Sideswipe accidents are among the most commonly occurring accidents in Colorado. And just like any other accidents, sideswipe collisions are terrifying and financially draining. This makes knowing the party at fault a critical step in streamlining the processes and legal procedures that follow. Technically, the party responsible is deemed negligent and hence legally liable for the damages resulting from the accident. Therefore, when filing a personal injury claim, you’ll have to first determine the responsible party.
Given the nature of sideswipe accidents, it can be pretty challenging to determine who is at fault for the accident. In most cases, determining the person liable depends on the specific facts surrounding the accident. An experienced attorney at Mintz Law Firm can help you determine the responsible party and potentially get the best compensation possible if you’re not at fault in the accident.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when a vehicle touches, swipes or strikes the side of another. It mainly happens when the vehicles are traveling in the same direction. This type of accident can also occur between cars moving in opposite directions, or when a parked vehicle is hit by a passing car.
A sideswipe accident can lead to one or both vehicles losing control. This makes them more dangerous, especially on highways. Even though the amount of damage and injury caused depends on how the accident occurred, sideswipe accidents can be very dangerous.
They create a scenario where the cars can continue traveling at high speeds after the collision. This can make the vehicle lose control and cause other secondary accidents. Therefore, when it happens on the speedy highways of Colorado, sideswipes can involve various cars and cause serious injuries.
Causes of Sideswipe Accidents in Colorado
Sideswipe accidents are mainly a result of negligence. This involves careless, reckless, distracted driving. Negligent drivers cause sideswipe accidents by:
- Failing to signal when changing lanes
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Driving while intoxicated or overly tired
- Drifting into other lanes while engaging in distracting activities like drinking, eating, texting, etc.
- Cutting off other drivers or merging without caution
- Road rage and reckless driving
This means that sideswipe accidents are relatively preventable, particularly if the driver pays attention to their surroundings.
Can More Than One Party Be Liable in a Sideswipe Accident in Colorado?
In most cases, the driver who fails to maintain a single lane is liable for the sideswipe accident. The Colorado traffic laws prohibit drivers from making unsafe lane changes. Therefore, drivers who fail to take extra precautions when changing lanes are at fault for the sideswipe collision. This is also the case when a parked vehicle is sideswiped by a moving car.
However, in some rare cases, more than one party might be liable in a sideswipe accident in Colorado. In such cases, the level of negligence is determined by the Colorado comparative negligence laws. For example, the driver who changed lanes might be 80% at fault, while the distracted driver might be 20% at fault. Still, the partially at-fault party can get compensation, with the amount reduced based on their percentage of negligence. This means you can still get compensation for the damages caused even if you are partially at fault.
How Is Liability Determined in a Colorado Sideswipe accident?
Like any other accident in Colorado, liability can be determined based on various factors, including:
- If any traffic laws were broken
- Evidence of negligence or reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Police accident reports and medical reports
- Eyewitness testimonies, if any
- Photographs of the accident scene and physical evidence on the road
- Not leaving enough space between vehicles before changing lanes
In some cases, reconstruction of the accident may be needed to determine the liable party. Whichever the case, an experienced personal injury attorney at Mintz Law Firm can help you piece together and assess all the evidence needed to determine the liable party and ensure you’re protected when you’re not at fault.
What to Do After a Sideswipe Accident
When you’re involved in a sideswipe accident caused by a driver’s negligence, you can take a few steps to protect yourself and help your case. You should:
- Call the police
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses around
- Take photos of the damage to the vehicles and the scene
- Seek medical help
- Carefully keep your medical documents
After that, you should contact a personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm like Mintz Law Firm to help you get compensation for any medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages caused by the accident.
Contact An Experienced Colorado Sideswipe Accident Attorney
Colorado sideswipe accidents can lead to severe injuries and significant property damages. Therefore, determining who is at fault is crucial in holding them accountable for your injuries and damages. The problem is that sideswipe accident claims can be very complex. That’s why you’ll need the expertise and experience of a Colorado personal injury lawyer to ensure the negligent party is liable.
At Mintz Law Firm, our compassionate attorneys care about your well-being. We understand the nuances of the law and using our experience and knowledge, we can help you determine the liable party, estimate damages, and guide you in achieving the most favorable case outcome. Therefore, by partnering with an experienced personal injury attorney at Mintz Law Firm, you can feel secure that your case will be handled with care, attention, and expertise. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys by calling us at (303) 462-2999 or filling out our contact form.