers will usually be unprepared, and may overcompensate as a result, losing control. Or, the impact can cause a loss of control. Either way, sideswipe accidents can result in a chain of events that can make matters far worse, sometimes involving other vehicles.
Causes of Side Swipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents, like all others, can happen for a variety of reasons. Usually, however, a sideswipe collision takes place because one of the motorists isn’t paying attention to their surroundings. Some of the more common causes include the following:
- One or both of the drivers failing to check their blind spot before trying to change lanes.
- A driver drifting into a neighboring lane due to being distracted by changing the radio, talking or texting on their phone, daydreaming or talking to a passenger.
- Driving while intoxicated.
- Road rage, speeding or some other form of reckless driving.
- Wet or icy roads that cause a loss of control.
Which Driver is Liable for a Sideswipe Accident?
As stated earlier, determining liability for a sideswipe accident can sometimes be tricky. In most cases, the driver who drifts out of their lane will typically be assigned the blame. Drivers must stay in their own lane, and only move into another one when they know it’s safe to do so. They need to check all surrounding vehicles, check their blind spot, and signal properly before attempting to make a lane change. If a moving vehicle sideswipes a parked vehicle, the driver of the moving vehicle will almost always be held liable.
On the other hand, the driver who isn’t changing lanes negligently could still share some responsibility for the accident. For example, all drivers must be alert for other vehicles at all times, and be ready to take evasive action if necessary. If a driver fails to pay attention to the way the other car is moving, they may be found partly at fault.
Can Multiple Parties be Liable for a Sideswipe Accident?
There are times where both drivers can be found responsible for a sideswipe accident. Say, for example, both drivers are trying to get into the middle lane of traffic at the same time. If neither driver is paying attention to the other, a side impact crash can easily happen. Both drivers would share liability in this instance.
Minnesota is a comparative fault, or contributory negligence, state. This could affect your compensation substantially. If, for instance, your damages are $100,000, but you’re found to be 40% responsible for the accident, that 40% ($40,000) will be subtracted from what you ultimately receive. So, instead of receiving $100,000, you’ll receive $60,000 instead.
But there could potentially be other liable parties as well. The car that hit yours might have had a defective tire that blew out, causing the driver to lose control. If that should be the case, you could possibly file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of that tire.
Ways to Prove Liability for Your Accident
The stakes could be very high in your sideswipe accident case. As a result, you’re going to need hard evidence that proves you’re entitled to the full amount of compensation you’re seeking for the damages you’ve incurred.
In order for that to happen, you’re going to need the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
There are quite a few things you can do on your own to collect evidence, if you’re well enough to do so. After a car accident, you should take photos and videos of the accident scene. Pay attention to skid marks and vehicle damage. Talk to any witnesses who may have seen what happened and get their contact information.
Your attorney will work to obtain evidence as well. For example, there might have been a nearby security camera with footage of the accident. Your legal representative will be able to get that footage on your behalf.
Contact Sand Law Today
The importance of solid evidence can’t be overstated. Without it, it will be incredibly difficult for you to prove you are in no way to blame for the sideswipe accident that resulted in your injury.
Without an experienced attorney by your side, obtaining that evidence – and obtaining the money you deserve – could prove to be impossible. Take that risk out of the equation by getting in touch with Sand Law as soon as you can. Schedule a free case review by using our online form or by calling 651-291-7263.