A damaged and dented car door after a sideswipe accident with another vehicle.Abrupt lane changes, distracted driving, or sudden maneuvers contribute to the number of sideswipe collisions in Bridgeport. Dealing with the aftermath of sideswipe accidents can be difficult, especially when insurance companies and other parties want to resolve your claim as soon as possible — and for the lowest possible amount. Insurance companies commonly use strategic pressuring tactics to convince victims to settle for significantly less than they are actually owed.

If you are coping with the aftermath of a sideswipe car accident, speaking to an experienced sideswipe car accident attorney in Bridgeport is critical to ensuring you optimize your chances of increasing your claim settlement.

At Bert McDowell Injury Law, our team of proven and knowledgeable Bridgeport personal injury lawyers has successfully resolved similar cases representing victims of sideswipe accidents. We are committed to assisting you in navigating the legal process until your case results in a reasonable settlement for the damages you have suffered. Under our contingency agreement, we also don’t charge you if your case does not result in compensation for your damages.

Contact our office at (203) 590-9169 or visit our website to schedule a free case review with our offices today. We are ready to start helping you on your path toward personal, medical, and financial recovery.

How a Bridgeport Sideswipe Car Accident Attorney Helps You

Some complications may arise with sideswipe accidents, which become more manageable when you work with an experienced Bridgeport car accident attorney who has previously worked on similar cases. They know the ins and outs of the legal side of car accidents and can help you navigate the process.

An attorney will be there to provide legal representation throughout your case, review and analyze available evidence and documentation, calculate reasonable claim amounts, and negotiate with other parties on your behalf. Pressuring tactics are commonly seen in insurance companies and attorneys associated with negligent parties, leaving many victims feeling defeated and stressed about the compensation they hope to receive. A sideswipe car accident lawyer will handle all the nuances associated with your case so that you can focus on healing and working your way toward what was once normal.

What Is a Sideswipe Car Accident?

The Connecticut Crash Data Repository notes that 14.34% of crashes between January 1, 2020, and October 31, 2023, are attributed to sideswipe accidents, totaling 49,890 accidents — a significant portion of all car accidents occurring in the state.

A sideswipe car accident occurs when two vehicles’ sides come into contact while traveling in the same or opposite directions. Unlike a head-on or rear-end collision, a sideswipe accident involves the sides of either vehicle making contact with the other, often scraping along the length of one or both cars.

Identifying Fault

Determining fault in sideswipe accidents can be difficult, as it often involves considering factors like driver behavior, signaling, lane changes, and adherence to traffic rules. Gathering witness statements, examining vehicle damage, and reviewing traffic camera footage can help understand the sequence of events leading to the crash.

Common Causes of a Sideswipe Car Accident

Car accidents happen all the time and for various reasons, but each has its own scenarios that tend to lead to that type of crash.

Sideswipe car accidents can be just as devasting as head-on or rear-end collisions. This type of car accident happens when a driver fails to maintain their car in their lane, is distracted, switches lanes suddenly without checking if it is safe to do so, miscalculates distances, has adverse weather conditions, and experiences driver fatigue.

The consequences of sideswipe accidents vary, from minor scrapes and dents to more severe damage to your car. Many times, the side bump can cause the vehicle hit to veer into other vehicles, off the road, or into road barriers. Depending on the speed, angle, and impact force, it is not uncommon to face costly repairs — or a needed replacement.

Although it does not happen with each sideswipe accident, the sudden stop of the two cars that collided may lead to a chain reaction, affecting multiple vehicles when they cannot stop.

Switching Lanes Without Looking

One of the most common causes of sideswipe accidents is when a driver attempts to change lanes without properly checking blind spots or using their signal. Moving without looking on the highway or on local roads may not give another driver time to stop or get out of the way, leading directly to an impact that will take everyone by surprise.

Distracted Driving

Texting, talking on the phone or to passengers, and zoning out all contribute to distracted driving. Even a small action, like adjusting the volume of your radio, may be long enough to result in a crash.

Drifting into another lane, even briefly, may cause a sideswipe collision if one is not careful.

Overtaking, Merging, or Passing Maneuvers

Miscalculating distance before moving lanes often occurs on multi-lane roads or highways. Knowing the dimensions of your car is essential to making lane changes successfully, but that does not mean that changes should be attempted recklessly.

