When one vehicle sideswipes another, it can be hard to determine who was at fault in the accident. According to Georgia Code section 51-12-4, you can recover damages for your costs if the other driver was at fault. Pinpointing how the accident happened can help you demonstrate the other driver owes you compensation.
A sideswipe might not sound like much, but it can actually lead to serious accidents like rollovers or chain-reaction collisions that affect multiple drivers. This can make the recovery process difficult, as the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to shirk some of the blame. It’s best to contact a car accident lawyer in Georgia who can help you prove the other driver caused the sideswipe accident.
How Is Fault Determined in a Sideswipe Auto Accident in Georgia?
A driver is at fault if they were negligent, or careless, and it led to the accident. Many times, the driver has broken some type of traffic law or was simply not paying enough attention. In extreme situations, the driver may be impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Either way, the driver whose actions caused the collision is at fault for what happened. In turn, they (or, rather, their insurance company) is responsible for covering the costs of the accident.
Determining fault can be challenging after an accident, but especially so in sideswipe accidents.
Sideswipe Accidents Can Involve Multiple Vehicles
For example, one driver might slam on their brakes, causing the driver behind them to swerve and prevent a rear-end collision from happening. In that process, however, the rear driver sideswipes a third car traveling in the lane beside them.
Without all the facts, it might seem obvious that the rear car was at fault—when, in reality, the first car’s actions may make them responsible. Or, the first two drivers might each hold a degree of fault. In Georgia, a driver can still recover for their damages if they are partially at fault, as long as it’s less than 50% at fault (Georgia Code section 51-12-33).
The best way to determine who is at fault in a sideswipe accident is by investigating the details of the accident and gathering evidence. It’s common for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to claim you were partially at fault or that your injuries are not as bad as you say. It’s a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer after the accident to help you prove the other driver’s fault.
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What Leads to Sideswipe Accidents?
A common cause for sideswipe auto accidents is one driver drifting into the lane of another. The first driver might not even see the other driver until it’s too late. Sideswipe accidents always happen from the side. Unlike T-bone accidents, where the vehicles form a 90-degree angle during impact, a sideswipe accident involves vehicles traveling parallel to each other.
Most of the time, a sideswipe accident happens when both drivers are traveling the same way, too. One bumps or brushes up against the other. Sideswipe accidents can also happen when a driver swipes against a stationary object, such as a mailbox, traffic sign, or a parked vehicle.
A number of factors can lead to sideswipe accidents in Georgia, including:
- Changing lanes without checking the vehicle’s blind spot
- Moving into another lane without using a turn signal
- Not allowing enough space for surrounding vehicles to merge
- Weaving quickly in and out of traffic without giving other drivers enough room
- Driver impairment, distraction, or excessive speed
No matter how the sideswipe accident happened, what counts the most is who is at fault for the collision. If you did not cause the accident and suffered damages, you should not have to pay for those costs.
However, the burden is on you to file a personal injury claim and prove the other driver was at fault for your accident and injuries. This is a lot to take on alone, so we highly recommend scheduling a consultation with a trusted lawyer who understands these types of car accident cases.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Our car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help you seek the compensation you deserve after a sideswipe accident in Georgia. Let us handle the details of your case, including dealing with the insurance company and your injury claim, so you can focus on healing from your injuries and being with family.
Let us give you a FREE consultation today. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation.