Have You Been Involved In a Sideswipe Collision?

No one wants or plans to be in a car accident. The nightmare begins the moment two vehicles make unwanted contact with each other, such as in a sideswipe collision. All people involved in the accident will need to assess their injuries. You will need to call the local authorities and insurance companies. Both drivers’ cars are likely to need repairs. You will need to call insurance companies and local authorities. 

There are many kinds of car accidents. In this article, we’ll be specifically looking at what a sideswipe collision is and what you can expect after the accident. As with all types of accidents, there are certain steps that you should take after a collision to protect yourself. If you feel that you are due compensation from another driver, there is a process that you must follow.

How Does a Sideswipe Collision Happen?

Some sideswipe collisions are more mild than others. A sideswipe collision is where two vehicles make contact with each others sides. This can happen when traveling in the same or opposite directions. If your driving speed is low, damage to your vehicle and injury to yourself might be minimal. But if you’re driving at a high speed, you could be seriously injured or even killed. This type of accident may also result in a totalled vehicle.  

Common mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel account for most sideswipe collisions.

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Making a turn without right-of-way
  • Losing control of your vehicle
  • Failure to yield
  • Overcorrection that results in traveling too far across a lane 
  • Not checking your blind spot
  • Road rage or offensive driving
  • Hydroplaning during periods of heavy rain

What Injuries Result from a Sideswipe Collision?

Most of the protection that drivers expect from their vehicles come from the front, where the airbags are. Also important is the backend, where bumpers absorb fender-bender impact. Seatbelts are vital protection for passengers riding in the vehicle. But the side of the vehicle–where sideswipe collisions happen–doesn’t provide as much protection. 

Because of that lack of protection, sideswipe collisions often result in the following injuries. 

How Can I Avoid a Sideswipe Collision?

There isn’t a 100%, fool-proof way to avoid sideswipe collisions. But there are precautionary steps you can take to lower your risk of getting into a sideswipe collision. 

  • Put your phone on silent or turn it off when you get behind the wheel. Some phones even have Do Not Disturb settings for while you’re driving. Pull over if you need to take a phone call or send a text message. But most of the time, it can wait.
  • If you have passengers with you in your vehicle, ask them to keep conversations to a minimum. This helps you to avoid becoming distracted. The more you keep your focus on the road, the better. 
  • Pay attention to the vehicles around you. If you notice a vehicle veering into your lane, get out of their way. Check your blind spot before you merge lanes, and look both ways before making a turn. 
  • Stay calm when driving, even when another driver’s actions cause you frustration. Road rage or driving offensively can quickly result in an accident. Offensive driving can be reckless if you are forcing yourself into places and making other drivers adapt to you. 

When it comes to avoiding a sideswipe collision, defensive driving is your best defense.

Is a Sideswipe Collision the Same As a T-Bone Accident?

T-bone car accidents are often confused with sideswipe accidents. But they are not the same. A sideswipe accident involves both cars hitting each other while they are moving in the same direction. A T-bone accident occurs when a driver collides head-on into the side of another vehicle. Generally speaking, the front of the vehicle is what crashed into the side of the other vehicle. A sideswipe collision is usually less severe than a t-bone crash or some other types of accidents. However there are variables such as driving speeds and road conditions that can lead to more serious outcomes. 

Should I Take Legal Action?

Depending on the details of the collision, you might want to take legal action. Most of the time, the driver who sideswipes your vehicle is the at-fault driver. It’s likely that you can sue them if you’re injured or for damage to your vehicle. 

The at-fault driver should be responsible for your medical expenses. These can include hospital bills, prescription costs, and physical and mental therapy bills. However, the responsibility only falls on the at-fault driver if he or she confirmed at fault. That’s why it’s important to call 9-1-1 to document the crash. Call a lawyer as soon as you are safely removed from the accident and after having potential injuries addressed.  

Another possibility is pursuing legal action against government agencies or contractors. This comes into play if road conditions were the cause of the accident. Potholes, faded lines, or other unfavorable conditions can come into play during an accident. If your sideswipe collision was a result of poor maintenance or negligence of road repairs, talk to a lawyer about the possibility of pursuing compensation from the appropriate party.

