| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accident
determining fault in a sideswipe accident

Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles parallel to each other collide. Typically, a failure to yield the right of way is to blame, but there is often a question as to who had the right of way, to begin with. Generally, the vehicle that hits the other is legally liable, though this is not always true.

Here, we’ll cover how to tell who sideswiped who and how to determine fault in a sideswipe accident. If you were injured in a sideswipe accident, the Atlanta, Georgia car accident attorneys at MG Law can help you.

We can determine who was at fault and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, whether through a sideswipe accident settlement or a verdict at trial.

For a free consultation, please call (770) 988-5252 or fill out our online form today.

When Do Sideswipe Accidents Happen?

Sideswipe accidents occur when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make an impact. A sideswipe collision accident can also occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide.

Sideswipe accidents happen in a variety of situations, including the following :

  • A vehicle tries to change lanes when there is not adequate room;
  • Two lanes merge on an interstate highway or other roadways;
  • An inattentive driver makes a lane change;
  • A vehicle changes lanes when it has been prohibited by law;
  • A motorist tries to pass but pulls into the lane too quickly because of oncoming traffic;
  • A careless driver drifts into an adjoining lane on the freeway; or
  • Inclement weather causes a driver to lose control, leading to a sideswipe.

Whatever caused the sideswipe accident, you must prove the at-fault motorist’s negligence.

Proving negligence comes down to demonstrating what caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. To do this, you must be able to gather the evidence necessary and build a strong case for compensation.

How to Prove Liability for a Sideswipe Accident

At MG Law, our car accident lawyers are skilled at building cases for compensation, and determining fault is essential in a state like Georgia. Under our laws, the driver at fault for the accident pays compensation to those injured in the crash.

If you were not at fault, you should not be required to pay compensation or shoulder the full financial costs of the accident. The driver who failed to maintain their lane or otherwise violated the law is generally the party considered at fault in a sideswipe accident. In an accident while changing lanes, whose fault caused the crash is a key determination.

Below, we highlight what is usually the most helpful evidence we use when establishing fault for a sideswipe accident.

Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitnesses can establish who had the right of way. For example, if you were hit by someone who aggressively merged into traffic, then you can testify to that fact. Of course, the other driver might claim that he had the right of way, so there can be dueling and conflicting testimony.

This is where third party testimony is helpful. The passengers in your vehicle who saw the accident can offer their perspective, as can other people in other vehicles or bystanders on the sidewalk. Testimony from objective third parties is often very persuasive.

The other driver might also make key admissions that can be used in a lawsuit. For example, he or she could apologize for failing to yield or admit that they drove carelessly. Getting a driver to admit fault like this is rare but sometimes happens. Drivers might also blurt out something at the scene of the accident, so write down carefully what the other driver says to you because it could prove helpful.

Surveillance Video

Some videos might have captured the accident.

For example, we can look for the following:

  • Dashcam video from any vehicle nearby that recorded the accident. Video is often quite clear at establishing who is to blame for a sideswipe collision.
  • Surveillance video from nearby establishments, like gas stations or restaurants. Many businesses have video cameras pointed toward the street, so sometimes they capture accidents. This can be especially helpful in a sideswiped car hit and run.
  • Government cameras. Some municipalities use cameras to help them capture criminals or those breaking the law. It might be possible to find this video and use it in your case.

Video is not available in all cases and is not essential to winning a case. But where it exists—and you would be surprised how often a video is available—it can be very helpful.

Physical Evidence at the Scene of the Crash

Evidence left at the scene can also help establish fault for a sideswipe accident. For example, you might have swerved out of the way in an attempt to avoid getting hit. There might be skid marks on the road or in the grass which we can match to your vehicle. This is some evidence that you tried to get out of the way and therefore are not to blame for the sideswipe collision.

Other physical evidence can include debris knocked off your car, as well as paint that transfers from one car to the other at the point of impact.

Accident Reconstruction Expert

In some situations, we need to lean on the talents of a reconstruction expert to help analyze all the evidence and recreate how the accident unfolded. A reconstruction expert can also create a 3-D or computer model that helps bring the accident alive for a jury.

Contact a Georgia Auto Accident Lawyer Today

How do you determine fault in a sideswipe accident? The MG Law legal team can help you determine fault and help you bring a successful claim for damages. Sideswipe accidents cause considerable damage to vehicles, which must be fixed. Motorists can also suffer serious injuries. Side-swipe accident injuries include concussions, fractures, and back injuries that require tens of thousands of dollars in medical care.

Determining fault in a sideswipe accident and getting compensated for your damages on your own can be difficult. At MG Law, our attorneys fight to get our clients the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law.

Reach out to us online or call (770) 988-5252 today to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.

Author Photo

Michael Geoffroy’s law practice focuses on auto collisions, premises liability, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury. He stands up for the cause of justice throughout Georgia and on behalf of his clients every day. He is a leader in both the courtroom and the community, having been recognized numerous times for his involvement in each.