A sideswipe accident occurs when a vehicle strikes an adjacent vehicle during a lane change. Also known as lane-changing accidents, they are among the most dangerous types of accidents in Florida. Sideswipe accidents in Winter Haven often result in significant personal injury and property damage.
What makes sideswipe accidents so dangerous? There are two reasons:
- The side sections of an automobile lack the bumpers, crumple zones, and other collision protections found in the front and rear parts of the vehicles. This leaves drivers and passengers vulnerable to serious injury during a sideswipe accident.
- Sideswipe accidents can cause either or both drivers to lose control of their vehicles. This can cause their vehicles to stray into the path of other vehicles or off the road where they can strike other vehicles, objects, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 950 fatal sideswipe accidents in 2020, accounting for 2.7% of all fatal accidents in the U.S. during that year.
Sideswipe accidents can occur in parking lots as well, such as when an auto tries to pull into or out of a parking space and strikes a vehicle in the next space.
Causes of Sideswipe Accidents in Winter Haven
Common causes of sideswipe accidents in Winter Haven include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication
- Improper lane changing
- Improper passing
- Operating a vehicle in an erratic, reckless, or negligent manner
- Driving too fast/racing
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Falling asleep or passing out behind the wheel
- Swerving to avoid striking an object, vehicle, or pedestrian
- Unsafe driving on slippery road surfaces
Victims of sideswipe accidents in Winter Haven can experience serious, even catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfigurement and more
In some cases, they may never fully recover from their injuries. Victims of sideswipe accidents may be able to recover compensation for:
- Sky-high medical bills
- Long-term medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What Does Florida Law Say About Unsafe Lane Changes?
According to Florida Statutes, a vehicle shall be driven entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety, and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement. Violations of these statutes are noncriminal traffic infractions, punishable as a moving violation.
Who Is Liable in a Side Swipe Collision in Florida?
In most cases, the driver of the vehicle who was making the unsafe lane change and caused the collision is liable in a sideswipe accident. However, the other driver may also be liable if it can be shown that they shared some responsibility for the accident.
State law allows drivers and passengers injured in side-swipe accidents in Florida to seek compensation for their accident-related damages by filing a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party and their insurance company. In order to prevail, the victim must be able to prove that the other driver’s negligent actions resulted in a sideswipe accident, they were injured as a result of the accident, and that these injuries resulted in damages and loss.
Statutes of limitation apply to personal injury claims. Injured drivers and passengers only have two years from the date of the accident in which to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Have You Been Injured in a Sideswipe Accident in Winter Haven?
A sideswipe accident can change your life forever. If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe accident in Winter Haven, FL, or a surrounding community that was caused by the negligent actions of another driver, Rivas Law Group is here to help you get the total compensation you deserve for your accident-related injuries.
Winter Haven personal injury attorney Tania Rivas has successfully represented clients injured in a wide range of auto, motorcycle, and truck accidents. Tania’s dedication and legal expertise have enabled her to recover millions in settlements for her clients, including a $600,000 settlement for a client who suffered a back injury in a Tampa, FL sideswipe accident.
The sooner you seek experienced legal representation after your accident, the better. Contact Rivas Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your accident with a leading Winter Haven auto accident attorney. You can reach us through our website or call us at (877) 299-5539.