Sideswipe collisions happen when two vehicles are traveling parallel to each other but then collide. They often happen on highways when one vehicle is attempting to merge with traffic, but they also happen on the open road when one vehicle is passing another. Sideswipe accidents can send one or both vehicles spinning out of control and injure all occupants.
Liability matters in car accidents and our Boise car accident lawyers can work to establish the factual foundation for your claim. Without adequate evidence, it might be impossible to receive compensation for your injuries.
What Evidence We Use to Determine Fault
When two vehicles scrape against each other side-by-side, either one could be at fault. In this way, sideswipes are very different from rear-end collisions, where usually the car behind is at fault for plowing into the car up ahead. How will we know who bears ultimate responsibility for a sideswipe?
Our attorneys fully canvas the record. For example, there might be a dashcam video showing which vehicle slammed into the other. Eyewitnesses can also tell us what happened and who is responsible for failing to yield. Physical evidence can tell us how the cars came together, and photographs might show where each vehicle ended up after the collision.
However, the most vital evidence is often context. If a sideswipe occurred when Car A tried to pass Car B on the road, then odds are very high that Car A is to blame because the driver should not have attempted a pass unless the way was clear. They probably pulled in too soon, leading to a sideswipe.
The same is true if a sideswipe happened when one car tried to merge on the highway. It is the responsibility of the car merging to ensure there is enough room and to slow down or even stop if there isn’t.
Comparative Negligence & Sideswipes
One reason we need to carefully assess evidence is to determine fault. Under Idaho law, a personal injury plaintiff can bring a lawsuit only if their negligence is not as great as the other party they are suing. Practically speaking, they must be less than 50% to blame. Comparative negligence matters in settlement negotiations as well, since an insurer has little incentive to generously settle a claim if they think you would lose in court.
One common defense in sideswipes is for the defendant to claim the other side bears most of the responsibility. For example, the defendant might have tried to merge with traffic without slowing down. But they claim there was plenty of room until a speeding motorist suddenly pulled up beside them. Ultimately, if the case goes to trial, a jury will use its judgment to allocate fault.
Call Our Boise Car Accident Lawyers as Soon as Possible
At Litster Frost Injury Lawyers, our legal team can swing into action to begin gathering evidence and talking to witnesses. Sideswipe accidents often become “he said, she said” affairs, so the sooner we can begin collecting evidence, the better. Call us to schedule a free consultation.