Sideswipe Collision: What You Need To Know!


A sideswipe collision is an accident that occurs when two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide. Either the vehicle on the left impacts the right side of a parallel vehicle or vice versa. There are also a fair number of opposite-direction sideswipe collisions.

The severity of the crash often depends on the part of the vehicle impacted by the collision. The more severe the damage the more severe the victim’s injuries are likely to be. However, significant injuries could occur even if the vehicles involved sustained minor damage.

For example, a sideswipe where the front right end of a vehicle impacts the left rear end of another vehicle may cause the impacted vehicle’s driver to lose control and spin out, causing a serious accident that could involve multiple cars. Victims of these crashes could hit fixed objects like:

  • Barrels
  • Road signs
  • Trees
  • Guardrails
  • Light poles
  • Utility polices
  • Concrete barriers

Sideswipe accidents may be especially dangerous on highways when vehicles are traveling at high speed and there are multiple lanes of traffic.


There are a variety of reasons sideswipe collisions occur. Most of them are caused by negligent drivers who fail to check blind spots before changing lanes or merging. Some other negligent actions that cause sideswipe accidents include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Distracted driving (texting and driving, looking at the stereo, etc.)
  • Aggressive driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Racing
  • Rushing to try to merge
  • Speeding
  • Failure to use a turn signal
  • Failing to ensure there is enough room to switch lanes
  • Drowsy driving
  • Oversteering on a steep curve
  • Understeering on a steep curve
  • Speeding up when another driver is changing lanes
  • Slowing down as a driver changes lanes behind you
  • Refusing to let another driver change lanes
  • Crossing multiple lanes
  • Constantly switching lanes
  • Failing to notice a car two lanes over is changing lanes into the middle lane

Sometimes sideswipe accidents are a result of bad weather conditions. For example, a vehicle that hydroplanes on a wet road could collide with the side of another. The same goes for icy roads or vehicles caught on black ice. However, if weather conditions are not ideal, drivers have a heightened duty of care to others to act in a manner that should help lower the risk of a crash.


Yes, more than one party may be liable for a sideswipe accident. One common example of this is when two drivers merge into the same lane at the same time. If neither driver properly checked to make sure the lane was clear before merging into it, they could both be liable for the crash.

If you are partially at fault for a sideswipe accident, you may still be able to recover compensation based upon the apportionment of fault between you and the other driver. In cases involving multiple vehicles, liability is still likely to fall only to the driver whose negligent actions set off the chain of events that ultimately caused your injuries.  For example, a driver who sideswipes another vehicle and causes that vehicle to crash into you is likely going to be the liable party.


Proving someone else is liable for your damages comes down to proving his or her negligence is what caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. To do this you must be able to gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case for compensation.

Some of the evidence you may be able to use to prove fault for the crash includes:

  • Police report
  • Photos of the scene
  • Eyewitness statements

You should immediately seek medical attention for your injuries to protect your health and to help link them to the crash.

No matter how minor you may think the accident is, you should always call the police. You need to have the crash officially documented. You also do not want to give the insurance company reason to suspect you were injured by something besides the crash. Without a police report, you may have a harder time proving you were in a crash.

The other driver may offer cash but there is no way of knowing if it will be enough to cover your damages. What if your injuries are worse than you thought and the money you received runs out? The insurance company is likely to deny liability for your damages.


Our firm understands the repercussions of a serious accident. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you should not have to fight the uphill battle for compensation on your own. When you hire Ferrell & Brown, you are hiring a devoted, caring, and aggressive team who will tenaciously fight for you. If you or someone you know was injured in a wreck and wishes to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Ferrell & Brown.


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