Many believe that sideswipe collisions belong in the category of minor car accidents, and while this may be true in many cases, sideswipes can result in severe injuries and damages. Head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and T-bone collisions are all listed as the most dangerous in comparison to sideswipe accidents. At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, our Maryland sideswipe accident lawyers have years of experience helping car accident victims suffering in the aftermath of a sideswipe collision.
Still, according to traffic data from the past couple of years, sideswipes can be dangerous on occasion and can even result in fatalities. In fact, in 2019 there were nearly 1000 fatal sideswipe collisions reported.
Sometimes a sideswipe collision may only cause minor to mild injuries. However, , depending on the exact facts a side swipe can cause more severe injuries. A sideswipe collision can also cause someone to lose control of their vehicle and run off the road. And when this happens, it is more likely to result in more severe damage and injuries.
If you or a loved one are injured in a sideswipe collision, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. It can sometimes be a challenge to prove who was at fault in a sideswipe accident, so you will need to have an attorney on your side advocating for your rights. Without an attorney, you are less likely to get the settlement you need and deserve to help cover your injuries and other damages.
We understand how emotionally and physically damaging sideswipe accident injuries can be and are here to help you receive the compassionate care and service you need to win your case and get the compensation you deserve.
A sideswipe collision generally occurs when two cars hit against one another while moving in the same or opposite direction. However, sideswipes can also happen when one vehicle is in motion and another vehicle is stationary, such as when someone is sitting at a traffic light while a car coming from the opposite direction sideswipes them.
There are numerous scenarios in which a sideswipe can occur, and sometimes both drivers can even share some of the blame. If you are involved in a sideswipe in Maryland then you will have to be able to show that the other vehicle is 100% at fault for the collision.
Some common causes of sideswipe accidents include:
- Blind spots. Blind spots are one of the most common causes of sideswipe accidents. When one vehicle is merging or changing lanes, if they can’t see a car in their blind spot, the two vehicles are likely to collide and potentially swipe alongside one another.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way. In some cases, drivers will intentionally neglect to follow right-of-way rules, whether because they are in a hurry or are simply aggressive drivers. When one driver fails to yield the right-of-way to another, a sideswipe collision will likely occur.
- Improper lane changes. Cars that change lanes when they are not supposed to are another common cause of sideswipe collisions. Improper lane changes can happen for many reasons, but a common one is when the lines on the road indicate that a lane change is not allowed, and yet a driver still does so.
- Distracted driving. When a driver is distracted, they will often swerve in and out of their lane and may not see that there is oncoming traffic or other cars alongside them. This act of swerving into another lane while distracted often leads to sideswipe accidents.
- Failure to use a turn signal. If another car does not know the intentions of another, it is more likely that they will collide. When someone fails to use their turn signal, for example, one driver might assume that they have the “all clear” to continue on their path, but then can end up sideswiping another car that turns when they weren’t expecting them to.
- Road rage and other forms of reckless driving. Drivers who purposely drive close to another driver to aggravate them as a result of road rage are likely to cause a sideswipe collision.
- Merging without checking for oncoming traffic. Sideswipe collisions happen quite often in merging situations but are especially common when drivers merge without checking for oncoming traffic.
- Drivers merging or changing lanes at the same time. Another merging situation that often leads to sideswipe accidents is when two cars decide to change lanes or merge at the exact same time. This is one of those cases where it can be difficult to determine which driver was ultimately to blame.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Of course, driving while on drugs or drunk can also result in any kind of collision as it can cause a person to lose control of their vehicle more easily. Swerving is especially common with people who are driving under the influence, which can result in a sideswipe collision.
- Fatigued driving. Similar to driving under the influence, driving while fatigued is also dangerous. When you are excessively tired, your reaction times are slower, you are less aware, and you might drift off and swerve into another lane, causing you to sideswipe another vehicle.
- Bad weather. When the roads are wet and icy, this can also cause a sideswipe accident to occur. This is because even if a driver is obeying the laws, their car may slide and drift into another lane by accident, which can cause them to sideswipe another car that is next to them.
Again, in some situations, a sideswipe collision may only result in minor injuries. However, a sideswipe can result in extensive damages, which can cause severe injuries and even fatalities.
Some common injuries that can potentially result from a sideswipe accident include:
- Fractured bones
- Bruising, scrapes, and lacerations
- Shoulder injuries
- Hip and knee injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Maryland sideswipe accident lawyers handle various kinds of cases, and it is not uncommon for our clients who are involved in sideswipe collisions to sustain some of the more severe injuries listed above. Though no two accidents are the same, and some are worse than others, recovering from any injury can be complicated enough on its own, let alone having to deal with filing an injury claim or lawsuit. If you’ve suffered from an injury due to a sideswipe accident, our team of Maryland sideswipe accident lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can fight for your rights to get you the compensation you need while you focus on rest and recovery.
Establishing Fault After a Maryland Sideswipe Accident
When you are the victim of a sideswipe collision, it is generally in your best interest to work with an attorney to prove that the other driver was at fault. This is because Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you are found to have shared in the responsibility of causing the accident, even if by the smallest amount, you will not be eligible to file a claim or a lawsuit against the other driver.
However, because Maryland is an at-fault state, if the other driver is proven guilty, you can file a claim against their insurance or file a lawsuit to recover damages. Maryland also gives drivers the option to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) through their own insurance. So if you are injured in an accident, and the other driver is entirely at fault, you could receive benefits through your own PIP coverage and could receive additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at fault driver.
However, if you share in the blame, you will only be able to seek coverage through your own non-fault PIP coverage, and unfortunately, PIP benefits do not offer much. This is why it is so important to work with an attorney who can help you gather evidence and establish fault. They will advocate for your rights and ensure that the other driver is held entirely responsible, so you can get the compensation you deserve.
After fault is determined, insurance companies will review various factors to determine how much the victim is owed. They may initially try to offer a low settlement amount, but it is in your best interest to decline and work with an attorney. Insurance companies do not always thoroughly review all of the damages the victim has suffered, but an attorney will fight against them to ensure they do review all evidence carefully.
Damages that a victim can be awarded that will play a factor in how much money they will receive can include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of past and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical impairment or disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In the event that a victim dies as a result of a sideswipe accident, their loved ones can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover damages. A wrongful death settlement can help loved ones or dependents get the money they need to cover losses such as the deceased victim’s income and other contributions they may have made to support the family.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a sideswipe accident, our team of dedicated and experienced attorneys can assist you. Whether your injuries are minor or severe, you deserve the right to file a claim or even a lawsuit to recover damages that occurred as a result of another driver’s negligent actions.
At Zirkin & Schmerling Law, we will fight our hardest to win you the compensation you deserve. We understand how drastically a victim’s life can be altered by an accident. Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.