• Kenneth Powell

Side Swipe Car Damage: Everything You Need to Know

Sideswipe accidents happen very frequently, and in most situations, the damage to your car's side is limited to a few scratches, dings, and minor paint damage. A sideswipe incident at 75 miles per hour on a speeding highway, on the other hand, can swiftly turn into a serious vehicle accident – and a possibly life-threatening injury.

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe accident occurs when the right side of one car collides with the left side of the other when both cars are driving in the same direction. Generally, one of the two cars involved in the crash moved out of the lane it was going in when it was hazardous to do so. These incidents can be exceedingly deadly, particularly when they happen at high speeds on highways since neither car is usually aware that an accident is about to happen, leaving them both unprepared.

The unexpected nature of the collision may force impacted autos to lose control or overcompensate in an attempt to retain control. This can easily set off a chain of events in which vehicles veer out of their lanes and collide with other cars, barricades, or objects, or slam the brakes, culminating in a rear-end collision.

As a result, it's critical to comprehend the reasons for these mishaps and what to do if they occur.

You might not think a sideswipe accident is as dangerous as a rear-end collision. As per studies conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, sideswipe accidents cause 27,000 injuries as well as 2,500 deaths each year.

What Are the Causes of Sideswipe Accidents?

According to research performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, human fault is responsible for 94 percent of all road accidents. This data includes alcohol and drug usage, speeding, road rage, reckless, and negligent driving, all of which are common causes of car accidents. Sideswipes are a common occurrence when there are careless drivers present.

When a rear vehicle tries to pass the front car, or when the driver at fault starts driving into the other car's lane, sideswipes are common. The most prevalent cause of these collisions is distracted or irresponsible driving; however, other prominent causes are:

  • Intoxicated, drowsy, or tired drivers weaving in the lane

  • Failure to use indicators when turning

  • People forgetting to check their blind spots when changing or merging lanes

  • Motorists who are distracted by the radio, texting, phone calls, or other devices

  • Reckless driving and road rage

  • Poor spatial awareness when driving by close quarters

  • Slippery roads or harsh weather conditions

Drivers who are drowsy, tired, or inebriated may veer, fail to recognize blind spots when switching lanes or drive recklessly. Any condition that causes the driver's awareness of their car (and the automobiles surrounding them) to be compromised might simply lead to a sideswipe collision.

Sideswipe car accidents can also be caused by road rage. When changing lanes or passing cars in front of them, an upset driver might be more aggressive and hasty.

When you add in texting and failing to double-check mirrors or blind spots, one ends up with a recipe for sideswipes, if not a more severe car accident.

What Must Drivers Do After a Sideswipe Accident?

After a sideswipe, the first thing people should do is dial 911. One must call the police and file a report with the police even if the collision was small.

To avoid impeding traffic, move the car off the road if it is safe to drive. After that, ensure the occupants and driver of the other motor vehicle are unharmed.

If someone got hurt in the sideswipe collision, get medical help right away. After that, we strongly advise people to contact vehicle accident lawyers in St Louis as quickly as possible to obtain legal assistance.

An experienced attorney at Powell Law can assist in determining if one is entitled to financial recompense. Our legal team can assist in filing the claim and determining if you are entitled to compensation for the damages and injuries.

After getting medical attention, one can take the following actions to recover from a sideswipe accident:

  • Obtain a copy of the police report as well as any eyewitness accounts of the collision. Make a point of getting the names as well as contact details.

  • Take photos of the incident and any damage to the car's property.

  • Obtain copies of all medical expenses, car repair bills, and any other accident-related out-of-pocket expenditures.

  • Share personal contact details, the license plate number, driver's license number, and car insurance company information with the other driver.

A personal injury lawyer can assist in negotiating with the at-fault driver's car insurance provider and fighting for reasonable compensation on the victim's behalf.

Who Is Liable in a Sideswipe Accident?

If a car accident occurs as a result of a driver trying to go into the other vehicle's lane without looking, the driver is responsible. They are accountable if they attempted to change lanes, drifted, or swerved into another lane, resulting in a sideswipe collision.

Nevertheless, if two vehicles attempted to change lanes at the same time, they could both be held responsible for the sideswipe crash.

This is where an expert attorney can help assess liability and damages by investigating the nature of the accident. If you weren't at fault, the at-fault driver's insurance carrier should pay for all injuries and damages caused by the sideswipe crash.

What Happens if Multiple Drivers Were at Fault in a Sideswipe Collision?

When both drivers are partly at fault, who pays typically depends on where one lives. If the person lives in a no-fault state, their own insurance carrier covers both the vehicle and driver. If one is in an at-fault state, it is important to know whether they are in contributory negligence or comparative negligence state, as well as the regulations that apply to each. In a comparative negligence state, such as Texas, the jury considers both parties' negligence. One may be able to recover that percentage of the damages if a jury deems them to be 50% or less at fault. People are not able to recover anything if they are 51 percent or higher. Other states allow for various percentages of recovery. If one is in a contributory negligence state, any percentage of culpability assigned to them may effectively preclude them from recovering.

Sideswipe Collisions Can Be Extremely Dangerous

Sideswipes on the highway can result in significant injury to the driver and the passengers in a matter of seconds. This is especially the case if one of the parties involved is a person driving a car with no doors.

A sideswiped vehicle at high speeds might lead the driver to over-react, yank the wheel, and lose control, unlike rear-end crashes, which are frequently merely innocuous fender benders. After the startling experience of being sideswiped, one needs to focus on over-steering to adjust course.

As one might expect, incidents that begin with a swerving lane change can culminate in a catastrophic head-on or rollover collision, which are the worst-case possibilities in an auto accident.

A sideswipe accident does not always result in severe personal injury. The possibility of significant injury is determined by the type of incident. Furthermore, the size and speed of the traveling cars are two crucial criteria that can influence the severity of injuries or damage to vehicles. In a sideswipe, if there is a considerable imbalance between two cars, the smaller vehicle is more likely to suffer serious damage.

What Can One do to Help Their Claims with Insurance Companies After a Sideswipe?

What Can One do to Help Their Claims with Insurance Companies After a Sideswipe?

As with any other type of car collision, the first step is to pull over to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and call the cops. If someone is hurt, call 911 right away. Following a car collision, the primary concern is to ensure the safety of all affected drivers.

Being proactive and defensive is the greatest approach to safeguard yourself. Keep an eye on what other drivers are doing and try to anticipate car movements as much as possible. Take into account the road, lighting, weather, and traffic conditions when exercising caution, and keep an eye out for any drivers who are acting dangerously or erratically. If one believes a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, pull over to the side of the road and safely contact 911 to report the car to the authorities.

Basic preventative measures like these can avert a potentially fatal accident.

Contact Powell Law Today for Legal Advice!

A personal injury attorney who understands the legal process of automobile accidents can assist clients on their road to recovery, no matter how terrible the car accident was.

If you've been involved in a sideswipe accident, Powell Law can help. To discuss the case evaluation and research any compensation rights, contact us immediately for a free consultation.

We value the attorney-client relationship and fight aggressively so that the person at fault for a sideswipe accident is held accountable. Determining fault can be challenging, which is why our team offers legal services to ensure victims receive fair compensation.