Sideswipe accidents can be hazardous to Alabama drivers, so it’s important to understand how to avoid them and what to do if you’re involved in one. If another driver sideswipes you and you suffer injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for your accident-related losses. Contact Stokes Stemle, LLC to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
In a sideswipe accident, one vehicle grazes another while changing lanes. These collisions can happen when the at-fault driver executes a lane change while failing to leave sufficient clearance between their vehicle and another. This may occur because they failed to check their blind spot or misjudged the amount of space between the vehicles.
Other types of sideswipe accidents include:
- One vehicle drifts or swerves to avoid a collision or obstacle and collides with another vehicle in an adjacent lane
- Two vehicles going in opposite directions graze each other when one crosses over the center line
- One vehicle fails to stay in its lane while navigating a curve and sideswipes another vehicle in an adjacent lane
Various factors may contribute to a sideswipe accident, including speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and driving while tired. Any of these factors may cause a driver to incorrectly perceive or fail to recognize what’s happening around them.
While the idea of one vehicle grazing or scraping another may not sound serious, there are several reasons why sideswipe accidents are dangerous:
- They can occur at high speeds
- The vehicle that makes contact may be much larger than the impacted vehicle, such as in the case of sideswipe accidents involving commercial trucks
- They can cause a chain reaction in which the impacted vehicle then collides with another vehicle
- The driver of the impacted vehicle may instinctively move their car away from the vehicle that hit them and inadvertently wind up in the path of another vehicle
- The driver of the impacted vehicle may lose control of their vehicle, leaving the roadway or colliding with other vehicles or stationary objects
Sideswipe accidents can cause significant injuries, and they can happen so quickly and unexpectedly that you may have difficulty fully realizing how your particular accident occurred. This is why working with a car accident attorney is so essential. They know how to negotiate sideswipe accidents and will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine what happened and who is liable.
What To Do After a Sideswipe Accident
The steps you take following a sideswipe accident impact your ability to recover physically and financially. This goes beyond seeking immediate medical care:
- Follow Your Treatment Plan — Your doctor will outline a plan for your medical treatment in the days and weeks following the accident. Follow this plan to the letter, attend all scheduled follow-up appointments, physical therapy sessions, and more, and take any prescribed medications as directed.
- Keep Detailed Records — Car accidents and medical emergencies result in a lot of paperwork. Keep track of everything, don’t throw anything away, and keep paperwork as organized as possible. You should also keep a journal of your physical and emotional outlook.
- Contact a Car Accident Attorney — Contact a car accident attorney with experience handling sideswipe accident cases. Their knowledge will be valuable to you as you seek financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
In legal cases, the details matter. Remaining organized and focused on your physical recovery will help your case progress more smoothly and with reduced stress.
Alabama Sideswipe Accident Laws
It’s important to note that Alabama has a pure contributory negligence law that will prevent you from recovering compensation if you are even slightly at fault for the accident. Your lawyer’s job will be to prove the other driver was entirely at fault and, therefore, owes you compensation for your injuries.
Who Is Liable?
Drivers are required to stay within their lane except when turning or switching lanes. In both of these situations, they must signal their intent to change lanes and check to ensure no other vehicles are in their path.
The liable party in a sideswipe accident is typically the driver who failed to remain in their lane. However, this gets complicated when two drivers simultaneously attempt to move into the same lane and sideswipe each other.
A driver, their employer (if they were driving a company vehicle), the vehicle manufacturer, and other parties may be liable in sideswipe cases, depending on the specific circumstances.
How Stokes Stemle Can Help
Stokes Stemle, LLC focuses exclusively on personal injury cases, and we’re committed to providing an individualized approach to each client’s case. Your circumstances are unique and require a strategy uniquely tailored to the specifics of the accident in which you were injured.
Our attorneys will handle every aspect of your case, from investigating the accident and compiling all relevant records to negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and arguing your case at trial. We’re available to you all day, every day, and we handle your case on a contingency basis — we don’t get paid unless you do.
Why You Need to Act Fast
Alabama’s statute of limitations allows only a two-year window to file a lawsuit in personal injury claims. This means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries. This is less time than it may sound like — your attorney needs to get to work right away to build the best case on your behalf, so reach out as soon as possible for your initial consultation.
Call a Montgomery Sideswipe Accident Lawyer Today
The personal injury attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC handle a wide range of sideswipe accident cases, including sideswipe semi accidents, and we’re here to provide the legal support you need.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to discussing your case, reviewing your legal options, and fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve.