Operating a complex machine like a car can be very complicated. It’s important for drivers to pay attention at all times, not only of what they are doing but of what the cars around them are doing, too. When a driver becomes distracted from the road, they may not notice changes in their, or other driver’s, behavior. When they finally look back to the road, they may find themselves in a situation that requires a quick change of course, for example to avoid a head-on collision. Often the corrective action is made quickly enough to avoid a direct head-on collision, but not quick enough to avoid contact with the other car completely, resulting in a sideswipe collision. If you or a loved one was involved in a sideswipe collision, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a skilled auto accident attorney in Las Vegas to discuss your situation.
Sideswipe collisions are when one side of each car slides against the other. Sideswipe collisions may also happen between cars that are traveling in the same direction, especially when one car drifts into another lane or a car tries to change lanes without noticing the presence of the other car. While sideswipe collisions are typically less deadly than head-on or T-bone collisions, there is often significant physical damage to the other vehicle.
Laws Around Lane-Changing
Obviously it is illegal to drift into oncoming traffic, a common cause of sideswipe collisions, but changing lanes is a perfectly legal and necessary action that may result in sideswipe collisions. For this reason, it is important for all individuals to be aware of the laws established by the state of Nevada regarding safe lane-changing procedure. These laws include:
- Check oncoming traffic using both rear-view and side-view mirrors.
- Use a signal (i.e. blinker) at least 100 feet before changing lanes while on city streets and at least 300 feet when on the highway.
- Check any blind spots by looking over the shoulder.
- Never change lanes while passing through an intersection.
A driver that fails to follow the above laws when changing lanes may be held liable for any sideswipe collision that results as well as the consequences of that collision. If you were in a collision as a result of negligence, talk to an experienced accident attorney in Las Vegas to learn how you can get compensation.
Investigating the Sideswipe Collisions
Insurance companies are for-profit entities that are never looking out for victims’ best interests but are instead always looking for a way to reduce the amount of money they have to pay. Since sideswipe accidents don’t seem as serious as head-on or T-bone collisions, insurance representatives and company attorneys will try to suggest that the collision could not have caused as much physical damage or personal injury as the victims claim.
Additional Factors to Sideswipe Accidents
Especially at high speeds, sideswipe collisions involve a complex chain reaction of physics after even a slight grazing. It’s important to note that the actual collision itself is not the end of the event; a car may be forced off the road or into another car due to the initial sideswipe incident. Even if there is no other collision than the initial sideswipe, that can cause enough force to result in serious spinal injuries such as whiplash or head injuries such as traumatic brain injury (e.g. a concussion) that require medical treatment and may have significant lasting effects. Because every case is different, it’s important to speak to an accident attorney in Las Vegas for legal help.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney immediately is very important to be sure there is an unbiased evaluation of the collision. Collision analysis may include:
- Reconstructing the scene
- Reviewing police reports
- Interviewing third parties who may be used as witnesses
- Communicating with insurance companies on your behalf
Insurance companies go through these sorts of situations all the time. They are practically professional car collision dealers that are trying to get the best price on the situation. Allowing an accident attorney in Las Vegas to communicate with them on your behalf can take away a lot of stress and complications.
Establishing Driver Negligence
In many cases, sideswipe collisions are due to simple carelessness such as a driver taking his or her eyes off the road for a few moments or not looking carefully enough before changing lanes. Some other common reasons for sideswipe collisions include:
- Texting and driving
- Making a phone call and driving
- Engaging in other distractions such as changing the radio or communicating with passengers
- Tired driving
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of another drug
No matter the cause, any evidence of negligence is extremely important when establishing a case against the driver. Though many cases can be settled outside the court, it is possible that a judge and jury will have to listen to each side of the story and there’s no reason to believe they will automatically believe your version of events. It’s practical to assume the defendant and his or her insurance company will be strongly supported by a team of highly qualified and experienced lawyers. That’s why it’s important to have your own accident attorney in Las Vegas on your team.
Sideswipe Accident Attorney in Las Vegas
With over 15 years of experience helping victims of sideswipe accidents, Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers knows exactly what it takes to have a successful case. If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe collision, give us a call at (702) 384-1414 to speak to an auto accident attorney in Las Vegas. You can also fill out our online contact form here. We will aggressively fight for you so you get the compensation you deserve!