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Who Is at Fault for a Sideswipe Accident?

Published on Jul 26, 2023 at 9:33 pm in Car Accidents.

Who Is at Fault for a Sideswipe Accident?
Was your car sideswiped by another vehicle? Sideswiping occurs when the side of one vehicle scrapes along the side of another. This type of collision happens between vehicles that are traveling in the same direction, although the struck vehicle may be either moving or stationary.

Not typically as deadly as other types of traffic crashes, a sideswipe accident can certainly still leave you with costly property damage and even severe, debilitating injuries. When you’ve been hurt by the actions of another motorist, being able to conclusively prove who is at fault for your sideswipe accident becomes a central part of your recovery journey.

Don’t let the evidence needed to prove fault disappear. We’ll look more at what investigating a sideswipe collision case takes below. If you have questions about your case, please reach out to the accomplished legal team at Golden Law Office to discuss your potential case with a Lexington car accident attorney at no cost to you.

What Defines a Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe accident is defined as a collision in which the right side of one vehicle makes contact with the left side of another.

This means that two cars are moving forward in the same direction (or, one car is parked facing forward and the other moves in the same direction alongside it) when the crash occurs.

Sideswipes most often happen because one car departs from the lane of travel and moves into the adjoining lane, striking a car in its path.

Even if the initial impact isn’t enough to cause serious damage, sideswipes are known to trigger chain-reaction events. Being sideswiped, especially at high speeds, can throw a car into a dangerous trajectory, push the vehicle into oncoming traffic, or startle the driver into swerving, overcompensating, and losing control of the car.

Examples of Sideswipe Accidents

Drivers are sometimes involved in sideswipe accidents under one of the following conditions:

  • A car merges improperly onto a highway and strikes a vehicle traveling in the right lane
  • A passing vehicle sideswipes a car parked along the street
  • A drunk driver weaves into the adjacent lane
  • A driver loses control of a car traveling at high speeds and swerves into a neighboring car
  • A driver attempts to change lanes without checking blind spots
  • A texting (or otherwise distracted) driver drifts into a car traveling beside them
  • A motorist changes lanes without signaling
  • A driver speeds in poor weather conditions and loses control while hydroplaning

These and other types of sideswipe accidents are typically caused by a negligent driver. Negligence in this case means that the driver owed others a duty of care, failed to meet that duty of care, and thus caused the victim losses like bodily injury and property damage.

If one driver is found guilty of negligence, they may be held liable for the victim’s resulting losses. Below, we’ll discuss how this works within Kentucky’s no-fault auto insurance laws.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents?

Sideswipes often result from distraction and/or loss of vehicle control. There are many types of negligence that can cause a sideswipe accident, including:

  • Texting and driving or cell phone use
  • Other forms of distracted driving
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Drunk driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (including marijuana)
  • Aggressive driving or road rage
  • Improper merging or lane-changing

How To Know Who Is at Fault for a Sideswipe Collision

Determining who is at fault for a sideswipe accident requires looking at evidence to identify the party who acted negligently, broke a law, or was reckless to the point of endangering others’ lives.

Your story of what happened is only one way to tell who is at fault for the sideswipe. While you may be confident in your version of events, an insurance company paying out damages will be less willing to accept your word at face value. Therefore, it’s important to work with an attorney who can investigate your case and gather concrete proof of who is at fault.

To prove who is at fault for a sideswipe accident, you and your lawyer may need to examine:

  • The police accident report
  • Physical damage to involved vehicles
  • Photos of the collision scene
  • Damage to nearby objects
  • Traffic camera or dashcam footage
  • Skid marks and debris left on the roadway
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Testimony from expert witnesses like traffic reconstruction professionals
  • Medical bills and physician’s notes detailing your injuries
  • Auto repair bills

Can I Get Compensation From the Driver at Fault for My Sideswipe Accident in Kentucky?

Kentucky is what is known as a “choice no-fault” state. The “no-fault” part means that Kentucky drivers should first turn to their own insurance provider for financial coverage after an accident—no matter who is at fault. The “choice” part means that you have the option to choose or reject no-fault coverage in writing when you purchase auto insurance in Kentucky.

So what does that mean for those involved in a sideswipe accident in Lexington?

It means that most drivers in Kentucky should first use their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for financial compensation for property damage and injury-related losses, even if the other driver was at fault for the sideswipe accident.

However, don’t worry if your losses exceed your coverage limits. These no-fault auto insurance laws do not prevent you from taking further legal action if necessary. In many cases, you still have the option to seek compensation from the at-fault party if your case meets certain criteria, such as a broken bone, permanent injury, or medical expenses exceeding a specified limit.

Find a Lawyer To Uphold Your Rights After a Sideswipe Accident

If you aren’t sure who was at fault for your sideswipe accident or how best to recover your losses, it’s time to speak with an attorney. Because of the complex nature of many Kentucky auto accident claims, it’s best to partner with a local law firm with years of experience handling Lexington auto collisions.

At Golden Law Office, we practice law at the local level so we can most effectively help individuals navigate the terms of their insurance policies. We fight hard and work smart to help you get maximum compensation for your personal injuries.

Your case may further be complicated if your car was struck by a hit-and-run driver, or if the driver who struck you was uninsured or underinsured. We have experience in these difficult case types, having a successful track record in complex legal scenarios in which fault is contested, evidence is difficult to find, or insurance coverage doesn’t meet the needs of the injured party.

Please reach out to our law firm to discuss your case in person with one of our skilled attorneys. There is no charge for a free consultation to determine your rights and legal options.

Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.

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