Houston Sideswipe Accident Lawyer
There are several different kinds of car accidents, and they can happen at almost any time while you’re on the road. Sideswipe accidents are an example of a specific type of car accident. In general, they occur when the sides of two vehicles scrape against each other. Although they may sound mild, drivers and passengers can still suffer serious injuries in a sideswipe accident. If you have suffered injuries or serious property damage from a car accident, you need a skilled car accident lawyer in Houston.
At Reich & Binstock, our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling sideswipe collisions. We understand that when sideswipe accidents occur, those involved are often recovering from their injuries and trauma. They likely won’t have the time or energy to deal with insurance company representatives and to handle a personal injury claim during recovery. That’s why our personal injury attorneys are here to fight for your right to just compensation. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when the sides of two vehicles scrape against each other, whether they are traveling in the same direction or in opposite directions. Sideswipe car accidents can happen at any time, seemingly out of nowhere. However, like most car accidents, the root cause is often the same: negligence. In fact, many sideswipe accidents occur because one or both drivers failed to check their blind spots properly. Some people use the terms “side-swipe accidents” and “blind spot accidents” interchangeably for this reason.
Is a Side Swipe a Minor Accident?
It depends on the circumstances surrounding the auto accident. In some cases, sideswipe collisions result in only minor damage to the vehicles involved, and possibly no injuries. However, anyone can suffer severe injuries from a crash that an insurance company deems “minor.” If the vehicle damage is minimal, the auto insurance company may try to dispute your injury claim and protect their bottom line. Working with a qualified personal injury attorney can give you the leverage you need to get the compensation you deserve.
Sideswipe Accident Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, around 240,000 sideswipe collisions occur each year. They also cause approximately 27,000 injuries and over 2,500 deaths. Opposite-direction sideswipe crashes occur more frequently than same-direction crashes.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, around 3% of all fatal traffic accidents are sideswipe auto collisions. In addition, they are the seventh leading cause of truck accidents.
In other words, a sideswipe collision should always be taken seriously, no matter how much damage the vehicles take. Just because a vehicle takes minimal damage does not mean that its occupants did as well. Many car accident victims suffer injuries that are either unseen or that do not show symptoms until days later.
Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
A sideswipe accident can occur for many of the same reasons as other auto accident types. In most sideswipe accidents, negligence is the root cause. Below, we list some of the most common causes of side-swipe car accidents.
- Failing to check blind spots
- Changing lanes in an unsafe manner
- Wet or icy roads
- Poor weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving
- Driver fatigue
No matter the reason for the sideswipe crash, a personal injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence necessary to strengthen your claim.
What Should I Do if I’m in a Side Swipe Accident?
If you are involved in any form of an automobile accident, it is imperative that you remain at the accident scene. Call the authorities as soon as possible, and obtain a copy of the accident report if possible. Take pictures and videos of your car, the car of the other driver, and any other relevant details.
If there were any eyewitnesses to the sideswipe accident, either ask them to remain at the scene and speak to the police or gather their names and contact details. Even if their statements are not included in the police report, you can still use corroborating witness statements to strengthen your case.
Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you cannot see any visible injuries, you may have internal injuries or even a concussion. Be sure to keep copies of all of your medical bills and records, as well as documentation of the time you missed at work. You should also get a physical copy of a repair estimate for your vehicle.
Lastly, contact a sideswipe accident lawyer. Experienced car accident lawyers can help you negotiate with the insurance company of the other driver, as well as your own insurance company. We also operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t accept a cent unless we secure a recovery on your behalf.
Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe Car Accident?
It is possible for more than one driver to be at fault in a side-swipe car accident. However, determining fault can be difficult without the help of a skilled injury lawyer. In general, the at-fault driver is the one who fails to stay in their lane or who fails to follow the rules of the road. A skilled car accident attorney can help you investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your injury claim.
Although the police will also investigate the accident, our personal injury lawyers will know exactly what to look for. Our years of experience will give you an edge when it comes to documenting your accident in great detail. While you focus on healing and recovery, we’ll focus on crafting an effective sideswipe accident case for you.
Proving Fault in a Sideswipe Accident
In order to determine liability in a sideswipe collision, you’ll need to gather as much evidence and information as possible. The following steps are required to investigate and determine fault after an accident.
- Gathering copies of the accident report and the police report
- Getting copies of medical records, medical bills, missed work
- Taking pictures and videos of the crash, as well as the surrounding area
- Taking notes on the weather and road conditions
- Looking for eyewitnesses and interviewing them
- Gathering physical evidence and analyzing it
- Enlisting the help of experts to add credibility to your claim
- Reconstructing the accident with a team of professionals
- Valuing the damages you suffered from the accident
Injuries in a Sideswipe Accident
In many cases, sideswipe accidents lead to the serious injury of those involved. Even if the cars don’t look like they took much damage, these crashes are deceptively dangerous for drivers and passengers. Some of the most common injuries suffered in sideswipe accidents include the following.
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones
- Neck injuries
- Cuts, bruises, contusions, lacerations, and burn injuries
- Internal organ damage and soft tissue injuries
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Torso damage
- Wrongful death
How Long Does a Victim of a Sideswipe Accident Have to Claim Damages?
This depends on the state in which the accident occurred. In Texas, the standard statute of limitations for car accident claims is two years from the date of the accident. The Texas Civil Code states that “a person must bring suit for personal injury no later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.”
If you fail to file your claim within this two-year window, you may lose your right to compensation altogether. The two-year clock begins counting down when you knew or should have known about any damages or injuries caused by the accident. Working with an attorney can give you the breathing room you need to recover from your injuries while also filing your claim in a timely manner.
Damages in a Sideswipe Collision
If you and your attorney can prove fault in your car accident claim, you can recover compensation for the following damages.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage and vehicle repair costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
This is only a small sample of the potential compensation that you can fight for after a sideswipe crash.
What if I Am Partly to Blame for the Accident?
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that, even if you are partly to blame for the accident, you can still sue for damages. However, you are barred from recovering any compensation if you are more than 50% at fault. Additionally, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage at which you are at fault.
For example, let’s say that a court finds that you are 30% to blame for the accident. The amount that you could have recovered for your damages will be reduced by 30%. Therefore, you will only take home 70% of the damages.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a sideswipe accident, you need an experienced auto accident lawyer in Houston. At Reich & Binstock, we’ll put our years of experience to work in your case. Trying to tackle complicated personal injury suits on your own can quickly become overwhelming. Let the qualified legal professionals at our law firm handle the heavy lifting while you focus on your recovery. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today.