A side swipe accident happens when the side of one car glances off another vehicle or a stationary object like a street sign or light post. Fault depends on the specific facts surrounding the accident. It can be harder to determine fault in a side swipe accident than in some other types of car accidents.
Side swipe accidents can cause devastating effects, setting off a chain reaction or propelling a car into an oncoming traffic lane. Likewise, side swipe accidents can cause spinning, rollovers and fatalities. But because fault may be hard to determine, the insurance company may try to hold you partly responsible for what happened. To protect your rights, it is important to talk to a car accident law firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
How do side swipe accidents happen?
A side swipe accident is one of two types of accidents in which a car is hit from the side. In the other type (a “T-bone” accident), one car rams directly into the side of another, forming a “T” shape. In a side swipe accident, the cars are facing more or less the same way. One car of them simply brushes past or bumps into the side of the other, causing damage along the doors, side mirrors and quarter panels. Side swipe accidents can also occur if a car scrapes past an object that is not moving, including a parked car, mailbox or other object.
Many side swipe accidents happen during lane changes. There are several reasons for this, and some of the most common include:
- A driver changing lanes without checking blind spots
- A driver weaving in and out of traffic and changing lanes without signaling
- Two drivers trying to move into a center lane at the same time
- A driver speeding up or following two closely and not allowing other vehicles to merge
Side swipes also happen when a driver swerves into another lane of traffic to avoid an accident, an object in the road or another hazard. These types of side swipe accidents are more likely to happen if a driver does not have enough time to react, such as if a driver is distracted, tailgating or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Finally, side swipes can occur when a driver loses control of a vehicle. This can happen because of excessive speed, drinking and driving, defective tires, or an impact with another vehicle.
Why is it hard to tell who is at fault in sideswipe accidents?
Fault is important in all Georgia car accident claims because the insurance company that covers the driver at fault is the one who must pay for the accident. Usually, one or more drivers are at fault because they broke the law or were careless. This is also known as “negligence.” Side swipe accidents tend to have a more complex chain of events than many other accidents, and that can make it harder to figure out who is at fault.
For example, suppose the driver in front of you slams on the brakes because there is a tire in the middle of the road. You don’t have time to react, so you veer into the next lane to avoid rear-ending the car in front of you. In the process, you sideswipe a third car. The driver who braked might be at fault if he or she was distracted and should have seen the tire sooner. You might be at fault if you were speeding or weren’t maintaining a safe following distance. Or you both might be partly at fault—it just depends on the facts.
Under Georgia law, you can recover money for your injuries as long as you were less than 50 percent at fault. However, if the accident is partly your fault, you won’t receive as much money as if the accident was totally caused by someone else. In sideswipe accidents, it’s common for the insurance company to say you are partly to blame in order to pay out the least amount of money possible. A good lawyer can do an independent investigation of your accident and build a case to show the insurance company exactly what happened and that you are not to blame.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers know how to get you money for the injuries you suffer in a side swipe accident. We never charge a fee unless we win you money. Let us give you a free, no-obligation consultation to go you’re your case and explain how we can help you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.