How Do You Prove Who Was At Fault?

If the driver who hit you broke the law, they are obviously at fault. 

  • Did they run a red light?
  • Were they speeding?
  • Was the other driver traveling outside of the marked lines?
  • Did the driver fail to yield?

However, in some types of accidents it is complex to prove fault. When neither driver admits faults, it’s up to local law enforcement to determine who was at fault. Other drivers who witnessed the accident might be able to identify which vehicle crashed into the other. Police who are at the scene of the accident might determine fault based on who had the right-of-way. 

If you were the driver who caused the accident do not make any statements at the scene of the accident. These include statements of fault to the other driver and the local authorities. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible. 

Steps to Take at the Scene of the Accident

  1. Call 9-1-1. The authorities will come to the scene of the accident, determine who was at fault, and write a police report. Note that their initial assessment is not binding. Further assessment might change who was at fault.
  2. Gather contact information for eyewitnesses.
  3. Take photos of the damage done to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle.
  4. Take photos of the road, weather conditions and any other factors that may have caused or influenced your accident.
  5. Do not admit fault, even if you know that you caused the accident. Speak with your attorney first.
  6. If you’re the victim, identify every way that you can prove the other driver was at fault.
  7. Take note of the exact minute the collision happened, or narrow it down as closely as you can.
  8. Collect traffic camera footage and electronic data (if there is any) from both vehicles. 

If you had a protected green light while the other driver claims to have had right-of-way, note what time the accident happened. The authorities can check to see what the traffic signals were at that exact minute. This isn’t soundproof, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The other driver’s vehicle might be defective. For example, there’s a chance their brakes stopped working, so they couldn’t stop when they needed to. That clearly makes the driver at fault. The only question is, is the car manufacturer at fault, or is the driver at fault?

Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Partially to Blame?

This is a complicated question that doesn’t have one specific answer. For both sideswipe collisions and other types of accidents, it depends on where you live. If you reside in California, you can use the state’s comparative fault law to obtain a sideswipe collision settlement. This means that you can collect damages based on your injuries and your vehicle’s damage. Speak to an attorney to discuss your state’s laws and your rights. 

What Kind of Attorney Should I Call?

If you’re in a sideswipe collision or any other type of accident, we recommend calling an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer will know your rights and will be able to review all the information regarding the crash. With a lawyer by your side, you are more likely to get a higher settlement. And if you end up having to go to court, an attorney is essential to have on your team. 

Sideswipe Collision Settlements

If you were in a sideswipe collision, your settlement is likely to start at around $10,000. It can go up to $25,000 and beyond. It all depends on how severe your damages are and how good your attorney is. That’s why it’s very important to get a personal injury attorney.

  • $20,000: A teen driver sideswiped at a low speed by a drunk driver who crossed into their lane on the highway. The victim suffered from whiplash and claimed pain and suffering during the settlement. 
  • $50,000: Awarded to a 35-year-old victim sideswiped by a box truck. She was at a red light when the truck in the lane to her left ran the red light and struck her as it passed. The at-fault driver was driving distracted and caused a multi-car accident. The victim sustained tears in her shoulder and required surgery.
  • $200,000: A sideswipe crash where the at-fault driver struck a man a high speed. The man had a pre-existing lumbar fusion, which was further aggravated by the accident. He also sustained neck and lower-back injuries.

There’s no guarantee of how much you can reasonably expect in your settlement. This is why it’s important to consult a personal injury attorney. 

How Do I Choose A Good Attorney?

When choosing an attorney, it’s important to consider the following options.

  • Does the attorney go to trial a lot? If not, they might not have as much experience as you’ll need. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews and settlement examples. Make sure your attorney has the experience to help you win your case.
  • Does the attorney have a history of large settlements and verdicts? You’ll want to see that history if you sustained serious head, neck, or back injuries. Your medical bills will add up quickly, and you won’t want to pay out of pocket for any of them. 
  • Does the attorney have resources? They will need to have cash and a line of credit for your case, as bills will quickly rack up.
  • Does the attorney have good testimonials? Having past clients speak in their favor will speak volumes about their credibility and experience.

