Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident?

Sideswipe accidents can be confusing situations. These collisions happen when the side of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, often when one driver departs from their lane or changes lanes when it is unsafe to do so. 

You rarely see this type of collision coming, and determining who is at fault in a sideswipe accident can be complicated in many situations. Usually, the party at fault is the driver who did not stay in their lane. While that is the general rule, there are also many legal complexities. In some cases, the at-fault party is a driver who did not look when merging into another lane.

Determining fault is vital to an injury claim. To get compensation, you must prove someone else’s negligence. Without this crucial element, you might not receive the financial recovery you need. It is best to speak with a Milwaukee car accident lawyer from Mingo & Yankala, S.C., who can determine who should be liable for your sideswipe crash.  

An Investigation Can Help Identify the Liable Party

The best way to identify the liable party is to investigate and gather evidence. When you work with a sideswipe accident attorney in Milwaukee, they will take over this essential step. Your legal team can gather the evidence necessary to prove the other person was careless or reckless in causing the crash. 

Some facts the evidence might prove include:

  • The other driver had a duty to drive safely, follow traffic laws, and ensure a lane was clear before moving into it. 
  • They failed to abide by the above duty.
  • Their actions or lack of actions were the cause of the sideswipe collisions. 
  • From the sideswipe accident, you suffered injuries and financial losses. 

These legal elements will show how the driver’s actions are directly related to the crash and your losses. However, insurance companies will not simply take your word about what happened. Your lawyer needs evidence to support your claims of fault. 

Our Milwaukee car accident lawyer knows how to present a strong case for liability and work towards a favorable outcome for you. 

Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident

Determining fault in a sideswipe accident is complex and varies depending on circumstances and state laws. At-fault parties are usually other drivers, but may also include entities responsible for road conditions or even auto manufacturers. 

It’s crucial to understand laws and regulations, including time limitations for filing a lawsuit.

Some states allow for shared liability, which could reduce the amount of compensation one can receive.

Choosing the right lawyer is vital for successfully navigating through the legal process.

Backing up your case with solid evidence and references can strengthen your position.

It’s essential to know the types of damages that are recoverable in a lawsuit to maximize compensation. Consulting a lawyer for specific advice is crucial, as each case is unique.

The Most Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents 

Sideswipes happen when the sides of two vehicles collide, often when they are traveling in adjacent lanes. Our cars have blind spots, and failure to sufficiently check a blind spot is a leading cause of sideswipe collisions nationwide. However, there are several other common causes, including:

  • Road rage: Some sideswipe collisions are accidents, and others are intentional. Drivers can become frustrated. This can lead to their anger taking over and taking reckless actions. Often, it will result in speeding, illegal passing, etc. 
  • Driving under the influence: If a driver is under the influence, their cognitive functions are affected. This means they will have slower response times and can swerve out of their lane. They may generally struggle to drive. 
  • Drowsy drivers: Many drivers do not get sufficient sleep. They can be night workers, drivers on long road trips, etc. This can cause them to fall asleep and the vehicle to leave the lane. 
  • Inattention: Driving requires your full attention. Anything that pulls a driver’s attention away from the task can lead to exiting the lane and sideswiping a vehicle. Some actions that can lead to distracted driving include cell phone use, changing the radio, eating, grooming, etc. Wisconsin has strict laws against texting and driving for all drivers, but many people still engage in it. 
  • Failure to yield: Sometimes, a sideswipe accident can happen when a vehicle merges. Drivers should check their blind spots before taking action. If they do not, it can lead to sideswipe collisions. 
  • Weather conditions: The weather can be fickle and can impact your driving. Hail, thick fog, and wet roads can cause a driver to lose control and slide into another lane. 

While these are the most common causes of sideswipe accidents, they are not the only ones. Anytime a driver violates Wisconsin traffic laws, criminal laws, or is otherwise negligent, they should be at fault for a sideswipe crash. 

When you are sideswiped and identify someone else’s liability, you have legal options you can pursue. The cause of the accident will be crucial to your accident claim, and your attorney can evaluate who should be at fault.

