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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who Is at Fault in a Side-swipe Car Accident? TN Drivers Deserve to Know

A sideswipe car accident happens between two vehicles heading in the same direction. In most cases, the right side of vehicle A hits the left side of vehicle B.


Being involved in sideswipe crashes can be worrisome, upsetting, and scary. Victims often wonder how to determine fault and the steps to take afterward.


Overall, it's wise to consult with Nashville accident lawyers to ensure that the victim's rights are protected and they understand the legal process. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will go to war for Nash and can determine if the victim has a case and what it might be worth.


Quick Summary for Sideswipe Accidents


  • Usually, a sideswipe crash happens when one car switches lanes, hitting the vehicle traveling in the same/opposite direction.

  • The at-fault party is often the one who goes into the other lane; in some situations, both drivers share fault in cases involving sideswipe collisions.

  • It's wise to hire a personal injury lawyer to help recover compensation for medical bills and any other losses suffered. They can also advise on who is at fault in a head-on car accident TN.


Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents


Sideswipe car accidents are the most common of crashes in the United States. Over 840,000 sideswipe collisions occur each year, which are often caused because of blind spots.


The American Automobile Association says that a sideswipe collision happens when the sides of two or more vehicles impact each other. This occurs when traveling in opposite directions or in the same direction. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with who is at fault in a low speed car accident TN.


Here are a few other causes of a sideswipe car accident:


  • Hazardous Weather Conditions - Hail, fog, and wet/icy roads can cause the driver to lose control, leading to a sideswipe or head-on collision.

  • Failure to Yield the Right of Way - Typically, this happens during a road merge. The drivers merge without checking the blind areas and don't use enough caution.

  • Drowsy Driving - Truck drivers, night workers, and those coming home after a long shift might not get enough sleep the night before. Therefore, the driver falls asleep, which causes the vehicle to leave its lane and then sideswipe the other driver.

  • Driving Under the Influence - Sometimes, sideswipe accidents happen when one driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They have a slower response time, so they struggle to stay in their lane.

  • Road Rage - These drivers often cause injuries and vehicle damage to the other driver. They get angry while driving, so they might pass illegally, speed, or do other negligent things.

  • Driver Inattentiveness - This includes anything that puts the driver's attention on something else, such as texting, taking calls, grooming, changing radio stations, eating, and more.


Who's at Fault in a Sideswipe Accident?


If the driver cannot stay in one lane and chooses to change lanes without considering the safety of others, they are responsible for the sideswipe accident. The driver should always assess the traffic flow, check blind spots, and use a turn signal. If they don't do that, there's a greater chance of encountering a car accident.


Tennessee law says that a car leaving the original lane should be at fault in a car accident. Likewise, if a parked vehicle gets sideswiped, the moving car is at fault.


Sometimes, multiple drivers are at fault for the car accident. In this situation, determining fault is much harder. Overall, this means that both drivers share a percentage of fault because they were trying to go into the same lane simultaneously. The partially at-fault driver can recover damages if they are less than 50 percent responsible. Compensation amounts are reduced by the percentage of negligence.


For example, the driver changing lanes is about 70 percent at fault because the other party was distracted while driving. They are 30 percent at fault. In a sense, their recovery amount is reduced by 30 percent.


Things to Do After a Sideswipe Collision


After getting into an accident, victims should follow these steps:


  • Dial 911 - If possible, the victim should call 911 so that the police can record the accident. Then, they will retrieve the police reports, which include relevant information, such as eyewitnesses, who was at fault, driver's license numbers, and much more.

  • Seek Medical Attention - Even if the victim isn't injured, they should get medical treatment. The injuries might show up later, and they want proof it was because of the accident.

  • Take Photographs and Videos of the Accident Scene - Videos and photos can help victims prove fault by showing who changed lanes.

  • Collect Witness Statements - Eyewitnesses are often crucial in proving who caused the accident. Victims should request an interview as soon as possible.

  • Call a Car Accident Lawyer - An attorney can gather statements from the other driver and witnesses and collect physical evidence. This is crucial if the victim suffered a serious injury because they can recuperate while someone else builds a personal injury case.


Severity of Sideswipe Accidents


Usually, a sideswipe accident is highly dangerous because it's unpredictable and unexpected. The sides of the vehicle are more exposed than the back or front. Most cars and trucks don't have side airbags to protect the passengers and driver.


If one vehicle was much larger than the other, the injury severity could be much more dramatic.


Common Injuries Sustained at the Site of a Sideswipe Accident Scene


Here are the most common sideswipe accident injuries victims can sustain:


  • Lacerations

  • Burns

  • Amputated or crushed limbs

  • Internal injuries

  • Broken bones

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Concussion

  • Whiplash


Will the Insurance Company Cover a Sideswipe Accident?


In most cases, the victim should talk to the other party's insurance adjuster. They will often cover sideswipe crashes, though they might low-ball the settlement offer. In this case, it's wise to have an attorney handle the negotiations.


Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys


A sideswipe accident often happens when one driver changes lanes without checking all the blind spots. However, reckless driving can play a part. Generally, this results in significant property damage and serious injuries.


Proving fault in a sideswipe crash and getting damages once the accident occurred is challenging for most victims. Therefore, they require an experienced team of legal professionals. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help victims determine if they have a case. Call or use the online form to request a free consultation.

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