When you are on the road, multiple types of accidents may occur. While most people think of severe accidents as those that involve a head-on collision or rollovers, sideswipe accidents can be just as devastating.
Because sideswipe accidents do not get as much attention as others, you may not realize how common they are. In some situations, they can result in fatal injuries depending on why and how the accident occurs.
If you are the victim of a sideswipe car accident in Atlanta, contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines to learn what rights you have and what type of compensation you may be able to recover.
What Are Sideswipe Collisions?
The term sideswipe describes what occurs in a sideswipe collision. In this accident, the side of two vehicles comes in contact while at least one of the vehicles is moving.
For sideswipe accidents to occur, both cars may be traveling beside each other in opposite directions or the same direction when they collide. Sideswipe accidents may also occur if one vehicle is parked on the side of the road or sitting in traffic.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
A sideswipe accident can occur when a driver moves out of their lane and into the lane of another vehicle. It can occur on any type of road, whether on a highway, city street, or neighborhood road.
If roads are congested with heavy traffic and drivers pass and move in and out of lanes, the possibility of a sideswipe collision grows significantly.
Some of the common scenarios when a sideswipe accident occurs include the following:
- An oncoming motorist who travels over the center lane into another vehicle that is moving in the opposite direction.
- A vehicle drifts outside its lane while moving alongside other vehicles going the same direction when a crash occurs.
- A vehicle does not pass another vehicle safely or misjudges the space and time needed to pass safely.
- A motorist who changes lanes doesn’t check their blind spot before they move.
- A driver merges onto a busy road.
- A driver loses control or focus and hits vehicles parked on the road or stopped at an intersection or traffic light.
- A motorist swerves suddenly to avoid an object or another vehicle on the road, and causes a collision.
In virtually all instances of sideswipe accidents, it takes place because of at least one driver’s negligence. It takes just a second of distraction or looking away from the road ahead to be involved in a sideswipe accident.
Some of the reasons that sideswipe accidents occur include the following:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to obey the traffic laws or signal
- Drowsy drivers that doze off while driving
- Speeding in bad weather
- Road rage or aggressive driving incidents
- Distracted driving
- Driving in mountainous or steep terrain
Why Sideswipe Collisions Cause So Much Damage
A sideswipe collision can range from minor to more devastating. It has a lot to do with what happens right after the initial impact occurs.
If an accident occurs at a lower speed, then the accident will likely just be an inconvenience and cause some property damage. However, things can go wrong quickly if a sideswipe occurs on a busy road or highway at a higher speed.
The most devastating sideswipe collisions occur when there is some secondary impact or an action that makes the situation worse. Many people who experience a sideswipe do not see the accident, and when they feel the initial impact, they may try to overcorrect their vehicle, swerve to avoid hitting another vehicle or even lose control of their vehicle because of the impact.
These situations can cause dangerous rollovers for higher-profile vehicles, spinouts, and drivers into other objects and vehicles nearby, like buildings, streetlights, or walls.
In these types of accidents, drivers and passengers must deal with the initial impact and the force behind any follow-up impacts. This may result in serious damage and even fatal injuries.
Determining Fault in a Sideswipe Collision
In many situations, fault in a sideswipe car accident is typically put on the driver who did not remain in their lane. This means that the driver who crossed the other driver’s lane will probably be held responsible for the damages and outcomes from the first impact.
However, there are some situations where the vehicle that moved into another lane is not the only one at fault in the accident. This may occur when a vehicle is hit and then pushed into traffic by a different vehicle.
Determining fault based on these guidelines may not be difficult; however, investigating the accident scene can be challenging. Depending on the momentum and force when the first impact occurs, the vehicles involved in a sideswipe accident may travel a far distance before stopping. This and the chaos that often occurs after an accident can make it even more difficult to determine how the accident happened.
With the right Atlanta car accident attorney who conducts a thorough investigation, more details will be discovered and evidence found. This includes things like video footage of the sideswipe accident, injuries, damage to the vehicles, and more. All this can be used to determine fault. Your attorney can then determine if you are entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages you experienced.
What to Do if the Other Driver Leaves the Scene?
A sideswipe accident can easily turn into a hit-and-run accident. The nature of this accident makes it pretty easy for the vehicle that hits you to leave after impact. When a sideswipe occurs to a parked vehicle, the driver may leave rather than let the owner know what happened.
If you are the victim of this incident, you should contact the authorities immediately to file a report. If you or any witnesses have information that can help identify the vehicle that caused the accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages from the at-fault party or their insurance company.
However, if you cannot identify the driver who hit your vehicle, you may be able to get compensation from your auto insurance provider. This depends on the type of coverage you have.
Do Not Wait to Contact Our Legal Team for Assistance
If you are involved in a sideswipe accident caused by another driver, it is smart to contact our legal team at the Law Offices at Matthew C. Hines today.
The first step is to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. We can conduct a thorough investigation to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to for the damages and injuries you sustained.