Sideswipe Car Accident Lawyer in Queens, NY
A glancing blow to your car from a vehicle in an adjacent lane can cause a sideswipe accident. These crashes may result in serious injuries, especially if the car that was struck in the side gets pushed into another lane or slides off the road. If you have been seriously injured in a sideswipe accident, your no-fault insurance may not be enough to cover all your medical bills and other expenses. You should talk to a knowledgeable Queens sideswipe accident lawyer about your options for seeking compensation.
At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to helping you pursue compensation for serious injuries caused by another driver’s carelessness. We understand what it takes to build a compelling injury claim. We also know when it is necessary to go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit. We have helped countless Queens car accident victims seek the money needed to rebuild their lives.
For a free legal consultation, contact our office today. An attorney can review your sideswipe accident and give you advice about the appropriate steps to take. Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. If you have been seriously injured by the negligence of others, our skilled Queens sideswipe accident attorneys are ready to advocate for you.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident occurs when the sides of two vehicles collide or scrape up against each other. Typically, the two vehicles are traveling in the same direction when they sideswipe each other, though they could be traveling in the opposite direction.
Sideswipe accidents tend to be most common on highways and expressways where cars are merging and changing lanes in heavy traffic, and one driver fails to yield the right of way to a vehicle already occupying a lane.
Some of the most common causes of sideswipe accidents include:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Drowsy driving
- Failing to signal
- Merging on the highway or into another lane without checking surroundings
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Blindspot accidents
Inclement weather can reduce visibility and contribute to a sideswipe accident. Wet roads can increase the chances of hydroplaning. When a car hydroplanes, a driver may not be able to maintain control of their vehicle. They can end up drifting into nearby lanes of traffic. Icy road conditions can also cause drivers to lose control and cause sideswipe accidents
Unsafe Lane Change Accident Statistics in NY
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that, in a recent year, there were 913 fatal sideswipe accidents nationwide. Unsafe lane changes are a leading cause of sideswipe accidents. Drivers dealing with New York City traffic frequently get frustrated and attempt unsafe lane changes. In Queens, the City of New York Police Department recently recorded a total of 62 unsafe lane changes in just one month. The department also found 138 incidents of improper passing or lane usage.
The department also found several other unsafe behaviors that contributed to 2,349 recorded accidents in the Queens area over the same time period. These behaviors include:
- 665 incidents of distracted driving
- 37 alcohol-involved incidents
- 74 incidents of passing too closely
- 277 incidents of drivers failing to yield
Effects of Sideswipe Collisions
A common misconception is that sideswipe accidents tend to be insignificant and only cause body damage to vehicles. Unfortunately, sideswipe accidents can be extremely dangerous and cause serious injuries, especially when they occur at higher speeds. Many sideswipe accidents happen due to unsafe lane changes on high-volume highways or interstates.
Upon impact, drivers may lose control of their vehicle, causing them to collide with other drivers or cross into the opposite lanes of traffic. Sideswipe accidents may be the source of an initial impact, but secondary accidents are common due to loss of control of the vehicle.
The impact of a sideswipe accident can send a driver on a collision course with fixed objects such as guardrails, trees, or fences. Being hit in the side can alter a vehicle’s direction. Often this happens so quickly that the driver cannot correct their course before hitting an object.
Injuries that are common in sideswipe collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and dislocations
- Soft tissue injuries
The injuries from a sideswipe collision may appear minor at first. However, you may develop a sore neck or other injuries in the hours and days after the crash. Following an accident, it is important to seek prompt medical attention to identify and treat any potential injuries. To cover your initial medical expenses, you will file a claim against your own Personal Injury Protection no-fault insurance, regardless of who caused the sideswipe accident. If your expenses exceed your no-fault insurance coverage limits, then talk to a Queens car accident attorney to discuss your options for seeking compensation for your medical expenses.
Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe Accident?
In states such as New York that have a no-fault insurance system, individuals who are involved in car accidents generally turn first to their own insurer for coverage of medical expenses, no matter who was at fault. New York requires all motorists to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for medical expenses and lost earnings.
Sideswipe victims may be able to hold an at-fault party accountable if their injuries are serious enough to meet a certain threshold. The law dictates that those who suffer from serious injuries after a collision can seek compensation through a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Serious injuries as defined by New York law, include:
- Injuries that cause significant disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Permanent limited use of a body part
- Permanent limited use of a body organ
- Significantly limited use of a body part
- Significantly limited use of a body system
- Full disability for 90 days
New York motorists are also required to carry auto liability insurance, including at least:
- $25,000 for bodily injury by any one person
- $50,000 for an injury resulting in death by any one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury by two or more people in one accident
- $100,000 for bodily injury resulting in the death of two or more people
After a sideswipe accident caused by another driver, talk to an experienced Queens car accident attorney. An attorney can review your case and advise you of your legal pathways for seeking compensation. An insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit may be viable options.
What to Do After a Sideswipe Accident
A sideswipe accident can leave you shaken. You may have a hard time concentrating on what to do next.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Contact the authorities – Contact the police and stay at the scene of the crash. Law enforcement and emergency services can help treat victims and secure the accident scene. Responding officers will create an accident report that may be useful later to support your claim for compensation.
- Seek medical attention immediately – If you do not need to be transported by ambulance, you still need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Adrenaline can mask pain and signs of serious injuries. Medical documentation of your injuries is also a vital part of an accident claim.
- Follow your treatment plan – Keep all follow-up doctor appointments and stick to your physician’s treatment plan. Medical records can be crucial to an accident claim. Failing to follow your physician’s treatment plan can jeopardize your claim.
- If possible, document the scene – Try to collect as much information from the scene of the crash as possible. Take pictures of the damage, skid marks, injuries, and traffic signs. If people witnessed the crash, ask them for their contact information. Take notes about anything you can remember while it is still fresh in your mind. Note the time, date, and anything else about the moments just before the crash.
- Consult with an attorney – Getting an attorney on your side as early as possible can make a difference if you have serious injuries and another motorist was at fault. Contact a skilled Queens car accident attorney to talk about your legal options for recovering the compensation.
- Report the accident – New York requires motorists involved in crashes that cause fatalities, injuries, and more than $1,000 in property damage to report the accident to the DMV. This report must be completed and submitted within ten days of the crash.
- Go social media silent – Do not post comments about the accident on social media. Keep the details of the accident between you and your attorney.
- Keep all documents – Be sure to keep track of all your medical expenses, bills, repair costs, and out-of-pocket receipts.
Contact an Experienced Queens Sideswipe Accident Attorney
Don’t let anyone convince you that a sideswipe accident isn’t a big deal. If you have been seriously injured in a sideswipe accident and another driver was at fault, contact the Queens legal team at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your legal options for holding the at-fault driver accountable
For a free consultation, contact us today. We want to help you pursue the money you need to recover from your injuries and move on with your life.