A driver changing lanes without checking their mirrors, drifting across lanes, or failing to yield to another driver are all common causes of sideswipe car accidents.
A sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles traveling in a parallel manner meet. According to the National Safety Commission, more than 242,000 sideswipe collisions happen in the U.S. each year. If you or your loved one has been injured in a sideswipe collision, you may wonder how to determine who is at fault. You may also need to pursue compensation to recover your damages.
For more than 45 years, the personal injury lawyers at Apicella & Schlesinger Attorneys at Law have represented victims in all types of car accidents throughout New York. Call us today to set up your free consultation.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
A driver changing lanes without checking their mirrors, drifting across lanes, or failing to yield to another driver are all common causes of sideswipe car accidents. The top reasons why these accidents occur include the following:
- Distraction – Distracted driving is one of the top reasons drivers drift out of their lane without even realizing that they are doing it.
- Speeding – A speeding vehicle often causes more damage and injuries in a sideswipe accident as speed produces a more forceful impact.
- Failing to yield or not paying attention when trying to merge lanes
- Under the Influence – Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair a driver’s thought process and hinder concentration, making them more likely to leave their lane without due care and attention.
- Fatigue – Being tired can cause problems with concentration, which can also be a leading cause of sideswipes.
- Overcorrecting to avoid a hazard – Trying to avoid a collision with a hazard on the road can cause a vehicle to sideswipe a vehicle that is traveling alongside it.
- Not looking for other vehicles – A high-clearance vehicle that fails to look for a smaller vehicle next to them during a lane change.
When examining the evidence of a car accident, the cause of the accident will help determine who is at fault.
Determining Fault In a Sideswipe Accident?
In most situations, the driver changing lanes is at fault in a sideswipe collision. However, a driver who adheres to one lane can also be at fault. Some scenarios where the driver who did not change lanes may be held liable include:
- They slowed down and failed to yield the right of the way to drivers behind
- They sped up when the driver in front was about to make a lane change
- They denied a way to a driver looking to join their lane
If you were involved in a sideswipe accident, it might not be clear who the at-fault driver is. Don’t speak to the insurance company without discussing your case with a car accident attorney. The insurance company is not on your side; they will either offer you a settlement that is too low or will try to say it’s your fault without having proper evidence.
When you partner with Apicella & Schlesinger Attorneys at Law, we review your claim, investigate your accident, interview witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and defend your rights, both outside and inside the courtroom, if necessary.