Drivers should use their signals and look through their mirrors and blinds before overtaking, merging with, or passing another vehicle. Moving without the proper clearance can result in sideswipe accidents.

Improper Yields

When one has to yield to other traffic, the other party has the right of way. If someone happens to jump in front of traffic after improperly yielding, there is a chance that both will crash, and the driver who failed to yield to others will be responsible for the accident.

Improper merging and yielding in the right of way can lead to sideswipe collisions, as both cars will suddenly end in the same lane.

Poor Weather Conditions

Bad weather will create perfect circumstances for a crash. Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice can contribute to sideswipe accidents.

Reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces make it harder for many drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. During poor weather conditions, drivers should have their wipers on and look carefully before shifting lanes.

Driver Fatigue

Driving while tired creates the same kind of hazard as driving under the influence. Fatigued or drowsy drivers may have impaired judgment and delayed reaction times, increasing the probability of sideswipe accidents.

Determining Applicable Losses in Sideswipe Car Accidents

Sideswipe car accidents may create substantial losses to all involved, including damages to their property, financial stability, and well-being. Some of the common results and losses associated with sideswipe accidents include:

    • Medical Expenses — Injuries sustained in sideswipe accidents will require medical attention and possible treatment. Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medication costs, physical therapy, and future medical care.
    • Lost Wages — Injuries from sideswipe accidents may result in injuries that prevent one from returning to work. As a result, they face the financial burden of earning less income, creating a financial strain for them and any dependents. This financial impact can be substantial, especially if the victim is the sole income earner in the household.
    • Vehicle Damage — Sideswipe collisions often lead to significant damage to the vehicles involved. The impact can cause dents, scratches, and sometimes more severe structural damage, requiring repairs or even vehicle replacement. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the damage can span from one end of the car to the other.
    • Property Damage — Beyond damage to the vehicles involved, sideswipe accidents cause damage to personal property and the surrounding environment where the accident occurred. If you are taken to the hospital, they may need to cut your clothes to check for injuries, your phone screen may crack from the crash, and if you hit a guard rail or lose control of your car, you may affect someone else’s property.
  • Pain and Suffering — The experience of being injured has a measurable impact on the victim’s quality of life. Pain and suffering damages attempt to compensate them for this hardship.
  • Insurance Premium Increases — Being involved in a sideswipe accident may increase insurance premiums. Insurance companies may consider the victims higher-risk drivers, increasing their premium coverage even if they were not at fault.

Injuries Associated With Sideswipe Car Accidents

Sideswipe car accidents can lead to a range of injuries, including head injuries, cuts and bruises, whiplash, back injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, psychological injuries, and, in severe cases, fatal injuries. These injuries may have enduring effects on a victim’s well-being, emphasizing the significance of adhering to safe driving practices to mitigate the risk of accidents resulting from sideswipe collisions.

Some of the most common injuries stemming from a sideswipe impact include:

  • Broken Bones — Car crashes are common causes of broken bones. The human body takes on a massive force as it is pushed against the car’s frame, into its seat, and then back. Sideswipe accidents can lead to fractures, especially in the limbs, ribs, or other bones.
  • Cuts and bruises — Broken glass, sharp objects, or other debris in the vehicle can cause cuts and bruises. Airbags, while providing lifesaving protection, may also cause bruises and cuts when deployed.
  • Head Injuries — Depending on the force and angle of impact, drivers may suffer head injuries that lead to many months of therapy and recovery. Victims experience concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries have potentially long-term consequences.
  • Internal Injuries — Sideswipe collisions can cause organ damage, internal bleeding, or injuries to the chest or abdomen. These injuries may not be immediately apparent, require medical evaluation, and typically require some lifesaving surgery or medical intervention.
  • Whiplash — Whiplash is a common injury in sideswipe accidents. The sudden movement of the crash forced the head forward and then back, straining the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms may require medication, rest, and therapy to treat.

Work With a Proven Bridgeport Sideswipe Car Accident Law Firm

Sideswipe car accidents are terrifying and appear to come from nowhere. But know that you are not alone if this situation happens to you.

Reach out to a team that successfully acquired just compensation for similar cases when you speak to the team at Bert McDowell Injury Law.

With their many years of experience, they know what to look for when preparing a claim to make it solid with the support of evidence and documentation. Get in touch with us today by calling our office at 203-590-9169 or visiting our website to schedule your free case review.