Even when you drive safely, you may still end up hurt in a sideswipe accident. When another car strikes or hits you from the side, you may be unable to control your vehicle.
Being injured in a sideswipe accident has the potential to leave you reeling from the consequences and trying to figure out how to move on with serious injuries and their resulting expenses.
Recognizing what to do after a sideswipe accident is extremely important. A car accident lawyer in Plantation may be one of the most valuable resources you turn to in the wake of a serious crash.
Call Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys now for a consultation about your injury claim.
How Do Sideswipe Accidents Happen?
A sideswipe crash occurs when at least two vehicles traveling next to one another hit each other. This first impact can cause a domino effect, such as having one or both of these vehicles spin out of control, or colliding with other objects or vehicles.
Most cars are built with crumple zones and the strongest safety protections at the front and back of the vehicle. This means there are very few safety options to protect passengers and drivers seated near the sides of cars. Anyone sitting in positions at the side of the car may face more serious injuries in a sideswipe accident because the side of the car provides little protection.
Sideswipe accidents can occur in a few different ways.
- For example, drivers who are distracted or drowsy may drift from their own lane and strike a vehicle in a nearby lane.
- Sideswipe accidents can also happen for a driver when in one lane when another driver attempts to merge, and a driver in the lane next to them speeds up to prevent it.
- Likewise, drivers may have to swerve to avoid other obstacles like pedestrians, vehicles, or stationary objects.
- Sideswipe accidents can also happen when a driver fails to check their blind spot before switching lanes or merging into moving traffic.
One of the most dangerous aspects of a sideswipe accident is when one or more of the vehicles in the first crash spin out of control. This can cause pile-up collisions and severe injuries as a result.
Injuries From Sideswipe Accidents
There are many different potential injuries that can happen in a sideswipe accident. Getting evaluated by a doctor is extremely important because you may not realize the full scope and severity of your injuries.
Some of the most common injuries from sideswipe accidents include broken bones, strains, sprains, contusions, and traumatic brain injuries. Many of these may come with substantial treatment costs and long recovery periods.
Who Is At-Fault for a Sideswipe Accident in Florida?
Every driver on Florida roads has a legal responsibility known as a duty of care. This means drivers must exercise safe driving behavior and avoid breaking any laws.
When someone leaves their lane of travel without the clearance to do so or was engaged in an activity such as drinking and driving, it is likely that they will be accused of causing the accident. Police may often be involved to investigate the damage and to determine what happened in order to identify the at-fault party.
Bear in mind that you may have responsibility for approving liability in the lawsuit, even if you are the victim. In Florida, the law of comparative negligence applies. A driver can still recover compensation for their injuries, even if the other driver maintains as little as 1% of the fault for the crash.
The amount of blame shared by two or more drivers is usually evaluated by the police after they’ve been called to the scene and at the time they complete an accident report. Certain situations, such as excessive speed or distracted driving, may also be noted in the accident report.
How to Prove Liability for a Sideswipe Collision
You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to collect the necessary evidence to show who is liable.
In Florida, you will first turn to your personal injury protection to recover compensation. Your PIP coverage in Florida is limited to $10,000, and many victims seriously hurt in sideswipe accidents have damages and losses that exceed this point.
The involvement of a lawyer to look at all of the evidence may be essential for preparing a comprehensive claim and fighting hard on your behalf. More than one person may be responsible for your injuries, and a lawyer’s full investigation may help determine this.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover in a Sideswipe Accident?
There are many different types of damages that may apply based on your case. Your lawyer will discuss these with you during an initial consultation. They can include things like lost wages, pain and suffering, medical equipment, medical treatment, property damage, and loss of earning ability.
In order to protect your right to recover these damages, you need to file a lawsuit no later than four years after the sideswipe accident. After this point, you lose your legal right to recover any compensation, even if you can show that the other driver was responsible.
Is it illegal to change lanes unsafely?
Laws are in place in Florida to help prevent the possibility of sideswipe accidents. State law requires that drivers do not pass on the left unless the left lane is clearly visible to that driver. The driver must also verify that there is sufficient room to pass without blocking the flow of traffic.
Drivers must also use their turn signal when passing another vehicle or moving into another lane.
How a Sideswipe Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
There are many details to keep track of after an accident. Our Plantation, FL, sideswipe accident lawyer is an advocate for you during the legal process of damage recovery so you can be focused on getting the care you need.
Contact the legal team at Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys to discuss your sideswipe injury claim.