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Sideswipe Accident: How To Tell Who Sideswiped Who

Posted on: August 21, 2023

Picture this: You’re driving down the road focused on reaching your destination, when you feel a sudden impact and hear the screeching of tires. Your heart skips a beat as you realize you’ve been involved in a sideswipe accident.

In that split second, your life is turned upside down, and a wave of uncertainty washes over you. Questions race through your mind: Who sideswiped who? How can you establish fault? What steps should you take to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve?

If you’ve found yourself in this unfortunate situation, know that you’re not alone.

Sideswipe crashes are a common occurrence on the roads, and the determination of fault in a sideswipe accident is crucial for insurance claims, legal proceedings, and ultimately, receiving the compensation you deserve.

As your local personal injury attorneys, we’ll provide you with valuable insights, expert advice, and practical tips to help you figure out how to tell who sideswiped who.


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What Is A Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact with each other’s sides.

Sideswipe crashes commonly occur when a driver isn’t paying attention, traveling at high speeds, or crosses into the neighboring lane of travel. In addition to property damage, victims can also become injured in a sideswipe accident.

Understanding the nature of sideswipe accidents is essential to accurately assess fault.


Evaluating the Physical Evidence

Vehicle Damage

One key aspect of determining fault in a sideswipe accident is carefully assessing the damage sustained by each vehicle involved.

In a sideswipe crash, experts commonly observe concentrated damage on the sides of the vehicles involved. Scratches, scrapes, and dents along the length of the vehicles’ sides indicate the path of the impact.

By meticulously examining the damage patterns, collision experts and insurance adjusters can gather evidence to establish the sequence of events and determine who sideswiped who. This thorough evaluation of the physical evidence plays a pivotal role in reconstructing the accident and accurately assigning fault.

Paint Transfer

By examining the color, type, and location of transferred paint, experts can identify if there is a match between the paint found on one vehicle and the surface of the other. If the paint samples align, it strongly suggests that the vehicle with the matching paint was the one responsible for the sideswipe impact.

scratches on side door of red car

Scrape Marks and Debris

Scrape marks and debris left on the vehicles or the road surface can also provide important clues in determining fault in a sideswipe accident.

The length, direction, and location of scrape marks help identify which vehicle initiated the sideswipe. Scratches and marks predominantly found on one vehicle’s side while the other vehicle remains intact indicate the direction of the sideswipe.

Additionally, the presence and distribution of debris can further support the determination of fault.   It can help establish which lane that the impact between the two vehicles took place.  Therefore, take photographs of any and all debris after a sideswipe impact.

Eyewitness Accounts and Testimonies

Eyewitnesses play a crucial role in determining fault in a sideswipe accident. Their accounts and testimonies provide valuable information about the sequence of events and the actions of the drivers involved.

Collecting contact information from eyewitnesses allows for obtaining their statements, which can be helpful for insurance claims or legal proceedings. Their unbiased observations can corroborate or challenge the versions of events provided by the drivers, providing additional perspectives to consider.

Eyewitness testimonies can offer valuable details about factors such as vehicle speeds, positions, and any erratic driving behavior observed before the sideswipe. Contacting eyewitnesses promptly and involving them in the process can contribute to establishing fault and seeking the compensation deserved.

security camera installed on outside of building

Video Footage and Surveillance Evidence

Video footage from dash cams and surveillance cameras has become increasingly important in assessing sideswipe accidents, as it provides a clear and objective visual record.

Promptly securing any video footage before it gets overwritten or lost is crucial. By acting swiftly to identify potential sources of video footage and requesting access to the recordings, you can preserve critical evidence that can strengthen your case.

Expert analysis of the footage can help determine the sequence of events and assess fault accurately. Utilizing video footage enhances your ability to seek fair compensation for the damages caused by the sideswipe accident.

Consulting Accident Reconstruction Experts

Consulting accident reconstruction experts can be highly beneficial in complex or disputed sideswipe accident cases.

These professionals specialize in analyzing physical evidence, reconstructing the accident sequence, and providing expert testimony. Their expertise ensures a clear understanding of how the accident occurred, aiding in determining fault accurately.

Their analysis and expert opinions carry weight in insurance claims or legal proceedings, presenting an objective and scientifically supported perspective on the accident.


Need Professional Advice?

Seeking legal advice after a sideswipe accident is crucial to protect your rights and navigate the claims process effectively.

Beers & Gordon, an experienced law firm specializing in car accident cases including sideswipe accidents, can provide the expertise and guidance needed. We offer personalized legal representation and have a track record of successful outcomes for their clients.

If you have been involved in a sideswipe accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Beers & Gordon for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys will evaluate your case, provide guidance on the legal aspects, and advocate for your best interests.

With our track record of success in handling car accident cases, including sideswipe accidents, you can trust us to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Jim Gordon / Beers and Gordon P.A. / Civil Trial Attorneys

Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1997, and two years later began working at a firm in Orlando handling insurance defense matters on cases involving vehicle accidents, negligence, product liability, and more. He established Beers & Gordon P.A. with David Beers in 2009 to represent the rights of people injured because of negligence. He is a member of the invitation-only National Trial Lawyers organization and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.


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