How is Fault for a Sideswipe Collision Determined?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on April 7, 2022

. Updated on June 2, 2023


Recovering compensation for your injuries after a sideswipe collision could be complicated, as providing proof of fault could be difficult without an experienced attorney on your side.

Call our experienced car crash lawyers in South Bend today to learn more about how we can help determine fault for the sideswipe accident and what your legal options may be for pursuing the compensation you need.

The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.

What is a Sideswipe Collision?

When the sides of two adjacent vehicles collide, it is referred to as a sideswipe accident. Sideswipes can occur when two vehicles are traveling in the same or opposite directions. However, these types of crashes are more common when the vehicles are traveling in the same direction.

A sideswipe collision may also only involve only one vehicle – if the vehicle veers from the road and collides with the median, guardrail or some other stationary object on the side of the road.

While the force of impact of a sideswipe is usually not significant, it can still result in a serious accident because of the actions taken by the driver or drivers whose cars get hit. For example, a vehicle that gets sideswiped may veer into other vehicles or slam into the rear of another vehicle. If this happens on a road with a high speed limit, the consequences of the sideswipe could be very serious.

What Causes Sideswipe Accidents?

Sideswipes, like most accidents, are generally caused by negligent drivers. That negligence could be something as simple as failing to use a turn signal or something more serious like driving under the influence. Some of the most common causes of a sideswipe accident include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Improper merging
  • Speeding
  • Drowsy driving
  • Over/understeering on a steep curve
  • Crossing multiple lanes of a highway
  • Zigzagging in traffic

In some cases, a tire blowout could cause a driver lose control of his or her vehicle, resulting in a sideswipe accident that may involve multiple vehicles.

Can Multiple Parties Be Liable for a Sideswipe Crash?

More than one party may be responsible for a sideswipe accident in some cases. For example, two drivers merging into the same lane who failed to indicate and check their blind spots could both be at least partially responsible for the sideswipe collision. However, if there are multiple vehicles involved in the accident, fault is usually assigned to the driver who set off the chain of crashes.

The insurance company may try to pin the blame for a sideswipe crash on you if your sideswipe accident was the result of two vehicles merging into the same lane, but so long as you can prove you are less at fault for the crash than the other driver you may still be able to recover compensation.

What Can Be Used to Prove Fault in a Sideswipe Collision?

Due to the complexities of how sideswipe collisions occur, proving someone else is liable for your damages may be difficult. However, it is important to note that fault for the crash ultimately comes down to which driver acted in a negligent manner.

Evidence like the police report and eyewitness statements can be critical to the success of your claim. The police report will likely have the responding police officer’s assignment of fault, and statements from witnesses could help determine which driver acted negligently.

If there are no witnesses or videos from the crash, your attorney may need to bring in an accident reconstruction expert to rebuild the scene of the crash by examining tire marks on the road and weather conditions from the day.

Call an Experienced Attorney Today

If you were injured in a sideswipe accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims successfully recover maximum compensation. We are prepared to help you file a claim and go over the legal options available to you.

We offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything while we work on your case.

Call (574) 444-0741 to learn more.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases