Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two vehicles come into contact with one another. The vehicles are usually parallel to each other and can travel in the same or opposite directions when contact occurs. A sideswipe accident can also happen when the side of a moving vehicle makes contact with the side of a stationary vehicle.
Although drivers and passengers in some sideswipe accidents walk away from the accidents with only minor cosmetic damage to their vehicles and little to no personal injuries, many sideswipe accidents are much more severe. Sideswipe accidents can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, resulting in significant vehicle damage, severe bodily injury, and even death.
Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents can happen for many reasons and in many different circumstances. Some of the most common factors and behaviors that lead to sideswipe accidents include:
- Merging onto a highway or lane without yielding the right of way
- Drifting into other lanes while driving on the highway
- Pulling into or out of a parking space
- Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
- Failing to look before changing lanes
- Aggressive driving
- Drifting over double yellow lines into oncoming traffic
- Failing to notice a vehicle in the driver’s blindspot
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving when tired or drowsy
- Inclement weather
- Unsafe or dangerous road conditions
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), many driver errors are often associated with sideswipe accidents, such as failing to yield the right of way, failing to stay in one’s lane, aggressive driving, driving while intoxicated, and oversteering/overcorrecting, are often associated with fatal crashes.
What Recourse Is Available to Victims of Sideswipe Accidents?
Victims of sideswipe accidents can file personal injury lawsuits to compensate them for the harm and damage they suffer in these accidents.
In Illinois, to prove liability based on negligence in a sideswipe accident, a victim will have to prove that the defendant (or defendants):
- Owed the victim a duty of care,
- Breached this duty, and that
- The victim was injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.
Essentially, if you sustain an injury or damage to your vehicle in a sideswipe accident, in order to have a claim for negligence, you must be able to show that the defendant caused the harm you suffered.
Wrongful Death Claim
The survivors of victims who die in fatal sideswipe accidents can file wrongful death lawsuits to compensate them for the loss of their loved ones.
The experienced attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law can assess the particular facts and circumstances of your case and help you determine the best course of action.
Who Is Liable in a Sideswipe Accident?
It can be challenging to determine who is liable in a sideswipe accident. Liability depends on the particular circumstances of each accident.
Although two drivers are generally involved in a sideswipe collision, third parties can also be liable.
For example, a third driver may be liable for creating a situation that caused a sideswipe accident to occur. If faulty technology or manufacturing defects in a vehicle contribute to a sideswipe accident, then the vehicle’s manufacturer may bear some responsibility. A driver’s employer could also be liable in a sideswipe collision for failing to maintain their vehicle.
Evidence from witness statements, police reports, vehicle damage reports, and medical records can all be used to determine who is at fault in a sideswipe accident.
Determining who is at fault is essential because Illinois applies the concept commonly referred to as “modified comparative fault,” whereby an injured victim can collect damages only if they are not more at fault than the defendant is.
This means that if the victim is 51 percent responsible for the accident, they are barred from receiving any recovery.
What Compensation Is Available to Victims of Sideswipe Accidents?
Victims of sideswipe accidents who bring successful negligence claims can receive compensation for medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
In sideswipe accident wrongful death lawsuits, compensation can include money for funeral costs, pain and suffering, and loss of the victim’s current and potential future income.
The Experienced Cullotta Bravo Legal Team Can Help Victims of Sideswipe Accidents
If you or someone you know is injured in a sideswipe accident, it’s crucial to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success.
The attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law have over 30 years of experience representing clients in car accident personal injury cases throughout Illinois. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and awards for our clients and will fight to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law. Call us at 630-898-7800, or contact us online.