Who Might Be Liable for a Sideswipe Collision?
Of the different kinds of accidents, sideswipe collisions result in the fewest traffic fatalities. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t leave devastating damages in their wake.
If you’re recovering from serious injuries after another vehicle sideswiped your own, you’re probably concerned about your financial security. After all, the associated medical bills and missed paychecks can add up fast. Thankfully, there’s a good chance you’re entitled to compensation.
As long as you weren’t to blame for the crash, you should be able to seek funds for your losses. First, however, you’re going to have to determine who was to blame.
When it comes to sideswipe accidents, there are a number of parties that could be at fault. Some of the most likely culprits include:
1. The Motorist Who Veered out of Their Lane
Following most sideswipe collisions, the motorist who actually crossed over into the other driver’s lane is deemed the liable party. Whether they were drunk, drowsy, or distracted, they violated the rules of the road by failing to stay within the designated lines and can therefore be held responsible for the resulting damages.
2. The City Planner
When designing roads, government agencies have to account for the width of the average vehicle. Wherever there’s room, they should also include enough space for tractor-trailers carrying wide loads to maneuver with ease.
If another vehicle sideswiped your own—or you were forced to sideswipe another vehicle—because the roadway was too narrow, you may be able to take action against the city planner.
3. A Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer
Sometimes, sideswipe collisions occur because of manufacturing defects. If the power steering system malfunctions, for example, a wreck is essentially inevitable.
When a defect is to blame for an accident, the vehicle or parts manufacturer is typically deemed responsible. Should this be the case in your situation, you’re going to want to turn to a personal injury attorney who’s well-versed in product liability.
How Can I Prove Liability for a Sideswipe Collision?
Determining the underlying cause of the crash in which you were hurt is only the first step to building a strong personal injury claim. The next step is gathering the evidence needed to prove it.
While the strongest evidence of liability will depend on the facts of the case, you’re probably going to need to present some combination of the following:
- Photographs of the wreckage;
- Dash cam footage of the incident;
- Surveillance recordings from cameras overlooking the scene;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts;
- Cell phone records;
- Toxicology reports;
- The official police report;
- City blueprints;
- Mechanical schematics; and
- Maintenance logs.
Call (727) 821-1500 for a Free Consultation with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
At Emerson Straw, we know just how devastating sideswipe collisions can be. If you were struck by a drunk, drowsy, or distracted motorist, we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability. To schedule a free case review with a car accident lawyer in Florida, call (727) 821-1500 or fill out our Online Contact Form.