Who is Typically at Fault in Sideswipe Collisions, and How is Liability Determined?

Sideswipes are one of the most commonly overlooked types of car accidents on the road. People often assume these are minor accidents and result in only minimal damage. The truth is that sideswipe accidents can have potentially tragic outcomes, changing a person’s life forever. That’s why it’s crucial to understand who is typically at fault for sideswipe collisions, how liability is determined, and how Louisville car accident lawyers can help you secure the financial compensation you may be entitled to.

Understanding Sideswipe Collisions

Sideswipe collisions occur when two vehicles collide along their sides. These types of crashes happen when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction or when they are traveling in opposite directions without any median separating them. Accidents involving one motorist colliding with a stationary object or parked vehicle in this manner are also considered sideswipe accidents.

These accidents can lead to devastating consequences, including traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding and organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. 

What to Do After a Sideswipe Accident

If you have been involved in a sideswipe accident, pursuing legal action while you’re still recovering from injuries can feel overwhelming. However, it’s crucial to understand that the actions you take in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can not only ensure your safety but also protect your legal rights. After a sideswipe accident, you should:

Contact the Police

Once the police reach the scene, they can investigate the crash and document their findings in a police report. This report can provide substantiation regarding what occurred and who was responsible for the accident, which car accident lawyers can use to help prove liability.

Gather Evidence and Witness Statements

After an accident, gathering evidence from the scene can be of great benefit later when trying to prove fault. This evidence could include photos of the crash, damage to the vehicles, the surrounding environment, traffic signals and signs near the crash, and any other evidence that can help show who was responsible for the collision.

If you cannot collect this evidence on your own, don’t worry. Skilled car accident lawyers can help accident victims obtain evidence, locate and interview witnesses, or hire expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists who can help prove what happened.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you feel fine, it’s important to see a doctor. Some injuries, like whiplash, concussions, or internal bleeding, may not show immediate symptoms. A medical professional can detect these injuries early, preventing them from worsening. In addition, medical records can serve as essential documentation when filing insurance claims or if legal action becomes necessary.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and provide them with all the information you’ve collected.

Reach Out to Car Accident Lawyers in Louisville

Determining liability in a sideswipe accident is often complicated. Car accident lawyers can help investigate your crash, deal with insurers, and ensure you are fairly compensated for any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Who Pays if Both Parties Cause the Sideswipe Accident?

In Kentucky, the auto insurance system is referred to as “choice no-fault.” This means that when an accident occurs, the involved parties should first approach their own insurance provider for financial coverage regardless of who was at fault, unless they have opted out of the no-fault system. However, even if you have not opted out, if your case meets certain criteria, you may still be able to pursue further legal action against the wrongful party to receive compensation beyond what your policy covers.

Because Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, if you and the other motorist are both partially at fault for the accident, the liability will be distributed between the parties based on the percentage of fault. In other words, if the crash was mostly the fault of the other driver, they will bear a greater percentage of financial responsibility for the accident.

Special Cases and Considerations

While it’s always somewhat challenging to prove liability in a sideswipe collision, certain scenarios can make the situation even more complex. These special circumstances include:

  • Sideswipe accidents that occur in a parking lot, where “right of way” can be unclear
  • Sideswipes involving multiple vehicles, where one motorist causes another to swerve and sideswipe a third car
  • Hit-and-run accidents

In the above scenarios, determining fault may require a detailed investigation and analysis to figure out exactly what happened and who was at fault. When you work with a skilled legal professional, your attorney can thoroughly review the situation, look for evidence that can help demonstrate liability, and assist you with securing the compensation you deserve.

Accident Prevention and Safe Driving Tips

Although sideswipe car accidents can occur for several reasons, you can try to avoid them by taking a few steps, including:

  • Driving defensively
  • Signaling properly
  • Checking for blind spots
  • Using vehicle safety features, such as lane departure warnings

It’s always important that you pay attention to your surroundings and drive responsibly. However, if you have suffered injuries in a sideswipe accident due to another person’s wrongful actions, reach out to a car accident attorney to review your legal options.

Call Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured in a Sideswipe Accident

If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe accident in Louisville, contact Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Our experienced legal team and personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients across a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents, trucking collisions, wrongful death, and slip-and-fall accidents. Of course, it’s important to note that results may vary, and past successes don’t guarantee success in your case.

For more information about sideswipe accidents and how our car accident lawyers in Louisville can help you, reach out today to discuss your case for free.