Sideswipe accidents occur regularly in and around Buffalo. Those involved often sustain significant property damage and severe injuries after a sideswipe incident occurs, but how is liability determined in these scenarios? Determining liability is crucial, particularly so that victims can recover compensation for their injury and property damage losses. Here, we want to examine sideswipe collision liability.
What is a Sideswipe Accident?
Sideswipe accidents usually occur when two vehicles that are traveling next to each other make contact of some kind. However, there are times when sideswipe accidents can occur with vehicles traveling in opposite directions. These incidents can be relatively minor and leave only a scrape on the vehicles, or they could result in substantial property damage and even injuries for those inside.
Sideswipe accidents in our area of New York are more likely to occur in situations where two lanes merge into one or areas where individuals change lanes regularly. That said, these incidents can also occur on any other type of roadway. Regardless of where a sideswipe accident occurs, it is imperative to determine liability so that victims can recover property damage and injury compensation.
How to Determine Liability After a Sideswipe Incident
Determining liability after a sideswipe accident in New York can be difficult. Just like any other vehicle accident, there needs to be an extensive investigation into the incident, particularly if there is extensive property damage or if those inside the vehicle sustained injuries.
Typically, any driver who fails to keep their vehicle in a single lane of travel will be responsible for the sideswipe collision. If a driver swerved into another lane for any reason and caused the crash, then they will likely be totally at fault for the incident. In situations where two lanes merge into one lane, there will always be a driver that needs to yield the right of way to another driver. The driver who fails to yield the right of way will be the one responsible for the sideswipe collision compensation.
Determining which driver made a mistake (or perhaps both drivers made a mistake) involves gathering as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs taken at the scene of the incident of the vehicles and the area where the damage occurred, debris around the accident scene, the direction and flow of traffic, weather conditions, and more. Additionally, if there is any video surveillance from nearby cameras, this could help paint a clearer picture of what happened.
Statements from eyewitnesses, along with statements from other drivers and passengers, can be incredibly valuable, but the names and contact information of these individuals should be written down at the scene of the incident.
Will it Help to Hire an Attorney?
We encourage all sideswipe accident victims to reach out to a skilled car accident attorney for a free consultation of their claim. If an attorney decides to take the case, they will be the person to gather all the evidence needed to prove what happened, handle all negotiations with insurance carriers, and fully prepare the case for trial if it becomes necessary. Your lawyer can go through the process of recovering compensation on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.