There are car accidents where fault is relatively easy to establish, such as rear-end accidents and head-on collisions. However, an Atlanta car accident lawyer knows that there are instances where it is quite difficult to establish which driver was more at fault. Such an example is a sideswipe car accident.
This type of traffic accident happens when two cars are driving side by side and one hits the other. The main question is “Which driver is at fault?” A sideswipe car accident can easily turn into a “he said, she said” dispute. And each insurance adjuster will choose to believe their client’s side of the story.
If English is not your first language, you are at a disadvantage from the very beginning. The other driver and their insurance company may use every possible bias against you to bully you into accepting blame. However, a Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident lawyer will see that your rights are protected.
How Does a Sideswipe Car Accident Happen?
The problem with a sideswipe car accident is that it can happen either:
- When the two cars travel in opposite directions, or
- When the cars travel in the same direction.
These accidents often happen on expressways where cars travel at very high speeds. This makes it less likely for eyewitnesses – other car drivers – to see clearly what happened. Since there are very few intersections and no pedestrian crossings (except for the tunnels and overpass bridges), the chances of someone taking a photo or video of what happened are also reduced.
However, these shortcomings will not stop a determined Atlanta car accident lawyer from establishing the full circumstances of the sideswipe car accident and determining who is at fault for it.
These Are the Most Common Causes of a Sideswipe Car Accident
Relying on statistical data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and experience with previous cases, Atlanta car accident lawyers know the most common reasons for sideswipe accidents.
1. Distracted Driving
Driver distraction remains the number one cause of all traffic accidents. It is mainly fueled by the ever-increasing role of mobile phones in our lives. Many drivers believe that they can multitask and use their smartphones to send texts, change the song they are listening to, or set a new route on the GPS while driving.
This means that they may fail to observe another driver’s signal for changing lanes. Or they may engage in lane changing without making sure it is safe to do so. The result is a sideswipe car accident with serious consequences for the driver and passengers in the other vehicle.
2. Drunk Driving
People who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs break Georgia laws. However, despite tough penalties, including fines and jail time, a lot of drivers choose to operate their cars with a BAC level above the legal limit.
A drunk driver has reduced reflexes and ability to process information. Thus, these drivers cause all types of crashes, including sideswipe car accidents. In this specific situation, the fault is easier to determine. The driver who broke the law by driving under the influence of alcohol is almost always the fault party in an accident.
3. Aggressive Driving
Some drivers show no regard for other people’s safety on the road. They are speeding, tailgating, changing lanes, and honking incessantly when other drivers do not get out of their way.
These aggressive drivers are very likely to cause car crashes because they pay little to no attention to the other drivers’ signals. Also, at very high speeds, losing control of the vehicle for just one moment is all it takes to hit another vehicle.
Usually, aggressive drivers have a history of various traffic violations. Thus, an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer will definitely request the driver’s record to use as evidence in your sideswipe car accident claim.
4. Failure to Check Blind Spots
Blind spots are areas just behind your car that you do not see properly. This can be due to a poorly adjusted rearview mirror. But this is something easy to fix. However, many drivers do not look carefully in the rearview mirror before changing lanes or making any other maneuvers.
This is a form of negligence no matter what the driver may say, including that they did not see your car. Checking blind spots is one of the basic elements of duty of care on the road.
5. Inclement Weather
A lot of traffic crashes, including sideswipe car accidents, happen in bad weather like:
- Heavy clouds.
Reduced visibility is not an excuse for hitting another person and causing them injuries and economic damages. On the contrary, prudent drivers should reduce their speed and pay even closer attention to other cars than usual.
What to Do After a Sideswipe Car Accident
The most important thing you must do is make sure that you and the other people in your car are safe. Thus, without leaving the accident scene, make sure that you get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
Next, you must call 9-1-1 to report the accident and ask for an ambulance. Do not let the other driver convince you otherwise. Failing to report a car accident that resulted in bodily injury and over $500 in property damage is an offense in our state.
Also, you will need the police report to support your sideswipe car accident claim. And while waiting for the police, take photos and videos of the accident scene with your phone. Together with the accident report, witness statement and, if needed, expert witnesses, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can win your case.
Finally, remember to avoid talking to an insurance adjuster. They will try to persuade you that you don’t have a case, or they will offer you a lowball amount.
Hire a Spanish-Speaking Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer!
The legal team of Diaz & Gaeta law firm is ready to help you file a sideswipe car accident claim successfully and win a fair compensation amount. We will assign a Spanish-speaking Atlanta car accident lawyer to listen to your story and analyze the evidence.
If we believe you have a solid case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis. We do not shy away from difficult cases, where there is not an abundance of evidence. We know how to prove the other driver’s fault, either through direct or circumstantial evidence,
The first step you must take is to schedule a free case review with us and bring as much evidence as you have immediately after the accident. Call us at 678-329-9084 today!