Hartford Sideswipe Car Accident Lawyer

A blue family vehicle with a damaged left side door after a sideswipe accident.Every driver must change lanes and make turns periodically to get to where they need to go. However, not all drivers think the same way.

Some make abrupt lane changes, let themselves get distracted, and use sudden maneuvers at the expense of others. As a result, they create a hazardous situation for all around them, potentially leading to an accident.

Dealing with the aftermath of sideswipe accidents is challenging, especially when the victims realize that insurance companies and other parties want to resolve their claims quickly — but for the lowest possible price. This can be quickly frustrating, as victims are dealing with property damage, pain from their injuries, and plenty of doctor’s appointments to fill their schedules.

If this sounds like you, the team at Bert McDowell Injury Law is here to help. Our team has decades of combined legal experience resolving similar cases like yours.

Give us a call today at our local Hartford office at (203) 633-7449, or contact us online to schedule a free case review and discuss your options for retrieving the compensation you need.

How a Hartford Sideswipe Car Accident Attorney Helps Process Your Claim

Whether it’s a negligent party giving you the cold shoulder or their insurance company using pressure tactics, you should not let them force you to accept a low settlement for your case. Dealing with a sideswipe car accident is anything but easy, but when you have a lawyer on your side with experience handling similar cases, you can feel comfortable that they will handle your case with the right goals in mind.

As your representative, your attorney will ensure that all deadlines are met, that claims are prepared with care and detail, and that they have their own strategies to combat the pressuring tactics from insurance companies.

In addition, an attorney will be there to provide legal representation throughout your case, expert review and analysis of evidence and documentation, calculate claim amounts and negotiate with other parties on your behalf.

A lawyer like Bert McDowell will ensure that you are taken care of and that this process becomes as least stressful as possible. When you “Bring on Bert” to your case, you can expect support, communication, and a chance of receiving a satisfying settlement.

Identifying Fault

Identifying who was at fault for an accident is critical before seeking any kind of compensation. At the scene of the crash, the police will arrive and shortly begin their investigation, where at the end, they will determine who caused the accident through:

  • Gathering witness statements
  • Examining vehicle damage
  • Reviewing traffic camera footage

Calculating Losses in Sideswipe Car Accidents

Sideswipe car accidents are costly to all involved. They create substantial losses, including damages to personal property, destabilize financial security, and compromise one’s well-being. Some of the common results and losses associated with sideswipe accidents include:

  • Insurance premium increases — A sideswipe accident may increase your insurance premiums, whether you were at fault or not. Insurance companies may consider the victims higher-risk drivers, increasing their premium coverage even if they were not at fault and practiced safe driving.
  • Lost wages — Injuries may prevent one from returning to work, and for some, permanently. As a result, they face the financial burden of earning less income, creating a financial strain for them and their dependents. If the victim were the sole provider for their family, their inability to work would create significant financial insecurity for their household.
  • Medical expenses — Medical bills stack quickly. Victims start their medical evaluations with a trip to the emergency room, where, depending on the severity of their injuries, they may arrive in an ambulance. All of which may accumulate hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in medical debt for the victim. Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medication costs, physical therapy, and future medical care.
  • Property damage — Personal property like your car, clothes, cell phone, and items in your car have value. Repairing your car after an accident can cost thousands, and in some cases, it is declared a total loss, leaving the victims left without a car.

What Is a Sideswipe Car Accident?

A sideswipe car accident occurs when the sides of two vehicles collide while traveling in the same or opposite directions. Unlike head-on or rear-end collisions, a sideswipe accident does not touch the car’s front or back parts; contact is made on the sides where they scrape along the length of both cars.

The Connecticut Crash Data Repository shows that 14.34% of crashes between January 1, 2020, and October 31, 2023, were due to sideswipe accidents — totaling 49,890 accidents.

Common Causes of a Sideswipe Car Accident

Sideswipe car accidents can be just as devastating as head-on or rear-end collisions.

Drivers may fail to keep their car in their lane, be distracted by the radio or other drivers, or simply switch lanes without seeing if it is safe to do so. They can also miscalculate distances, mishandle adverse weather road conditions or face driver fatigue.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the top contributing causes of car accidents today. Texting, talking on the phone or to passengers, and zoning out all remove the driver’s focus from the road.

Even a small action, like checking a text, may be long enough to result in a crash. When drivers do not pay attention, they drift into another lane, even briefly, putting everyone around them at risk.

 Switching Lanes Without Looking

The Connecticut Driver’s Manual says that passing should wait until there is about 10 seconds of clearance to do so. However, when a driver fails to look before moving, they are not taking these 10 seconds into account.

As a result, they may crash into someone else who might already be in the lane next to them.

Risky Passing Maneuvers

Miscalculating distance before moving lanes often occurs on multi-lane roads or highways. Cars move quickly, and whether you are an experienced driver or not, sometimes it becomes challenging to see if there is enough space.

Drivers should use their signals and look through their mirrors and blind spots before overtaking or passing another vehicle.

Performing Improper Yields

Getting to your next destination is anything but a race. However, when there is a merge or yield, drivers speed up to get before the other driver coming from the opposite direction.

When one has to yield to other traffic, the other party has the right of way. Failing to stop and wait for the road to clear creates a chance of a crash.

Poor Weather Conditions

Stormy weather will create perfect circumstances for a crash. Heavy rain, snow, or fog make it hard for a driver to see, let alone calculate the distance to move into another lane.

During poor weather conditions, drivers should have their wipers and headlights on and look carefully before shifting lanes.

Driver Fatigue

Driving a car while exhausted creates the same kind of hazard as driving under the influence. Fatigued or drowsy drivers suffer impaired judgment and delayed reaction times, increasing their chances of getting into an accident.

Injuries Associated With Sideswipe Car Accidents

Car accidents, especially sideswipe crashes, create a series of possible injuries to the victims involved. Two cars collide on their sides, potentially launching victims forward and back or to the opposite side of the car.

The injuries seen are typically head injuries, cuts and bruises, whiplash, back injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and psychological traumas. These injuries affect a victim’s well-being, compromising their ability to do what they love and even go to work.

  • Broken bones — Car crashes can easily cause bones to break. The massive force from the crash onto the human body takes a toll, applying excessive pressure to joints and bones, potentially creating a fracture. This can be common, especially in the limbs and ribs.
  • Cuts and bruises — Whether it’s broken glass, sharp objects, or other debris in the vehicle, victims may have cuts and bruises as a result. Airbags, although a lifesaving device, may also cause bruises, burns, and cuts when deployed.
  • Head Injuries — Depending on the impact angle, drivers may hit their head when the collision occurs. Victims may experience concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that require many months to recover fully from.
  • Internal Injuries — Your rib cage protects your organs, but when a penetrating flying object impacts the skin, it can pierce and damage an organ. Victims who suspect some internal injury must receive medical attention immediately, as their condition may be life-threatening.
  • Whiplash — The sudden force moving passengers forward and suddenly back significantly strains their necks and upper back muscles. Victims may endure stiffness, limited mobility, and pain as they recover from the accident. These symptoms may also persist for many weeks.

Bring on Bert: Your Local Hartford Sideswipe Car Accident Law Firm

A sideswipe car accident is terrifying as it appears from nowhere. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries to victims, from broken bones and head injuries to lacerations and more.

Know that you are not alone if this situation happens to you.

Reach out to a team that successfully resolved 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) 633-7449 or contact us online to schedule a free case review with our experienced Hartford accident attorneys.