What You Need to Know About Virginia Laws and Your Sideswipe Accident

Car accidents can happen in many different ways. One type of car accident that occurs the most often is when the side of one vehicle makes contact with the side of another. Known as a sideswipe accident, these collisions can be severe, especially if both vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed. Along with property damage, victims could also sustain serious injuries and other damages in the crash.  

Who is at fault for my Virginia sideswipe accident?

If you were injured in a Virginia sideswipe accident, the negligent driver can be held financially responsible for any damages associated with the accident. Fortunately, an experienced Virginia car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp will be familiar with the most practical methods of establishing fault, filing your claim, and pursuing full and just financial compensation.  

What is a Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe accident is an accident where the side of one vehicle scrapes against or strikes the side of another vehicle. These vehicles can both be in motion, or one could be parked or stopped at the time of the accident. The vehicles may also be moving in opposite directions or the same direction.

The two leading causes of sideswipe collisions are improper merging and lane changes. For example, a driver might attempt to change lanes without first making sure that it is safe for them to do so. Merging onto another street or highway can also cause a sideswipe accident if the merging driver fails to ensure they have enough room. Certain vehicles are more prone to sideswipe accidents due to their large blind spots. SUVs and trucks fall into this category since they cannot always clearly see the spot they want to merge or move into but do so anyways, causing a sideswipe accident.  

Who is Liable for a Sideswipe Accident?

Virginia is governed by the laws of contributory negligence. In other words, if you are even 1% responsible for causing the accident, you will not be able to recover any compensation whatsoever. In order to collect damages, you will have to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. Generally speaking, the driver of the striking vehicle is at fault for a sideswipe accident. They might have been speeding, distracted, under the influence, or failed to check their blind spots. In some instances, aggressive driving or road rage might result in a driver deliberately striking another vehicle. Your Virginia personal injury lawyer can help you collect the evidence you need to prove the other driver’s negligence.

Avoiding Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents are largely avoidable. You can prevent this kind of accident from taking place by simply paying attention to the task at hand. You should always drive defensively and be aware of other drivers around you. 

Inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers, are more likely to be involved in sideswipe accidents than their more practiced counterparts. An inexperienced driver might turn the steering wheel along with their head when they try to check their blind spots, causing them to accidentally swerve into another lane of traffic. Tractor trailers have huge blind spots that make it more hazardous for drivers attempting to change lanes. 

Drivers should always make sure their mirrors are properly adjusted before pulling out into traffic. They should also be aware of where a truck’s blind spots are and avoid driving in these areas.  

Talk to a Virginia Sideswipe Accident Attorney

If you or a family member were injured in a sideswipe accident in Virginia, you should speak to a Virginia car accident lawyer right away for reliable legal advice. You may have grounds to bring a personal injury suit against the negligent driver seeking financial compensation for your injuries and other damages. Call the law offices of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today at (833) 997-1774 to arrange a free consultation with a member of our legal team.   

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