Protect Yourself

No one ever wants to be in a car accident, much less a severe one. If you’re in a sideswipe collision or a T-bone car accident, it’s important to call 9-1-1. Once possible, gather the contact information of any eye witnesses. It’s important to establish proof that you are the victim in the accident. 

The other driver, even if they are 100% at fault, is likely to try to pin the blame on you. That’s because taking responsibility for a bad car accident is likely to result in their car insurance skyrocketing, among other things. In car accidents, no one wants to be at fault. 

If you are partially responsible for the car accident, do not admit that at the scene of the accident. Only give basic information requested, like a copy of your ID and proof of your insurance. Your insurance company and personal injury attorney should speak for you on every other occasion. 

Take plenty of pictures at the scene of the accident. This includes damage to your car and the other car involved. Document your injuries and those of your passengers. Also be sure to include pictures of the surroundings, such as road and weather conditions. 

If determined that you were partially responsible for the accident, work with your insurance company and personal injury attorney.  

Get a Car Accident Lawyer After a Sideswipe Collision

Find a personal injury attorney who has experience winning car accident cases similar to yours. When it comes to getting the largest settlement or winning in court, a lawyer can make a big difference.

Don’t settle. If you’ve been severely injured in a sideswipe collision, you deserve compensation. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be doing your part to get the best settlement possible. If you need help getting in touch with a lawyer in your area, Lawsuit Info Center can help. Reach out to us today, risk free. We can review your case and get you in contact with the right attorney to suit your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions about car accident settlements

Just because you were not driving your car at the time of the accident doesn’t mean that you should not expect compensation. You should treat this incident in much the same way you would after an accident where you were in the car. Take pictures of the damages. If you can, collect the information of the driver of the other vehicle. It will also be important to identify if your car was parked legally.

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A driver who causes an accident and does not have car insurance is a headache no one wants to deal with. However you do have options. Your own car insurance policy should have optional coverage for uninsured drivers. You can also choose to take the at-fault driver to court to recover damages. However, if that person has no money or assets to cover the expenses, you may walk away with nothing. Having an attorney to help you through this process is always worth considering.

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Yes, if you can prove that the other driver was at fault. You’ll need to provide:
– Photos of the area and conditions of the road at the time of the accident
– A police report
– Photos of the damage to your vehicle
– Statements from eyewitnesses (if available)
– Surveillance footage (if available)

Providing as many of these as possible will help you win your claim.

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That depends on how fast you’re driving. If you’re in a 25 MPH zone, your injuries won’t be nearly as bad as they will be if you’re driving full-speed on the highway. Sideswipe collisions at high speeds can cause serious injuries.

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A sideswipe collision takes place when two vehicles that are going in the same direction make unwanted contact with each other. A T-bone car accident happens when one driver slams head-on into the side of another vehicle.

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Can sideswipe accidents cause you to suffer serious injuries? They absolutely can, especially if the speed of the striking vehicle was high and led to your vehicle being rolled over onto its side or its roof. This level of severity can easily cause you to suffer a neck injury, head trauma, impalement or other serious injury.

It’s not uncommon for a sideswipe accident to result in a fatality. How? If the vehicle that is sideswiped winds up rolling over violently, the driver or passenger in that vehicle could wind up being ejected or crushed, leading to fatal injuries. That is why a sideswipe accident can be just as serious, or even more serious, than an average car accident.

When it comes time to look at settlement values for sideswipe accidents, these crashes could wind up leading to average settlements if the damage and the injuries aren’t too serious. If the damage to the vehicle is extensive, or the injuries are severe or fatal, the settlement value could wind up being higher compared to an average car accident. The difficult issue here is it is nearly impossible to determine a settlement price before a claim is filed.

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There are a lot of variables when it comes to car accidents. Generally speaking, sideswipe accidents tend to be less severe. However, this is not always the case. If a driver is sideswiped then collides with another vehicle or obstacle, it may cause more damage and injuries. Speak to a lawyer after a sideswipe accident if you have questions regarding the severity and possible settlement.

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