Compared to other types of collisions, sideswipe car accidents can seem less serious. However, in 2017, American roads and highways saw a total of 961 fatalities due to a sideswipe collision. The combination of failing to check blind spots, speed, and size difference between vehicles can cause serious damages to both the car and vehicle occupants.
Read on as we explore what a sideswipe car accident is, common side swipe accident injuries, and what to do if you ever find yourself in one.
What is a Sideswipe Car Collision?
A sideswipe collision occurs when the side of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. The two vehicles involved in the collision could be traveling in the same or the opposite direction. A parked car can also be sideswiped by another moving vehicle.
As alluded to before, sideswipe accidents can be deceptively dangerous. Cars are typically designed for rear or head-on impacts. Car bumpers and airbags, for example, are safety features with rear or head-on collisions in mind. However, there is very little in the way between the individual and the oncoming car in a sideswipe collision.
Many collisions become more serious when a larger vehicle sideswipes a smaller car. The combination of the size difference and high speeds can result in significant injuries. Moreover, even if the initial sideswipe was harmless, it can cause a secondary collision by veering vehicles into oncoming traffic, for example.
Causes of Sideswipe Collisions
Causes of sideswipe collisions can vary depending on the situation. One of the more common causes is when a driver fails to check his blind spot or simply fails to notice the other driver while changing lanes.
Other causes include:
- Merging onto a highway
- Distracted driving
- Tall truck or vehicle not noticing a smaller vehicle beside them
- Speeding on slippery roads
- Over or under-steering while making turns
- Driving under the influence
Sideswipe incidents typically involve at least one driver focusing on what’s ahead, disregarding what’s beside them. The use of safety technology within a car, such as blind spot detection, may help reduce sideswipe collisions. A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety estimates a reduction of approximately 50,000 crashes each year if vehicles were equipped with blind spot detection.
Sideswipe Accident Injuries
Often the perception is that sideswipe accidents are not too serious. At most, you may get a scrape or sustain a bit of side damage to your vehicle. However, at high speeds, and also depending on the angle of impact, this type of accident can cause significant injuries.
As mentioned, the side of cars has very little in the way of protection against a crash. Not many cars are equipped with side airbags, so there is merely a single door between you and the other vehicle.
As a result, sideswipe accident injuries can include:
- Broken or crushing of bones
- Lacerations or cuts from shards of glass coming from the side window
- Traumatic brain injury
- Shoulder injury
- Leg or hip damage
Someone Sideswiped My Car—Now What?
Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in a sideswiped car accident:
- Notify the authorities: Even in a minor accident, you should call the police. They will investigate the scene and have both parties fill out a police report. Police also act as an objective arbitrator should disputes break out between you and the other driver.
- Exchange driver information: Obtain the other driver’s contact details as well as insurance information.
- Take photos: Document the scene of the accident with plenty of photos. Car damage at different speeds will vary, so ensure you take high-quality photos of any damages. Any obvious injuries sustained should also be documented. The more photos you have, the easier it’ll be to build your case for insurance or litigation purposes.
- Seek medical attention: Getting a physical examination is crucial, whether it was a minor or major sideswipe accident. It can take days or weeks for symptoms to show up, so immediately seeking medical attention can help prevent further health problems.
- Consult with an attorney: Call your attorney immediately after your accident. They will help you deal with medical professionals, insurance companies, and other legal procedures.
Free Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney
Sorting out the aftermath of a sideswipe car accident can be complicated. Figuring out who’s at fault and handling insurance claims can result in prolonged legal battles. While all of this is happening, you are still attempting to cope with your injuries.
This is where a car accident attorney can be of help. An experienced attorney will represent you every step of the way following your accident. From the accident investigations to negotiations with the insurance companies, an attorney will fight on your behalf to help you maximize your settlement value.
The process starts with a free consultation where our legal team at Valiente Mott will assess your case. Based on the initial assessment, we’ll explain some of your legal options and the best path moving forward.
It’s imperative to seek legal representation right after a car accident. This is especially true if you’ve incurred major injuries that could have significant impacts on your quality of life. Contact the Valiente Mott Las Vegas car accident attorney team today at (702) 623-2323 or info@ValienteMott.com.