Anytime there are multiple lanes going in the same direction, a person is at risk of being involved in a sideswipe accident. In this type of crash, the left side of one vehicle hits the right side of the other. This typically occurs when one vehicle attempts to switch lanes but does so unsuccessfully, which is why they are often called blind spot accidents. A driver may accidentally drift into the adjacent lane, hitting a vehicle already in that lane. Intoxication, fatigue, road rage, ice, hydroplaning on wet roads and cell phone use are also common causes of sideswipe accidents.
Dangers of Sideswipe Accidents
Considering that the impact of the crash can occur just inches from a driver or passenger, there are many dangers involved with these types of crashes. The injuries often involve the neck and shoulders due to jerking motion involved. The soft tissue injuries can often cause pain and mobility issues.
Sideswipe accidents can cause significant damage to both vehicles. Side mirrors may become damaged or fall off. Driver and passenger doors may suffer dents or get smashed.
Another danger involved with sideswipe accidents is the fact that this type of accident typically catches one or both drivers by surprise. To maintain control, the drivers may overcompensate and this can actually cause them to lose control. This can lead to subsequent crashes with other vehicles, guardrails, poles and trees. A person may even hit their brakes and cause a rear-end collision. As a result, this type of accident can cause multiple forms of injuries and damages.
Who is Liable?
The basic law in each state is that each driver must stay in their lane and not leave it unless it is safe to do so. Therefore, the driver who moves from their lane is typically the one who will be liable for causing a sideswipe accident. If both motorists were attempting to switch lanes at the same time, however, then both would be at fault for the crash.
If there were any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information. Call the police to file a report. The more evidence you can get that shows the other driver was negligent, the better. These crashes tend to be he said/she said situations. The parties will blame each other, so seek legal help to preserve your innocence.
Taking Legal Action
These types of crashes can be complicated. Understanding a sideswipe accident involves physics. Sometimes insurance companies will refuse to pay for injuries caused by a sideswipe accident since they are often deemed minor. It is important to hire an attorney who understands how to pursue a claim involving this type of crash.
The knowledgeable lawyers at the Vineland, NJ law firm of Rosner Law Offices, P.C can determine liability and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact them at (856) 238-5248.