Were you injured in a sideswipe car accident?
Car accidents can occur from many different angles depending on the location of the cars and the direction of travel before impact. Rear-end accidents are the most common type of collision but some of these crashes result in only minor damage. Generally, most sideswipe collisions in Chicago are more extreme with many resulting in serious injuries or even death.
What causes a sideswipe car accident?
A sideswipe collision is caused where the side of one car strikes another and generally occurs where two cars are traveling in the same direction, side by side. These accidents are common on highways, toll ways, and expressways, as well as local roads with multiple lanes of traffic. Nearly all sideswipe collisions result from one driver failing to exercise due care while operating a motor vehicle and acting in a negligent manner.
Blindspot or Lane Changing Crashes
Failing to check a blind spot is believed to be the primary cause of sideswipe collisions. This is common where one car desires to switch lanes on an expressway but does not look in the car’s mirrors or check the car’s blind spot before initiating a move to a separate lane. If another vehicle is already in the lane the car intends to occupy, a collision is likely to result. Often, this type of collision is called a lane changing crash because it is caused by a driver acting negligently while in the act of changing, moving, or adjusting lanes on an expressway or interstate.
Distracted Driving Causes Sideswipes
Distracted driving is also responsible for a number of sideswipe collisions every year when a driver drifts over the center line and occupies a portion of another lane. If a vehicle is in the second lane while the first driver is distracted, a crash may occur with the side of the first driver’s vehicle striking the vehicle in the second lane.
Drivers are often distracted, or lose their ability to concentrate, due to:
- Texting while driving
- Using their smartphone while driving (like on a social media app)
- Talking on a cellphone while driving
- Driving while tired
- Messing with the radio
- Distracted by children in the car
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs
Aggressive Driving Causes Sideswipe Accidents
Aggressive driving can cause sideswipe crashes as well, primarily in a merging situation where one driver attempts to speed to get in front of another but switches lanes when there is not enough space. This differs from other forms of similar collisions because an at-fault driver usually is aware of a second vehicle’s presence yet acts in a dangerous manner regardless, potentially leading to an impact that may cause injuries.
Experienced Sideswipe Accident Attorneys in Chicago
The impact of a sideswipe crash is often described as a glancing blow but this fails to adequately convey the devastating nature of many of these accidents. As these crashes tend to occur on expressways, the vehicles involved are usually traveling at high speeds, increasing the amount of force involved in the crash and making it likely that serious damage will result.
The initial impact of a sideswipe crash is not the only concerning factor in these accidents as there is likely to be a loss of vehicular control or a secondary impact in many cases. When a blow to the side of a vehicle occurs, the driver of the vehicle may lose control of his or her car, sending the vehicle in the opposite direction of the impact.
Often this means the vehicle travels towards the shoulder of the road where it may strike a guardrail or a cement barrier. Other times, where no barrier exists, an uncontrolled vehicle may leave the road’s surface and contact the soft ground surrounding the area on the shoulder or in a median, increasing the chances that the vehicle will roll.
With high speeds, intense forces upon impact, and the potential for multiple impacts or even a rollover, it is not surprising that victims of sideswipe accidents suffer injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to serious physical trauma to death.
Compensation for Sideswipe Accident Victims
If an accident is caused by the negligence of one or more parties, Illinois law holds those individuals or corporations liable for the damages that result from the accident, whether the damages are in the form of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or the damages that occur when a loved one is killed in an accident. Either the driver or the driver’s insurance company may be forced to pay for the damages that result from the crash, and in some cases, there may be multiple parties from which a judgment can be obtained.
Following an accident, a victim must assert the right to make a recovery within a time defined by the law or the victim will be forever barred from making such a claim. For this reason and others, it is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer after a collision to learn if you have a claim and to make sure your rights are protected.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that all accident victims deserve proper compensation and we have spent years working for our clients to fight for their rights. We offer a free case consultation to all accident victims without any obligation on the victim’s part and we have a lawyer available 24 hours a day to take your call. We will review the facts of your accident to help you determine whether the law entitles you to a recovery and whether you can recover for the damages you incurred. Call us today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let us help you obtain a recovery after your car accident.