Sideswipe collisions are unpredictable. They can result in minimal damage, but they can also lead to serious injuries. I represented a young woman several years ago who was side-swiped after another person failed to yield while driving through Meyer Circle on Ward Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. The damage to the vehicle was moderate, and this young woman suffered a mild concussion / traumatic brain injury from this crash. Pursuing compensation after a sideswipe can be surprisingly difficult because assessing liability for accidents of this kind is often complicated, which was the case for this young woman at Meyer Circle. Fortunately, after filing suit, we were able to prove liability and the nature of the traumatic brain injury, and the case settled for the six-figure policy limits.
What Constitutes a Sideswipe Crash?
Sideswipes occur when two motor vehicles headed in the same direction connect. In some cases, the left vehicle impacts the vehicle on the right. Other times, the opposite is true. The extent of the damage caused by the crash often depends on the part of the vehicle that was struck as well as the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. The more substantial the property damage caused by a sideswipe is, the more likely a victim inside one of the vehicles will experience injuries. Some sideswipe collisions even lead one vehicle to spin out into traffic and potentially collide with other vehicles, signs, trees, poles, or barriers.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Collisions
Sideswipe collisions can be caused by countless factors. Many of these accidents are the result of negligent drivers who fail to examine their blind spots before merging lanes. Some of the other types of negligent actions known to cause sideswipe collisions to include:
- Combining alcohol or drug use with vehicle operation
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Not using turn signals
- Oversteering or understeering
- Reckless driving
Sometimes, sideswipe crashes are simply the result of poor weather conditions like rain or snow. This is why if weather conditions are bad, drivers have an increased duty to drive cautiously.
Multiple Parties Can be Responsible for Sideswipe Collisions
Multiple parties can bear responsibility for sideswipe accidents. This commonly is the case when two motorists merge into the same lane at the same time. If neither driver adequately inspects to make sure the nearby lane was clear before merging, both drivers could collide and end up liable for the crash.
What Evidence Can be Used to Show Who is at Fault in a Sideswipe Collision?
Establishing that another party bears liability for your damages often depends on proving that the other party’s negligence caused your crash. To prove this, you must collect the requisite evidence and construct a strong case. Some of the most common types of evidence that can be used to establish liability include:
- Crime scene photos
- Eyewitness statements
- Police reports
Make Sure to Receive a Medical Evaluation After a Crash
You should also make sure to promptly receive medical care after a sideswipe collision. Even though you might feel okay, injuries sometimes hide and do not become fully visible until days or weeks later. By asserting your rights now, you will make sure you are protected down the road.
Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney Today
Distinguishing liability for a sideswipe crash is often a nuanced issue. One of the best things that you can do to navigate such a situation is to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.