Who is at fault in a side Swiped Car Accident?

Navigate the complexities of sideswipe accidents: from understanding causes to ensuring you're legally protected with Sunshine Legal.

Every day, countless cars move side-by-side on our busy roads. But sometimes, a sudden move or a brief moment of distraction can lead to a sideswipe car accident.

A sideswipe collision isn't just two cars brushing against each other; it can result in serious damage to the vehicles and their passengers. This kind of accident, where cars make side-to-side contact, might sound simple, but figuring out who is at fault in a side swiped car or sideswipe accident can be tricky.

Whether you've been in a sideswipe accident, know someone who has, or are just curious about what it all means, this guide is here to help. Dive in as we break down the complexities of the sideswiped car in easy-to-understand terms.

What is a Sideswipe Collision?

A sideswipe collision, often referred to simply as a side swiped car accident, happens when the sides of two vehicles touch or scrape each other while they're moving. Picture two cars driving side by side on a road. If one of the cars moves slightly to the left or right without enough space between them, they might touch or "swipe" each other's sides. This can happen on roads with multiple lanes or even on narrower roads where cars might be passing each other.

Unlike type of accidents where cars hit each other head-on or from behind, sideswiped cars focus on the side of the vehicles. It's like when you're walking in a crowded place and you accidentally brush or bump against someone next to you.

Only, with cars, this small touch can cause damage to the vehicle or even hurt the people inside. Sometimes, it's just a scratch or dent, but other times, it can be more severe, especially if the cars were moving fast or if one of them gets pushed off the road.

Common Causes of Side Swiped Car Accidents:

Sideswipe collisions are quite common but can often be avoided. Recognizing the usual reasons for a sideswipe car incident is key to reducing their occurrence and promoting safer driving. Let's delve into the main triggers behind these types of accidents.

Distracted Driving

A driver busy texting, changing radio stations, or otherwise not focusing on the road may inadvertently drift into another lane, leading to a sideswipe accident.

Blind Spots: Not checking or misjudging the space in blind spots can lead to a side swipe accident.

Improper Lane Changes

Moving into another lane without signaling or checking properly can cause a sideswipe collision.

Impaired Driving:

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can reduce a driver's judgment and reaction times.

Aggressive Driving:

Some drivers, out of impatience or anger, may try to squeeze into a space that's too tight, resulting in a sideswiped car.

Poor Road Conditions:

Potholes, uneven road surfaces, or unexpected obstacles can cause a driver to swerve, possibly into the path of another vehicle, resulting in a side swipe accident.

What to Do After a Sideswipe Car Accident?

Experiencing a sideswipe collision can be bewildering. However, understanding what to do right after such an accident is essential for your well-being and to safeguard your legal rights.

  • Panicking won't help. Breathe deeply and try to keep your composure.
  • Move your vehicle to a safer location if possible, away from active traffic.
  • Ensure you and your passengers are okay, and then check on the occupants of the other vehicle.
  • Share and collect contact and insurance details with the other driver.
  • Take pictures and gather witness accounts if available.
  • Especially if there are injuries or significant property damage.
  • Report the sideswipe accident promptly.

Common Injuries in a Side Swiped Car:

Bruises and Scratches: These are common due to the side impact and potential for broken glass.

Whiplash: Though typically associated with rear end accident, the sudden lateral movement can also cause whiplash.

Broken Bones: Particularly in the arms or ribs if the impact was severe.

Concussions: Especially if one's head hits the window or side of the car.

Who is Responsible for a Side Swipe Accident?

Establishing responsibility in a side swipe accident can sometimes be intricate. In many instances, the driver who leaves their designated lane and causes the sideswipe is considered at fault. If you maintain your position in your lane and another vehicle shifts into your space, leading to a sideswipe collision, that driver is often seen as the responsible party.

However, things can get more complicated. For instance, it's an expectation for drivers to signal their intentions before changing lanes. If a driver either neglects to use their signals or uses them improperly and this leads to a sideswipe, they might be held accountable for the incident. Yet, there are scenarios where fault might be shared between both drivers. Consider a situation where both vehicles move towards the center of a lane at the same time, causing a collision. In such cases, both parties might bear some of the blame.

Additionally, the clarity provided by witnesses or camera footage can play a crucial role. Often, the accounts given by the involved drivers might not paint the full picture, making external sources like surveillance or dashcam footage or even bystander accounts vital in piecing together the events leading up to the collision.

Contact Sunshine Legal Law Firm for Free Consultation:

Dealing with the aftermath of a sideswipe collision can be overwhelming. Legal intricacies, insurance claims, and injury assessments add layers of complexity to an already stressful situation.

At Sunshine Legal, we're dedicated to helping you navigate these challenges with clarity and confidence. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the nuances of side swipe accidents and is ready to advocate on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are upheld and that you receive the justice you deserve.

We believe in empowering our clients with knowledge and advice tailored to their unique situation. If you're uncertain about your next steps or have questions about a recent sideswipe accident, don't hesitate to reach out.

Our commitment to our community includes offering a free consultation, allowing you to gain insights into your case without any initial financial commitment. With Sunshine Legal by your side, you can move forward with confidence, knowing you're supported every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Leaving the scene of an accident, including a sideswipe, is illegal in most jurisdictions. If caught, you could face penalties, fines, or even criminal charges, depending on local laws.

Sideswipe is often associated with Transformers, a fictional character. In various adaptations, he's depicted as different types of sports cars, primarily a red Lamborghini Countach.

In the Transformers universe, Sideswipe is primarily represented as a sleek sports car, with the Lamborghini Countach being one of his most recognizable forms.

Fault in a sideswipe accident depends on specifics like lane departure and signaling. Often, the driver leaving their lane or not signaling appropriately is deemed responsible.

Fixing a side swipe requires assessing damage depth. Minor scrapes might need buffing, while deeper dents can require bodywork or panel replacement. Consulting a professional auto body shop is advised.


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