California Sideswipe Collision Lawyers

What you need to know about sideswipe accidents in California.
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Sideswipe Collision Attorneys in California

What is a sideswipe collision?

A sideswipe collision is an accident that occurs when two vehicles traveling parallel to one another (in the same or opposite direction) scrape up against one another. This type of accident can take place in an intersection, parking lot, or two-lane road. Typically, a sideswipe collision occurs when someone drifts into the opposite lane, or attempts to take an illegal turn. Sideswipe collisions can range from mild scrapes and scratches to serious, injury-inducing damage.

The seriousness of a sideswipe collision can vary on a case-by-case basis

You’ve probably seen cars with dings, scrapes, and long scratches along the driver or passenger side. The side view mirror is often damaged or missing. This type of damage is usually a clear indication that the vehicle has been involved in a sideswipe collision.

Damage to a vehicle caused by a sideswipe accident is legally referred to as “property damage”. Fortunately, vehicles can be replaced, but it can be extremely stressful to go through the process of fixing or replacing a vehicle. Repairing or replacing your car after it’s been involved in a sideswipe collision can be an unexpectedly expensive, inconvenient process. Although there is not much that can be done about the hassle that comes with putting your car in the shop or buying a new one, the attorneys at The May Firm can help quickly secure compensation from an insurance company and/or the at-fault party in your California sideswipe accident.

In rare cases, a sideswipe collision could result in one or both cars spinning out of control, which could ultimately lead to a vehicle’s occupants being injured. The May Firm is happy to report that these catastrophic sideswipe accidents are relatively rare. It is more common for our sideswipe accident lawyers to deal with injuries caused by a driver’s reaction after the event. Many drivers overreact and jerk the wheel in the opposite direction to try to avoid or minimize the collision. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of an impact with another vehicle or obstacle.

California’s Vehicle Code and the National Highway Transportation Administration require cars to be equipped with airbags in the front of the vehicle to protect drivers and passengers from front-end collisions. Newer vehicle models are also equipped with side airbags, which deploy when a vehicle is struck from the side. Side airbags ensure that passengers are better protected from an impact. There are still many older model vehicles on California roadways that are not equipped with these side airbags. Passengers in those older model vehicles are more susceptible to being seriously injured during a sideswipe collision accident because there is little space and virtually no cushion between them and the other car during a sideswipe accident. Remember – there are bumpers on the front and back of your car, not the sides!

Determining fault in a sideswipe collision in California

It isn’t always easy to determine who is at fault for a sideswipe collision. An experienced personal injury attorney, like those at The May Firm, will be able to assist you in determining who is responsible for the accident during a free consultation. Sideswipe collisions are sometimes referred to as “blindspot collisions” because they occur when a driver drifts into another lane or takes a turn without realizing that another vehicle is in their blindspot. Blindspot collisions are more likely to occur if a driver is intoxicated, distracted, or otherwise acting negligent and/or reckless. In those cases, the driver who fails to check their blind spot is usually the person at fault. In other cases a driver will travel along the right shoulder to bypass traffic and make a right turn. Because traveling on the shoulder is usually illegal, if an accident occurs, they would be the party found at fault.

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What you should you do after a sideswipe accident

There are a number of steps that you can take after being a California sideswipe accident to ensure that you have a strong case:

  • Seek medical attention. If you are ever involved in a sideswipe accident, you should first concern yourself with your physical well-being. Not every sideswipe accident results in personal injury. However, you still want to take some time to go to the doctor to ensure that you are okay and have not sustained any underlying injuries. Your health should be your first priority after being involved in any kind of an accident, even if you don’t believe that you have been injured.
  • Document everything. When possible, you should take time to document everything about your sideswipe collision accident, including where in the roadway you were driving, where the other vehicle was, what side you were hit on, and general details about how you believe the accident occurred. If it’s feasible, taking photos of the scene of the accident and the vehicles (yours and the other car) immediately after the accident happens can be helpful to any civil lawsuit you may file later down the road.
  • Do not talk to insurance companies. Insurance companies are not your friend – period. Even your own insurance company is not on your side. The goal of insurance companies is to use any piece of information against you so the insurance company is not liable for paying money to compensate you for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. While you are likely going to be obligated to report the sideswipe collision to your insurance company pursuant to your policy, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you do so. The reason for this is to ensure that you don’t say anything that can be misunderstood or taken out of context to help the other side reduce their liability for your injuries and property damage.
  • Call a personal injury lawyer. If you have been involved in a sideswipe collision accident, your best course of action is to consult with a personal injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyers at The May Firm can help to walk you through the legal process and ensure that you are able to recover physically while we handle your lawsuit.
The May Firm: Experienced sideswipe collision attorneys

The lawyers at The May Firm are well-versed in sideswipe collision accidents. We know what information is necessary to determine who is at fault and we are skilled at building a case on that information. At The May Firm, we treat our clients like family. Once you reach out to us for assistance in handling your personal injury case, you become our family. Let us stand up for you.

Disclaimer: Information on this page is designed for general information purposes only and should not be interpreted as being legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. You should always consult with an attorney before making a decision about your case. Pages are updated periodically but information provided on this page may not be up to date as circumstances may change over time. Please see our [LEGAL DISCLAIMERS] page for additional legal disclaimers.

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