A sideswipe car accident might seem minor compared to other types of accidents, but the opposite is often true. Many sideswipe accidents lead to loss of control and subsequent accidents—causing serious injuries and tragic outcomes like hospitalization or even death. This is why a car accident lawyer who knows this type of case would not approach it lightly. Here are some legal concerns regarding sideswipe accidents and—if you’re the victim of a sideswipe accident—how a trusted lawyer can help you.
What Happens in a Sideswipe Car Accident?
Most sideswipe accidents happen between two vehicles that are driving in the same direction next to each other. One of the vehicles moves into the other’s lane or line of travel and collides with the side of the other vehicle. This first collision may be as small as a brush of one side against the other—but it’s often what happens after that becomes more serious.
After a sideswipe, the second driver can react by turning their wheel quickly to swerve away from the first driver. This can result in hitting other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians, moving into oncoming traffic, or the vehicle rolling over. These actions can cause serious or fatal injuries and damage.
Legally, victims of a sideswipe accident have the same rights as any other car accident victims. However, these cases present some legal challenges that may make them harder to approve. These challenges determine how an experienced attorney will approach a sideswipe car accident case.
The Legal Challenges of a Sideswipe Accident Case
Often, sideswipe car accidents are the result of a distracted driver. Our modern world has a seemingly endless number of objects that can distract someone on the road like:
- Texting or talking on a cellphone while driving
- Looking at a GPS for directions
- Changing stations on the radio or songs on a phone
- Using Snapchat, Instagram stories, or other social media
The driver could also be tired, upset (road rage), driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, or just fail to check lanes, blind spots, or to use a signal before merging into another lane—and then it’s too late.
While these might sound straightforward, insurance companies are also more likely to dispute claims for sideswipe accident-related injuries because the damage or injuries may seem less severe. For example; sideswipes often happen when there’s a small amount of space between the sides of each car in the accident—so damage can include scrapes, broken side-view mirrors, and dents on doors. Injuries can result from jerking motions like whiplash and neck or shoulder pain. While these types of injuries can actually cause a lot of suffering and become more serious, insurance companies may try to downplay them.
Sideswipe cases can also be more challenging than other car accident cases because they can be harder to determine who is at fault. For example; the first driver might drift into the second driver’s lane and sideswipe them. In that case, the first driver is at fault for leaving their lane. But what if the second driver swerves and hits a third vehicle, causing further damage and injuries? Proving that the accident was initially caused by the first driver can be difficult—especially if they deny responsibility, hit and run, or if the insurance company tries to say the second driver is partly to blame.
In the state of Georgia, a victim of a sideswipe accident can recover money if they were less than 50% at fault—but it could mean less money if they were partly at fault. If the victim believes they were not at fault in any way, proving it can be difficult without legal representation. This is why the victim(s) of a car accident caused by a sideswipe needs to work with a car accident attorney experienced in this type of claim. They will look at the facts and pursue a settlement that is fair to you—not just what the insurer is offering.
Contact a Sideswipe Car Accident Attorney Today
Sideswipe accident cases can be complicated and confusing for victims seeking financial recovery for injuries or damages. Don’t suffer through the process alone or miss out on receiving what you deserve to fully recover from the accident. At John Foy & Associates, we know how to approach car accidents that began with a sideswipe, and we never take the side of the insurance company. We’d like to offer you a FREE, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys. To start your free consultation, call us today at 404-400-4000, or complete the form to your right.