(213) 985-1120

Sideswipe Car Accident Fault

When we drive out on the roadways, we hope and pray that we won’t get into a crash. However,  there are many ways in which a car accident can occur. One of those is a sideswipe accident.

A sideswipe accident is when the side of one vehicle hits the side of an adjacent vehicle. This often happens when a driver tries to switch lanes while there is already a vehicle in the lane next to them.  The at fault driver frequently does not see the vehicle adjacent due to the vehicle being in a blind spot 

While this type of accident may seem minor, that is not always the case. Hitting another vehicle may cause one or both vehicles to lose control. This can lead to subsequent accidents as the driver swerves and tries to regain control. Therefore, the damage to the car can be significant.

When your car sustains damage in a sideswipe accident, you’ll want to know who is liable so you can obtain compensation. Read on to learn more about liability issues.

Who is Liable?

Liability in a sideswipe car accident depends on the circumstances. These crashes can happen in a number of ways, including:

  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued/drowsy driving
  • Changing lanes without checking blind spots
  • Multiple drivers merging at the same time

Therefore, the cause of the sideswipe accident will determine liability. However, the main issue at play is that all vehicles have the responsibility to stay in their lane of travel. This means that the vehicle that leaves the lane and causes the crash is at fault.  Our firm can frequently determine which vehicle is Fault by sending out letters to insurance companies demanding that the vehicle event data recorders (EDR) be preserved.  Advancements in technology now permit qualified personnel to download data from the EDR module.  The module retains data regarding speed, braking, and steering wheel inputs. 

Before changing lanes, drivers must ensure that it is safe to do so. There must be enough room to enter the other lane. Drivers can check this by using their mirrors and physically looking in the lane they want to move into. They should also turn on their turn signals to signal their intentions to other drivers. 

So when the driver leaves their lane and fails to check for other vehicles, they are liable. The main problem, however, is determining which driver actually left their lane. Accounts from the drivers may not be enough. It could turn into a “he-said/she-said” incident. Witnesses may have different accounts of what happened. 

However, the vehicle that changes lanes is not always the one at fault. There are several situations in which the vehicle already in the lane may be at fault. They include:

  • Texting or using the phone while the driver is changing lanes
  • Speeding up or slowing down as the other vehicle is changing lanes in front or behind it
  • Intentionally refusing to let the other car into the lane

Contact Us Today

Sideswipe accidents can leave your vehicle with significant damage. If the collision is severe, Serious injury can result.  Make sure you obtain compensation to pay for these damages.

The personal injury lawyers at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can assess your situation and determine liability. We have the skill and experience to guide you through the car accident process. To schedule a free consultation, call (213) 985-1120 or fill out the online form.