Sideswipe Accidents in Connecticut: Who’s At Fault?

At Michael Chambers Law, we have extensive experience representing victims of sideswipe accidents in Connecticut. As a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen firsthand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these collisions can take on individuals and families.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes, impacts, and legal implications of sideswipe accidents and discuss how our firm can help you navigate the aftermath of such an event.

Understanding Sideswipe Accidents

Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two vehicles, traveling in the same or opposite direction, collide. These accidents are often referred to as “blind spot accidents” because they frequently happen when one vehicle is in the other’s blind spot. Common causes include distracted driving, improper lane changes, failure to yield when merging, and impaired driving.

While some sideswipe collisions result in minor damage like scrapes and dents, others can be catastrophic, especially when they occur at high speeds. The impact can cause drivers to lose control, leading to multi-vehicle pileups, rollovers, and collisions with roadside objects. Even seemingly minor sideswipes can cause serious injuries like whiplash, concussions, and spinal cord damage.

For more information, come and see how a Waterbury car accident lawyer can bring those responsible for the accident to justice

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Determining Fault in Connecticut

Connecticut follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning you can recover damages as long as you are less than 51% at fault for the accident. Your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you are found 30% responsible and awarded $100,000 in damages, you would receive $70,000.

Proving fault in sideswipe accidents can be challenging, especially when both drivers claim the other drifted into their lane. Police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction can help establish negligence. The driver who failed to maintain their lane is typically found at fault, but if the other driver was distracted, impaired, or driving recklessly, they may share liability.

Distracted Drivers

When another driver violates the rules of the road, they are at fault and should pay for any damages the accident caused. On the roads today, one leading cause of accidents – including sideswipes – is distracted driving. When a driver is not paying attention, they can easily drift out of their intended lane, sometimes crashing into the side of a vehicle in an adjacent lane.

A driver is engaging in distracted driving when they are doing any activity that causes them to take their attention away from the road when driving. This can include anything from using smartphones to text or talk while driving to speaking with passengers in the vehicle. Using an in-dash display or talking on the phone is also a form of distracted driving. When another driver was distracted and caused an accident in which you were injured or experienced property damage, you are entitled to damages.

Drunk Drivers

Each day in the United States, 28 people die due to impaired drivers, underlining the significant problem that illegal drunk driving presents. All injuries that happen because of drunk driving are 100 percent preventable, and when a drunk driver causes an accident that injures someone or causes property damage, they are liable for the damages that result.

Drunk drivers might not stay in their appropriate lane and sideswipe your vehicle, damaging your property and your body. If a police officer arrests the drunk driver, it might impose a criminal sentence, but you still need to take civil action to seek all the damages you need to cover your losses. Your attorney can use a drunk driving conviction as key evidence to prove your injury claim, though you might prevail on the civil side even without a criminal conviction of the drunk driver.

Commercial Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers are often the source of sideswipe accidents. Large semi-trucks have large blind spots along each side of their long trailers, and drivers should know how to properly check blind spots before changing lanes or making other maneuvers on the road. Seeing a large truck coming into your lane and colliding with your smaller car can be terrifying, and this type of crash is all too common on the highways.

There are many reasons why truck drivers might cause a sideswipe crash, including distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, and more. Your car accident attorney can help determine whether the trucker and the trucking company can be responsible for your losses.

Steps to Take After a Sideswipe Accident

If you’re involved in a sideswipe accident in Connecticut, knowing what to do after a car accident that wasn’t your fault is vital:

  1. Prioritize safety and gather evidence.
  2. Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed.
  3. Even if you feel fine, get checked out by a medical professional, as some injuries may have delayed symptoms.
  4. Document the scene by taking photos of vehicle damage, road conditions, and visible injuries.
  5. Collect the other driver’s contact and insurance information and get witnesses’ statements. This evidence can be crucial when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
  6. Get in touch with a personal injury law firm

For information on how a Hartford car accident lawyer may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party, get in touch today for a free consultation

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Recovering Fully for Your Losses Following a Sideswipe

Damages After Sideswipe AccidentCollecting full compensation following a sideswipe car accident depends on the accurate calculation of the impact of your injuries on your ability to work and enjoy your personal life in the time following the accident. Your medical costs are not limited to what you have to pay the emergency room for your immediate medical care following the collision.

Medical expenses include any follow-up treatment, rehabilitation, medication, and other measures that might be necessary for you to fully recover from your injuries. Knowing what you will need in the future can require additional medical opinions after you receive emergency medical care, and your local car accident attorney will know how to identify all expenses that qualify for compensation.

You can also qualify for future medical expenses if your injuries are permanent or will require additional care once your claim resolves. Often, medical experts need to prove your estimated future costs, and your lawyer can obtain these expert opinions when necessary.

You can also recover for any wages you lost during your recovery – even if you only missed a week or two of work. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to earning what you did before the crash, you can also seek damages for future lost earnings.

Knowing what you will lose in earnings in the future requires the opinion of an occupational expert. An occupational expert considers how your symptoms in both the short and long term will impact your ability to work and support your family.

When you cannot return to work at all due to an injury, you can seek compensation to cover your lost wages throughout your working life. If you cannot return to a job that pays as well as before your injury, the compensation you deserve will be equal to the lost earnings you experience each year through the end of your working life.

In addition to the above financial losses, sideswipe collision victims can also seek compensation for intangible (or non-economic) losses.

These can include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability

These calculations are all complex and might require expert opinions, and your car accident attorney can collect them then apply them in your case to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Additional reading: average car accident settlement in Connecticut

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney

Sideswipe accident victims often face mounting medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Insurance companies may try to minimize your claim or shift blame to avoid paying out. This is where having an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Michael Chambers Law can make a difference. We can handle communication with the insurers, gather evidence to support your claim and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

When we take on your case, we conduct a thorough investigation to determine liability and assess the full extent of your damages. We consult with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and financial professionals to build a strong case on your behalf. We aim to secure compensation for your current and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other applicable damages.

We understand that the thought of a lengthy legal battle can be overwhelming when you’re focusing on recovery. That’s why we handle all aspects of your claim, from paperwork to negotiations. We are prepared to take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached.
Contact Michael Chambers Law

If you or a loved one has been injured in a sideswipe accident in Connecticut, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Michael Chambers Law for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay no fees unless we win your case. Let us use our knowledge, resources, and dedication to help you get back on the road to recovery.

Call us today at 860-231-9535 or visit our office at 2 Congress Street, Hartford, CT 06114. We’re here to be your advocates and guide you through this challenging time.

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