As a Lexington motorist, you probably have very few times when the lanes to the right or left of you are empty. Traffic buzzes around the city for more than just the rush hours and the risks of an auto accident are always present.
With cars on either side, and cars trying to merge from the right or left, the odds of a sideswipe accident increase as careless drivers fail to check their mirrors and blindspots properly. You can suddenly be struck by a negligent driver and knocked for a dangerous spin before you know it. We have seen these types of sideswipe accidents on New Circle Road all too often.
Sideswipe Accident Dangers Around Lexington
The sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles, traveling beside each other or traveling towards each other, make glancing contact along their sides, often along the doors of each car. These accidents most often involve lane changes or vehicles trying to merge.
The initial impact usually results in property damage but the true danger comes after that hit, when the surprised driver has to safely get control of the vehicle. The cars can strike other vehicles on the road after being knocked into them or an overcompensation by the driver can send the car out of control landing off the road or ramming a guardrail.
In one year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that lane change crashes led to over half a million accidents. That made up about 10% of the road crashes around the U.S.
We’ve all watched a driver make a half-hearted head turn check and then come over into your lane. Those careless moments can cause a chain-reaction accident that can have a devastating impact on several cars at once.
Who’s at Fault in a Sideswipe Accident?
Generally, drivers in their lane and staying there when they are hit are not at fault. In a merging situation, the merging driver is usually at fault. If there are two cars trying to switch to the same lane, it’s usually the first car that made his or her move that has the right-of-way.
As you can see, in some of these instances, it can be hard to prove you were in the right without video or witnesses. If possible, it’s important to start collecting evidence and witness information immediately after an accident to start building your case.
What to Do After a Sideswipe Accident
After an impact, a victim will likely feel overwhelmed and possibly in a lot of pain. Of course, see to your safety first. If you ended up in a spot that puts you in danger of getting hit again, try to get somewhere safe. Call 911.
Then, if able, you’ll need to start collecting details from your accident. Try to gather these crucial elements if possible:
- Give a full report to dispatchers and police.
- Take photos. Document the scene, the cars that hit you, street signs. Take photos of any injuries that are visible.
- Talk to any witnesses.
- Exchange information with everyone involved but don’t make any statements about the accident. Insurance companies can use these statements against you later.
- Get checked out by EMS crews and your own doctor. Get everything documented.
- Keep any damaged clothing and personal items. Don’t throw evidence out.
Getting Compensation After a Sideswipe Accident
Kentucky law provides victims one year from the date of the accident to file a claim for damages. The lawsuit will attempt to recover money for your expenses and your hardships from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The accident attorneys with Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC don’t recommend waiting until the end of this period to file. The more time that passes after an accident the harder it will be to collect evidence, contact witnesses, and secure documents you’ll need to build a strong case.
Damages that an accident victim or the victim’s family are entitled to recover from the driver’s insurance may include:
- Hospital and medical expenses.
- Past and future lost earnings.
- Past and future permanent physical disability such as a limp, scars, loss of a limb.
- Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety.
- Damage or destruction of property.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
What if I Share Some of the Blame in my Accident?
You may feel that you share partial responsibility for your accident. A claim for damages may still be a good option for you.
Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state. That means that multiple drivers can share a percentage of the blame in a sideswipe accident. For example, a jury might determine that you were 20% at fault for your accident. That doesn’t bar you from your recovery. You’ll still be awarded 80% of the gross verdict for your injuries and financial losses.
Contact a Lexington Car Accident Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe accident you’ll need an experienced Lexington attorney on your side to help you receive the help you’ll need in recovery. The driver’s insurance company will have experienced agents and lawyers working against you. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the playing field.
Talk to a Lexington Car Accident Attorney you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law. The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the compensation they’ll need to make a full recovery. To discuss your case, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, by clicking here to contact them online.