• Kenneth Powell

Side Swipe Car Accident Fault - Who Is Liable for the Accident?

Some people underestimate how dangerous sideswipe car accidents can be compared to car crashes, and although car crashes are indeed more dangerous, sideswipe ones can produce several injuries and cost both parties a lot of money.

It's not that common to see someone suffering from a severe injury after a sideswipe accident, but people are most likely to lose money in all of them since they still have to pay for the financial damage the car accident caused.

This is when things get tricky since it's difficult to know who is liable in a sideswipe accident, so legal negotiations take some time, and all parties need a lot of evidence to win the case. The problem is that not all legal advisors or law firms in the country are of high quality.

Hiring a lawyer that is not that skilled at their job can cause the person who hires them a lot of money apart from the one they already have to spend on legal fees. The Powell Law Firm has experienced lawyers that are used to dealing with these cases, so victims of sideswipe accidents can call them any time they need legal advice.

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

In a nutshell, a sideswipe accident consists of two drivers colliding with their vehicles while driving next to each other. Since cars in those situations have a side collision instead of a direct crash that stops the vehicle, injuries are not that common in victims of it.

People can suffer a sideswipe accident even if they are not driving since these accidents can also happen to a parked car.

Getting into a sideswipe accident causes the victim to lose money because of vehicle damage, and as it happens in a regular car accident claim, they can sue the other driver and ask them to pay for car repairs. Victims can also add injuries to the lawsuit if they got them.

Sideswipe accidents mostly happen when vehicles are going in the same direction, and one of them gets out of its line, which makes the two vehicles collide. It's uncommon to see this issue happen to drivers that lose control while driving in opposite directions, but it can happen too.

No one involved in a sideswipe accident can run away from it, and doing it would be considered a hit a run. Therefore, the best thing to do is ask the other driver their license number, license plate number, direction, and contact number. Having that data allows the victim to lawsuit the person driving the other vehicle.

Regardless of whether the victim got injuries or not, they can hire a personal injury lawyer to take care of the situation. Those law firms are experts on negligence cases such as car accidents, medical malpractice, and workers' compensation, so anyone in those situations can rely on them to get them the compensation they deserve.

Some people go to police stations to give a statement for a police report after the accident, but it's best if they call a lawyer before doing that to prevent any issue from happening or doing something that wouldn't help the case at all.

The legal procedures in a sideswipe accident are the same as the ones in a regular car accident, so victims can either take the case to trial or get to a settlement with the other parties involved in the car accident.

Victims of car crashes recommend people suffering from one to study the accident scene and get as much evidence they can from it. Regardless of how obvious it is that one driver is at fault, they are not liable unless the victim can prove they are.

Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents occur due to the negligence of one driver or several. However, it's important to know the things that cause that negligence to avoid those situations from happening. Anyone can make mistakes, but it's easier to not make them when understanding why the mistake happens.

These are the primary causes of sideswipe collisions:

Intoxicated Driving

Although everyone understands how dangerous intoxicated driving is, people keep driving while being under the effects of drugs or alcohol, which is one of the main causes of accidents and deaths in the U.S. While sideswipe collisions are not always deadly, many of them happen because one of the drivers was drunk.

The same happens when drivers are drowsy or too tired to drive. Therefore, most people recommend others to avoid driving at all times if they are not sober and awake enough to drive safely.

Not Checking Blind Spots

One of the most complex parts of driving is checking blind spots at all times since skipping them makes people more prone to have a sideswipe accident. However, learning how to do it can be difficult for some people, so it's essential to have road awareness to protect other drivers or passengers from having an accident.

The most crucial moment in which drivers need to check blind spots to prevent a sideswipe collision is when changing lanes. However, even if the driver does it, they need to signal the other drivers to let them know they are doing it.

Traffic laws protect people from getting into a sideswipe collision or any other type of accident while driving, so anyone ignoring them or drifting across lanes is putting themselves and others in danger. Likewise, people recommend vehicles merge in high-traffic areas since a motor vehicle accident is more likely to happen there.


As it happens with ignoring traffic lights, speeding is a natural cause of getting into a sideswipe car accident. Doing it is not only against the law but can also scare other drivers.

People skilled enough while driving can drive within the limits the law suggests with no problem since they have enough experience to avoid hitting any moving or parked car. However, if someone doesn't know how to drive that well or is just starting to do it, it's best if they drive as slow as they can.

Weather Conditions

Driving under severe weather conditions is one of the most dangerous things one can do while driving since, regardless of how good the driver is at driving, they can neither control the weather nor the road's condition.

Wet or icy roads can make the driver's cars slip and drift to other lanes, which could cause something even more dangerous than a sideswipe accident.

Who Is Liable in a Sideswipe Collision?

Getting to the main part of this article, it's time to know which driver is liable in a sideswipe car accident. The simplest answer is that anyone getting out of their lanes without using their car signals is, and two people can be liable for these accidents. Therefore, if one of the parties can prove the other didn't follow traffic laws or switched lanes without signaling first, they are more likely to win the case.

As for both drivers being liable for the accident, that's something that only happens in some states, but it's useful to know it when facing or filing a lawsuit. What happens in these cases is that laws state that more than one party can be liable for accidents, so insurance adjusters need to calculate the percentage of negligence each party had.

Naturally, one can't pay the other person anything if both are liable and need to repair their cars, but that issue disappears when applying these laws. What happens is that the party that is less liable for the accident can file a lawsuit against the other and find compensation for it.

However, the less liable party doesn't receive as much money as they would have received if they weren't liable for the accident at all. Insurance adjusters calculate how much money they can get considering how liable they are and pay them accordingly.

How to Prove Someone's At Fault in a Sideswipe Crash

How to Prove Someone's At Fault in a Sideswipe Crash

As it was mentioned at the beginning of this page, proving someone is at fault in a sideswipe accident is not as easy as it is with regular car crashes or other negligent cases. Fortunately, there are some ways to do so.

Firstly, the victim needs to get as much information as they can from the crash scene, and that includes eyewitnesses, license plate numbers, pictures and videos of what happened, and anything that could prove the other person is liable for the accident.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by checking the road's security footage, which shows what happened from a different perspective. Nonetheless, anyone looking forward to using that footage needs to hire a car accident lawyer in St Louis MO that can ask for permission to get the footage and use it as evidence.

Bottom Line

No one wants to get involved in a car accident of any kind, but if they do, the best way to recover from it is by filing a car accident claim. (Check: filing a claim for public embarrassment in the car accident)

Winning the case gets easier when a skilled lawyer is by the victim's side helping them with the process. The Powell Law Firm can do that for anyone in St. Louis, MO, so they can call them anytime they want to get a free consultation of their case. They can also handle cases such as a car owner wondering if they can be sued for another driver's accident.