A sideswipe accident occurs when vehicles traveling either in the same or opposite direction dangerously come close to each other, making an impactful contact. Such a collision can also occur when a moving vehicle sideswipes a stationary object or parked car.
On the surface, these accidents may seem minor, but some can have long-term impacts or even death. The National Safety Commission estimates that more than 2,500 annual fatalities happen due to sideswipe collisions.
These types of accidents are especially fatal because they often cause a chain reaction. When a first car veers off to the next lane, the second car will try to prevent a collision by veering further from the first vehicle. The second vehicle might hit pedestrians on a sidewalk, cyclists, parked cars, stationary objects, or even roll down to the sides. In addition, the at-fault vehicle might rear-end another car, causing other accidents, such as a T-bone collision.
If you are injured in a sideswipe accident and are not at fault, you are entitled to claim compensation for current and future damages. Below are some important things to do when injured in such a collision.
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The at-fault driver may try to settle without involving the police, especially if the impact is minor. Agreeing to this is detrimental to the possibilities of you getting the rightful compensation from their insurance company.
A police report is also crucial when determining fault because it gives first-hand details of what happened, witness information, and sometimes, assigns fault.
Record Details of the Scene
Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, objects, and road marks. Pictures of scratch marks or any other resulting impacts that are visible can give an idea of which driver wrongfully changed lanes.
Additionally, yaw marks at the scene can help in determining vehicle speeds, as well as which car was at fault.
Collect Information from Eyewitnesses
An eye witness provides first-hand and unbiased information regarding the accident. They have just seen it happen from a perspective that is different from the driver. If possible, record their contact information too just in case you need them to witness in a trial.
Seek Medical Attention
It is always advisable to get a medical evaluation after a car accident, regardless of whether you feel any injury discomfort. First, it ensures that there are no internal injuries that may resurface later. Second, a doctor’s report is a crucial piece of evidence in a sideswipe collision because it proves some level of physical damage that the claimant experienced.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
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In such a complicated turn of events, a Spokane car accident lawyer is your best bet, especially if you plan to seek compensation for your recovery. The attorney will spell out your options and help you choose the right one.
It is also the lawyer’s responsibility to ensure that insurance companies award you with a deserving amount of compensation.
Notify Your Insurance Company
In some states, the victim’s insurance company may have to settle a part of the compensation amount. If you have to talk to your insurer, provide only the basic details about the accident and leave the rest to your attorney.
Determining Fault in a Sideswipe Accident
In a sideswipe accident case, the driver who changed lanes is often at fault and liable for any damages. Traffic laws require a driver to remain in their travel lane and only change when it is safe and clear.
If the insurer finds both drivers at fault, their respective insurance companies pay for compensation. In some states, 51% and above comparative fault will automatically annul your claim.