Drivers on the road are at risk of getting into a side-swipe accident almost every time they drive. This is because there are so many different factors that can lead to these kinds of incidents, and not all of them are the driver’s fault. However, despite it being an accident, you will still be liable for any damages you cause as a result.
Even if it wasn’t your fault and the other driver was clearly at fault, you will still have to answer for your actions as a responsible adult. That said, you must know what to do in case you get into one as soon as possible. Sideswipe accidents may seem like something that only happens to other people, but if you stay informed and follow some basic tips, you will have a much lower chance of getting into one.
What is a side-swipe accident?
A side-swipe accident is when one vehicle slides into another car on the side, causing some form of damage. The most common type of side-swipe accident is when someone is at a stop sign or stop light and another car hit them on the side as they are pulling out.
Alternatively, a driver could be going too fast, fail to obey traffic signals properly and end up sideswiping another car. Usually, these types of accidents happen because of another driver’s negligence. However, they could also happen because of weather conditions like poor visibility or heavy rain.
If you accidentally hit a parked car while pulling into a spot, that is also considered a side-swipe accident. And if a pedestrian accidentally bumps into your side while trying to walk across the road, that is also considered a side-swipe accident.
Stay in your car after a sideswipe accident
No matter who was at fault for the accident, it is much better to stay in your car for your safety until the police arrive at the scene. This is because, especially if it’s a hit and run, there could be a confrontation between the drivers that could escalate if you get out of your vehicle.
If you do get out of your car, lock the doors and make sure your windows are up so that no one can get in. If there are other people around the scene, try to get their details so that they do not get mixed up with any other parties involved. If there are no other people around, call the police as soon as possible so that they can come to the scene and take statements from all parties involved.
Check for injuries and take photos of the scene
As soon as the situation is safe to do so, take a look at yourself and the car to see if there are any visible injuries as a result of the accident. If you find any, immediately note them down in a notepad so that you don’t forget them later. If you are injured and can’t move, uninjured passengers should still take pictures of the scene and themselves so that you have proof of what was going on.
If you can move and the situation allows, take photos of the scene including the damage to both cars, the lane lines and the nearby surroundings. If your vehicle has been hit and is blocking other drivers, make sure you take photos of that as well. If the accident was your fault, you will likely receive a ticket from the police. If this happens, make sure you take as many pictures of your car and the scene as possible so that you have evidence when you go to court.
Report the incident to the police
If the accident was the result of you being hit or the other driver hitting another car, you have the choice of pursuing legal action or not. You can take the other driver to court, but if they don’t have the money to pay for the damages you suffered as a result of their negligence, you will leave the court with nothing.
If you file a report with the police, you have the advantage of receiving a uniform traffic citation that can be paid through your local DMV. This kind of action could result in a suspended license or impoundment if the accident is your fault, so make sure to check your state’s laws.
If the accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, they will likely end up paying a fine to the state. This fine can be applied to the damages they caused as a result of their negligence. If the other driver is uninsured, you still have to report the accident, but you will not be able to seek any compensation for your damages as a result of their negligence.
Exchange contact information with the other driver(s)
If the accident was a hit and run and there is no way to find out who caused it, the best thing you can do is exchange information with other people at the scene. After the police have arrived and you have provided a statement, it is a good idea to exchange information with the other driver(s) at the scene.
This is because it is not always possible to identify the driver of a vehicle after an accident, such as if they were on foot when the accident happened. If you exchange information with the other driver(s), you will have their record information and can follow up with them if necessary.
The police will also be able to collect this information, but they don’t need to record it. If you have any witnesses, you should also be sure to get their information and have them write down what they saw.
Find a lawyer and file a claim.
If the accident was the result of another driver’s negligence, you have the option of filing a claim against their insurance company. The first step to doing this is to find a lawyer in your area who specializes in car accident cases. Make sure to do some research and interview a few different lawyers to make sure you find one who can meet your needs as a client.
After you have found a lawyer, they will be able to help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. While you don’t have to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, it is a good idea to do so. This is because it protects you in case they don’t want to pay for the damage they caused. If you don’t file a claim against their insurance company, they can deny your claim completely.
Sideswipe accidents are something that drivers need to be aware of the risk of at all times. You never know when you might get hit on the side of your car unexpectedly and need to be prepared for it. It is important to stay calm and follow the tips listed above so that you know what to do in case you get into an accident. By taking these steps, you will be in a much better position to handle the situation and minimize the impact that the accident has on your life.