A sideswipe collision is a car accident in which one vehicle strikes the driver or passenger side of another vehicle. They may also be referred to as blind spot crashes since they are often the result of a driver who is changing lanes and doesn’t see the other vehicle. (Sideswipe accidents don’t always involve a blind spot, however—they may occur when a motorist fails to check their mirrors altogether before merging or when two vehicles are driving in opposite directions).
These types of accidents aren’t limited to just cars, either. Motorcyclists, large truck drivers, and even bicyclists may get into a sideswipe car crash. At low speeds, an accident might only result in some minor vehicle damage, such as dents or scrapes. But as with other traffic accidents, a sideswipe collision can cause serious, life-altering injuries at high speeds. Find out more about what to do if someone sideswipes your car in the Quad Cities from the personal injury lawyers at Winstein, Kavensky, & Cunningham, LLC.
Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe Accident?
Determining who is at fault for an accident is important in the Quad Cities, as both Illinois and Iowa are at-fault car insurance states. This means that the motorist (and by extension, their insurance company) who is responsible for causing an accident is also responsible for economic losses (called damages) incurred by other drivers and passengers involved in the wreck. In some cases, both drivers are found to be partially at fault for an accident.
In certain types of car accidents, like when your car gets rear-ended by another vehicle, liability is usually pretty straightforward—the car traveling behind you is responsible for keeping an appropriate following distance, even if you slam on their brakes. In this case, the driver who rear-ended you will most likely be responsible for 100% of the damages.
With sideswipe collisions, determining liability is not always so clear-cut. In theory, the driver who is changing lanes (or unintentionally drifts out of their lane) and hits the side of another vehicle is at fault, but drivers and insurance adjusters don’t always agree on who hit who. If both vehicles have side damage, it may not be possible to tell just by looking at the wreckage who hit who, either. If other circumstances forced a driver to make an abrupt lane change, these may be taken into account as well.
How Do You Prove Who Sideswiped Who?
Unfortunately, just looking at the property damage to both vehicles probably won’t be enough to conclusively prove who is liable for an accident. That’s not to say that this isn’t an important piece of the puzzle, but you may require additional evidence to help prove your case against another driver. Some of the most important pieces of evidence you can have in your accident claim include:
- Witness Statements. If another driver, passenger, or other third party witnessed the accident, their testimony may help support your case. This is why it’s a good idea to always ask potential witnesses for their contact information at an accident scene if you can.
- Police Reports. Police reports can contain many valuable pieces of information about an accident, including photographs from the scene of where both vehicles came to rest, witness statements, accident diagrams, and any traffic citations that were issued.
- Video Footage. These days, there are cameras everywhere. Dashboard cameras from another driver, security cameras from nearby businesses, or traffic cameras may have captured the contested moments leading up to the accident.
- Accident Reconstruction. An experienced accident reconstructionist may be able to piece together an evidence-based reconstruction of how the accident occurred based on a video, photos, crash reports, and/or witness statements.
What to Do if Your Car Gets Sideswiped in the Quad Cities
If you or your loved one has been injured in a sideswipe collision while driving in the Quad Cities, it’s important that you act quickly to ensure you get the settlement you deserve for damage to your property, medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
That’s why WKC Law Firm offers free consultations to all prospective clients. A case review by an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand all your legal options moving forward, from appealing a denied claim to negotiating higher compensation to pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. These consultations have no strings attached, meaning you’re under no obligation to hire us. (Should you decide to move forward with us, we charge no fees until we’ve made a recovery on your behalf)
To request your free case review, call us at (309) 794-1515. Our law office located in Rock Island, Illinois serves all of the Quad Cities, including Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, and East Moline. You can also get in touch with us online via LiveChat or by filling out this form. Our legal team is available for home and hospital visits, in addition to evening and weekend appointments.