Being the victim of a car accident is a risk any driver takes on the road.
A sideswipe car accident is a type of accident. It is usually made during a poor attempt at lane changing or the inability to handle lane merges properly. Virginia law allows a sideswipe car accident victim to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
At River Run Law, we know this is a difficult time. Accidents are painful and disrupt your financial security. We fully commit to helping you and your family hold negligent parties accountable.
Contact our office and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles are driving side by side, going in the same direction, and then they hit each other.
Or, the cars could be side by side but moving in opposite directions. The side of one vehicle crashes or hits the side of the other vehicle.
In both scenarios, the sides of the vehicles are damaged.
A sideswipe car accident can be more devastating if the contact of the two vehicles causes one or both to veer off the lane and hit a third vehicle or a nearby structure.
The higher the speed, the more devastating the crash.
What Are Common Causes of a Sideswipe Accident?
Sideswipe accidents commonly happen when lanes merge into one. But they can also occur on roads with multiple lanes.
Common causes of these crashes include:
- Distracted driving. Using a phone, changing the radio station, or eating can distract a driver from the road and cause an accident.
- Impaired driving. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can diminish a driver’s cognitive function.
- Failure to use turn signals. Switching lanes or turning on a new road can be dangerous. If turn signals aren’t used, the risk of accidents increases.
- Vehicle malfunction and defects. Any problems with the vehicle’s initial design or current condition can cause a crash. For design or manufacturing defects, the negligence claim might be against the car or part manufacturer rather than the driver.
- Weather conditions. Icy roads, blizzard conditions, or torrential rainfall are examples of weather conditions that can make driving more difficult.
- Road obstacles. Road debris or defects can cause problems for drivers on roads, such as making them swerve off-course.
- Blind spots. Improper caution when dealing with blind spots can cause a crash. For example, when switching lanes, without proper caution at blind spots, a driver might hit the side of another vehicle.
Other traffic violations, like speeding or failing to yield when required, can also cause a sideswipe accident.
What to Do After a Sideswipe Accident?
There are specific steps you should take after a sideswipe accident, including the following:
- Step 1. Call 911.
- Step 2. Seek medical attention.
- Step 3. Take photos of the accident scene.
- Step 4. Gather the contact details of other parties to the accident.
- Step 5. Gather contact details of any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Step 6. Contact a sideswipe car accident attorney.
At River Run Law, one of our seasoned attorneys will review the facts of your case and inform you of your legal options.
Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe Accident?
Fault in car accidents, like a sideswipe accident, is based on negligence doctrine. The negligent party can be held accountable for the damages the other party incurred.
To succeed in a negligence claim, you must prove four elements:
- Duty of care. Every driver on the road has a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws.
- Breach of duty. This duty is breached when the driver violates a traffic law or does something dangerous, such as drinking and driving.
- Causation. The breach must have directly caused the victim’s injuries.
- Damages. The victim must be able to prove the damages or injuries incurred.
Virginia is a pure contributory negligence state. This means that any negligence by the plaintiff can bar recovery.
Thus, even if a party is only 1% negligent for causing an accident and the other party is 99%, they still can’t recover any damages.
What Injuries Do Sideswipe Accidents Cause?
Sideswipe accidents can cause different types of injuries. No two accidents are alike. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Other neck injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Back pain,
- Damaged internal organs,
- Internal bleeding,
- Coma, and
- Wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has suffered from these injuries, or any others, after a sideswipe accident, contact River Run Law.
What Damages Are Recoverable in Sideswipe Car Accident Claim?
Virginia law allows victims of sideswipe accidents to sue parties responsible for causing the accident for compensation. The purpose of the compensation is to make the victim whole again. Examples include:
- Medical expenses,
- Loss of income,
- Loss of future earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Property damage,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Wrongful death.
Our sideswipe car accident attorneys will examine the facts of your case and calculate the appropriate amount of damages.
How Long Do You Have to File a Sideswipe Car Accident Claim?
Claims have deadlines, after which a lawsuit can no longer be filed. This is called the statute of limitations.
Virginia allocates a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, like a sideswipe car accident.
Therefore, you only have two years to bring your claim. After this deadline passes, absent certain exceptions, you can no longer recover compensation from the negligent party.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Sideswipe Car Accident Attorney?
Every law firm sets its payment schedule. At River Run Law, we do not ask for any fees upfront. We operate on a contingency basis. This means we don’t get paid unless we secure a sideswipe accident settlement or verdict for you.
Contact River Run Law and Let Us Help You
Being the victim of an accident is a terrible ordeal. At River Run Law, we are here to help you recover.
Our attorneys have over 30 combined years of legal experience. We have an extensive supply of resources and unparalleled knowledge of the law that we use daily to help our clients. We’ll explain your legal rights and options.
Contact us for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.