A sideswipe accident is when two vehicles that are traveling parallel (in the same direction) collide with each other. The left side of one vehicle hits the right side of another. Sideswipe accidents are sometimes referred to as unsafe lane changes.
Who is At Fault in a Sideswipe Accident – Why Sideswipes are Dangerous
Sideswipe accidents can be extremely dangerous, especially if the collision happens on the highway at high speed. Typically, neither driver in a sideswipe accident knows that the collision is about to happen; the surprise of the accident can cause the driver(s) to lose control of the vehicle. This can lead to a chain of accidents. Vehicle damage usually includes dents and scrapes on the side and quarter panels. Physical injuries can range from concussions and fractures to back injuries and other serious medical emergencies.
Who is At Fault in a Sideswipe Accident – Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents usually occur because one driver (or both) changes lanes when it’s unsafe to do so. Other common causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Failing to check blind spot before merging
- Failing to signal a lane change
- Trying to change lanes when there’s not enough room
- Switching between lanes or trying to cross multiple lanes
- Road rage
- Illegal passing or lane change
- Two drivers merging into the same lane
Sideswipe accidents do not have to involve two moving vehicles. A parked car can be involved in a sideswipe accident, as well.
Who is At Fault in a Sideswipe Accident – Determining Fault
When you’re trying to determine who is responsible for a sideswipe accident, you need to determine which driver acted negligently. This could be a driver who failed to maintain their lane, failed to signal, was driving recklessly (ex: speeding, tailgating), or who was violating traffic laws at the time of the accident. Typically, it’s the driver who leaves their travel lane or fails to yield right-of-way who’s at fault for the accident.
While it might seem obvious who caused the sideswipe accident, it can be difficult to prove which driver is at fault. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Proving fault, especially in sideswipe accidents, may require many different types of evidence. An attorney may rely on the police report, eyewitness testimony (passengers, nearby drivers, pedestrians), surveillance video, dashcam video, or even physical evidence at the scene (skid marks, debris, paint) to prove their case. In serious sideswipe accidents, an attorney may even hire an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the evidence and re-create the scene.
Have Additional Questions? Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Burrow & Associates
A sideswipe accident can leave a driver with serious injuries and expensive vehicle repairs. If you’ve been involved in a sideswipe accident and need help with your case, please reach out to the personal injury attorneys at Burrow & Associates. You can call (678) 323-2394 or contact us online. We have six convenient offices and offer free initial consultations.