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Who is At Fault for a Sideswipe Accident?

Sideswipe accidents occur when two cars are traveling side by side and collide. They are very common accidents on the freeway when a vehicle is trying to merge with traffic. After colliding, one or both motorists can lose control and crash off the road or into other vehicles, suffering serious injuries.

A major question with sideswipe accidents is a fault. It is not unusual for both motorists to point the finger and blame each other. If you’ve been injured in a sideswipe, contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys to speak with an Atlanta car accident lawyer. We excel at reconstructing car accidents, identifying faults, and negotiating favorable compensation for our clients. All you need to do is reach out to us today.

Rules for Merging on the Highway

Georgia law is very clear that when vehicles are trying to merge, they must yield the right of way to the traffic already on the road. This means that motorists must slow down or speed up, as need be, and not try to pull into traffic unless it is safe to do so.

However, cars already on the freeway have duties as well. If possible, you should move into the left-hand lane so that there is space for merging traffic. Motorists also should not speed or drive erratically.

Determining Fault for a Sideswipe

Despite the rules of the road, countless sideswipe accidents happen every year. Georgia law allows victims to receive compensation for things like car repairs and medical bills, but we need to determine fault first. Georgia is a fault state when it comes to car accidents, so everything rides on identifying the party to blame.

In most situations, we will use the following evidence:

  • Eyewitness testimony. Witnesses can provide information about what happened. Was a driver speeding? Refusing to pull over? They paint a picture so we can “see” the accident.
  • Dashcam video. Increasingly, cars have dashcams for insurance purposes. They can show how an accident unfolded, which helps us determine fault.
  • Skid marks. The presence of skid marks on the road can show one driver took defensive action to try and avoid a crash.
  • Physical evidence. The impact zones on the cars also provide information about how the accident happened. For example, the front of the car merging might have struck the back side of the car on the highway. This shows that the merging car probably pulled in when there wasn’t enough room.

Once we determine the fault, we can get to work advocating for fair compensation. Realize that Georgia law allows more than one driver to be partially at fault for any crash. It could be that the drivers of both cars involved failed to follow the rules of the road, leading directly to a wreck.

Were You Hurt in a Sideswipe Accident?

If so, our Atlanta car accident lawyers want to talk to you. Stewart Miller Simmers Trial Attorneys can negotiate a settlement with the other driver and even file a lawsuit, if necessary, to seek compensation. Call today, (404) 529-3476, to schedule a case evaluation.