Sideswipe Accident Injuries May Be Costly

Sideswipe accidents can be particularly dangerous because the sides of vehicles do not have as much protection as the back or front. This leaves drivers and passengers more exposed. There are often no side airbags to offer a cushion during an accident. Speed and the size difference of the vehicles can also contribute to the accident severity. 

Many car accidents result in damages, which are the losses you incur due to injuries and property damage. Before you can pursue compensation for your damages, you must assess and prove your injuries. Treatment for injuries can vary, and some are much more costly than others. 

Sideswipe accidents can result in injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Lacerations 
  • Internal injuries 
  • Concussions 
  • Spinal cord trauma 
  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Crushed limbs or amputation 

If another driver was to blame, their insurance should cover your injury-related losses. Wisconsin auto insurance law holds negligent drivers liable for any of the above injuries – and more – they cause to others through their liability coverage. 

The best way to know your rights and recover adequate compensation from an insurance claim is to speak to a car accident lawyer right away. 

How Can I Recover Compensation for My Injuries?

If you suffer injuries and losses, the driver responsible for these losses should compensate you for the damages they cause. However, getting this compensation may be much more challenging than you might imagine.

You will often go through the insurance claim process before starting a lawsuit. Many times, you can recover compensation through negotiations with the insurance company, which your lawyer will handle. If not, your attorney will pursue a lawsuit by following all the Wisconsin rules of civil procedure. Filing a lawsuit requires crafting legal arguments based on the evidence gathered and preparing a complaint to file with the proper civil court. 

What Will Compensation Cover?

After addressing who is at fault in a sideswipe accident, you must determine how much they should pay you, and your attorney should assess your current and future losses. This calculation is based on many factors and can vary widely from case to case. Often, your lawyer might wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to determine your case value.

You may have both economic and non-economic damages to include in your injury claim. Our law firm can review your circumstances and consider losses like:

  • Current and future medical bills. Your medical provider and other experts may estimate your future treatment needs and expenses. 
  • Repairs or replacement of your vehicle or other property damaged in the collision. 
  • Lost wages, benefits, and income you would have received while you were recovering from your injuries. 
  • Pain and suffering, especially when there is long-term or chronic pain from your injuries. It may also cover emotional distress from the accident. 

There are many other losses you may face after a sideswipe accident. To determine your case’s worth, it is best to speak to Mingo & Yankala, S.C. We may uncover other damages that you were unaware or uncertain of. We can also help you keep track of your losses. Evidence and documentation are key when pursuing an injury claim. Do not hesitate to give us a call. 

Do I Have to Sue the At-Fault Driver Who Caused My Sideswipe Accident?

While it is possible to file a lawsuit after a sideswipe accident, it is often unnecessary. In many cases, you will never reach the point of civil litigation. If you do reach ligation, you may not get to a trial, as many victims do not see the inside of a courtroom. However, there are times when litigation is necessary, such as when the insurance company refuses to admit liability for the crash or will not make a fair settlement offer. 

If your situation might require litigation, a car accident lawyer will explain the benefits, reasons why, and additional options. They will also explain the process. 

Before you can sue the at-fault driver, you must consider filing deadlines. Missing a deadline can lead to losing your right to sue and recover compensation.  In general, Wisconsin law sets a time limit of 3 years for initiating a lawsuit if you’ve been injured in an accident. The specific duration can vary depending on various factors, such as the parties involved or when the injury was discovered. For instance, the time frame might be shorter if a government agency is involved, according to Wisconsin law. On the other hand, the deadline could be extended if the injury is discovered at a later date. It’s essential to consult legal advice to fully understand the time limits that Wisconsin law may impose on your situation.

As you can see, there are many complications regarding when and if you can sue the at-fault driver. Your attorney can assess your situation and determine your deadlines, but you should start the process as soon as possible so they can build the strongest case possible. Speaking to Mingo & Yankala, S.C. for clarification and guidance is best. 

Speak with a Milwaukee Car Accident Attorney About Your Sideswipe Collision

 Car accidents are prevalent in Milwaukee, and unfortunately, you might suffer injuries on the road. After a sideswipe accident, you can meet with the Mingo & Yankala, S.C. team to discuss the next steps. We can answer your questions during a free initial consultation. Our experienced sideswipe lawyer can gather evidence and present it to the insurer to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Please call us (414) 273-7400 or use the online contact form today.