Two drivers man arguing after a car traffic accident collision, Side swiped car

Side-Swiped Car? What You Need to Do (+ Know Who Is At Fault)  

Being involved in a side-swiped car accident can be a jarring experience, leaving you unsure of what steps to take next. Whether you were the one side-swiped or the one who initiated the collision, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial. Doing so can help you navigate the aftermath of the accident, determine who is at fault, and protect yourself from any potential legal or financial consequences. 

As a trusted personal injury law firm in Minnesota, Butwinick Injury Law is here to guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. We’ll delve into what constitutes a sideswipe accident, the common causes behind them, and the necessary actions to take afterward to ensure your safety and protect your legal interests. 

What is a Sideswipe Accident? 

A sideswipe accident, also referred to as a “blind spot collision,” occurs when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact with each other. This type of collision can happen in various scenarios, such as when two cars are changing lanes at the same time or when one driver fails to check their blind spot before merging into another lane. 

As a result of the impact, both vehicles may sustain damage to their side panels and doors. In some cases, the collision can cause one or both cars to spin out of control or go off the road. 

What Causes Sideswipe Car Accidents? 

Several factors can lead to a sideswipe car accident, including: 

  • Distracted driving: When a driver’s attention is diverted from the road, they may not notice another vehicle in their blind spot or fail to properly check their surroundings before changing lanes. 
  • Speeding: Driving at high speeds reduces the amount of time a driver has to react and avoid potential collisions. 
  • Fatigue: A fatigued driver may not have the necessary reflexes to avoid a sideswipe accident in time. 
  • Drunk or impaired driving: Alcohol and drugs can impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making them more likely to cause an accident. 

What Should You Do After a Sideswipe Accident? 

Regardless of what caused the accident, knowing what to do after a sideswipe car accident is crucial for your safety and well-being. The first thing you must do is stop your car and check if you or any of your passengers have sustained injuries. If anyone needs medical attention, call for an ambulance immediately. 

However, it’s not only your physical well-being that you should prioritize but also your legal and financial interests. Here are the necessary steps you should take after a sideswipe car accident: 

Assess Sideswipe Car Damage  

Make sure to document any damage caused by the sideswipe accident. Take photos of both cars from various angles, capturing any visible damage. This evidence can be crucial when filing an insurance claim or determining fault. 

In addition to taking photos, you should also exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. Despite Minnesota being a no-fault insurance state, you may need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company to pursue damages for your injuries, pain and suffering, and financial losses not covered by your No Fault benefits. 

File an Insurance Claim  

Filing an insurance claim is a necessary step after any car accident, including a sideswipe collision. In Minnesota, all drivers must have auto insurance that includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage helps pay for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. 

For claims for damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it’s crucial to have evidence of the other driver’s negligence or fault, such as witness statements, police reports, and photos of the accident scene. 

Determine Liability 

In a sideswipe accident, determining liability can be tricky. In most cases, the driver who initiated the collision is at fault. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were both changing lanes simultaneously and both drivers failed to yield to each other, then both parties may share liability. 

Side-swiped car

How to Prove Fault in a Sideswipe Accident 

As mentioned, proving fault in a sideswipe accident can be challenging. You need to provide evidence that demonstrates the other driver’s negligence or reckless driving behavior. 

Some common pieces of evidence used to prove fault in a sideswipe accident include: 

  • Police reports: If law enforcement is called to the scene, they will have a detailed report of the accident, including statements from both drivers and any witnesses. 
  • Witness statements: Eyewitness accounts are crucial in establishing fault in a sideswipe accident. Their unbiased testimony can support your version of events and prove the other driver’s negligence. 
  • Photos or videos: Visual evidence such as photos or videos can provide a clear picture of how the accident occurred and help determine fault. 
  • Traffic laws: If the other driver violated any traffic laws, such as speeding or improper lane change, it can serve as evidence of their negligence. 

How Can a Lawyer Help Me in a Sideswipe Car Accident? 

Often, fault is disputed by the parties and insurance companies in side swipe accidents. In such cases, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Here are some ways a lawyer can help you after a sideswipe accident: 

Gather and Present Evidence to Determine Fault 

An experienced attorney knows how to gather and present evidence to prove liability in a sideswipe car accident. They can help you obtain police reports, surveillance footage, and other essential documents needed to build a strong case. 

Negotiate with Insurance Companies 

Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether, making it challenging for victims to receive the compensation they deserve. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies. 

Represent You in Court 

If the insurance company refuses to settle or a fair settlement cannot be reached, a skilled car accident attorney can represent you in court. They will advocate for your rights and seek maximum compensation for your damages. 

Let a Seasoned Car Accident Lawyer Handle Your Sideswipe Accident Case 

Did you get into a side-swiped car accident? Remember to stay calm, seek medical attention if needed, and take all necessary steps for your safety and well-being. Don’t forget to consult with a trusted car accident attorney who can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

At Butwinick Injury Law, we have years of experience handling car accident cases and can help you navigate the complex legal process. With Attorney Robert S. Butwinick by your side, you can trust that your best interests will be fought for and protected.  

Contact Butwinick Injury Law today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 

Side-swiped car accident insurance

FAQ About: Side Swiped Car Accidents 

Want to learn more about side-swiped car accidents? Butwinick Injury Law is here to answer your most frequently asked questions.  

What is a side swiped car? 

A side-swiped car refers to a vehicle that has been struck on its side by another vehicle, typically while both are traveling in the same direction. 

What to do if your car is sideswiped? 

If your car is sideswiped, ensure your safety, document the damage, exchange information with the other driver, and report the incident to your insurance company. 

How can you tell if someone side swiped your car? 

Some signs that someone may have sideswiped your car include visible scrapes or scratches along the side of your vehicle, paint transfer from another vehicle, or damage to side mirrors. If you suspect that your car has been sideswiped, it’s important to inspect for any damages and report the incident to your insurance company promptly. 

Would you feel it if you side swiped a car? 

Yes, you would typically feel or hear the impact if you side swiped a car. However, it’s possible to sideswipe another vehicle without immediately realizing it, especially in heavy traffic or if both vehicles are traveling at high speeds. This is why it’s important to always check your surroundings and blind spots while driving. 

How do you prove a sideswipe accident? 

Evidence such as photos of the damage, witness statements, police reports, and surveillance footage can be used to prove a sideswipe accident. 

Who is at fault for sideswipe? 

Fault in a sideswipe accident typically lies with the driver who initiated the lane change or failed to check blind spots. However, liability can vary based on the circumstances of the accident. 

How common are sideswipe accidents? 

Sideswipe accidents are relatively common and can occur in various situations, such as when two vehicles are traveling side by side on a highway or when one vehicle is merging into another lane. 

What are the injuries of a sideswipe accident? 

Injuries in a sideswipe accident can range from minor scratches and bruises to more severe injuries such as whiplash, broken bones, or head trauma. In some cases, the impact of a sideswipe can also cause the victim’s vehicle to spin out or collide with other objects, resulting in more serious injuries or even fatalities. It’s crucial to seek medical attention after a sideswipe accident, even if you feel fine, as some injuries may not manifest immediately.  

Can paint transfer determine fault? 

Paint transfer can be used as evidence to determine fault in a sideswipe accident. If one vehicle shows paint from the other vehicle, it is a strong indication that they were involved in a collision and can help establish which driver was at fault. However, it’s important to note that other factors, such as witness statements and police reports, may also be considered when determining liability.

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