Were you injured in a sideswipe car accident?
A Chicago sideswipe accident lawyer knows that car accidents can occur from many different angles. This depends 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. This generally occurs where two cars are traveling in the same direction, side by side. These accidents are common on highways, tollways, and expressways, as well as local roads with multiple lanes of traffic. Nearly all sideswipe collisions result from driver negligence.
Blindspot or Lane Changing Crashes
Failing to check a blind spot is a primary cause of sideswipe collisions. This is common where one car switches lanes on an expressway but does not look in the car’s mirrors or check the car’s blind spot. 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. This, because it is due to a driver acting negligently while in the act of changing, moving, or adjusting lanes.
Distracted Driving Causes Sideswipes
Distracted driving is also responsible for a number of sideswipe collisions every year. Here, the driver drifts over the center line and occupies a portion of another lane. If a vehicle is in the second lane at the time, a crash may occur. The side of the first vehicle would be the vehicle in the second lane.
Drivers are often distracted, or lose their ability to concentrate, due to:
- Texting while driving
- Using a smartphone while driving (like on a social media app)
- Talking on a cell phone
- Driving while tired
- Changing the radio station
- Dealing with 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. This primarily occurs in a merging situation. Here, 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. And yet they still try to merge, 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. However, this fails to adequately convey the devastating nature of many of these accidents. As these crashes tend to occur on expressways, the vehicles are usually traveling at high speeds. This increases the amount of force in the crash and makes it likely that serious damage will result.
The initial impact of a sideswipe crash is not the only concerning factor in these accidents. There is likely to be a loss of vehicle control or a secondary impact in many cases. When a blow to the side of a vehicle occurs, the driver of that vehicle may lose control of the car. This may send the vehicle in a different direction.
Often this means the vehicle travels towards the shoulder of the road. Here, it may strike a guardrail or a cement barrier. Other times, where no barrier exists, an out of control vehicle may leave the road’s surface and contact the soft ground surrounding the area on the shoulder or in a median. This increases 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. It can range from bumps and bruises to serious physical trauma to death.
Compensation for Sideswipe Accident Victims
If an accident is due to the negligence of one or more parties, Illinois law holds those individuals or corporations liable. They are responsible for the damages that result from the accident. This, whether the damages are in the form of:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- The damages that occur when a loved one is killed in an accident
Either the driver or the driver’s insurance company may pay for the damages that result from the crash. In some cases, there may be multiple parties that are liable for injuries.
Following an accident, a victim must assert the right to make a recovery within a time defined by the law. If not, 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. You will want to learn if you have a claim and to make sure your rights are protected.
Contact a Chicago Sideswipe Accident Lawyer
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that all accident victims deserve proper compensation. Our team has spent years working for our clients and fighting for their rights.
We offer a free case consultation to all accident victims without any obligation. Further, we have a lawyer available 24 hours a day to take your call. We will review the facts of your accident to help determine whether the law entitles you to a recovery and whether you can recover for your damages.
Abels & Annes
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602