Sideswipe collisions, also known as “lane-change accidents” or “merge accidents,” are a common type of car accident in California. These accidents occur when the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, often while both vehicles are traveling in the same direction.
It is important for drivers in California to understand the legal issues surrounding sideswipe collisions, as these accidents can result in significant injuries and property damage. In this article, we will provide an overview of sideswipe collisions, discuss the statutory duties of drivers in California, and explain how liability is determined in these types of accidents.
What is a sideswipe collision?
A sideswipe collision is a type of car accident that occurs when the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. These accidents often occur when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction and one vehicle inadvertently drifts into the lane of the other vehicle. Sideswipe collisions can also occur when a vehicle is merging onto a highway or changing lanes and fails to properly signal or check their blind spot.
Compared to other types of car accidents, sideswipe collisions often result in less severe injuries and property damage. However, they can still cause significant harm to the occupants of the vehicles involved. Common injuries in sideswipe collisions include cuts and bruises, whiplash, and broken bones.
Statutory duties of drivers in California
Under California law, all drivers have certain duties to other motorists on the road. These duties are designed to ensure that everyone on the road is safe and that accidents are avoided.
One of the most important duties of California drivers is the “Basic Speed Law,” which requires drivers to operate their vehicles at a safe speed for the conditions of the road. This means that drivers must adjust their speed to account for factors such as weather, visibility, and the presence of other vehicles.
Liability in California Sideswipe Collisions
In California, determining liability in a sideswipe collision can be complex and will often depend on the specific circumstances of the accident. In general, however, the party who is found to be at fault for the accident will be responsible for covering any damages or injuries that resulted from the collision.
One important factor that will be considered in determining liability is the actions of the drivers involved in the accident. For example, if one driver was speeding or driving recklessly at the time of the accident, they may be found to be at fault for the collision. Additionally, if a driver was distracted or not paying attention to the road, they may also be found to be at fault.
Another factor that will be taken into account is the location of the accident. If the accident occurred in an area with clear road markings, such as a marked lane, the driver who violated those markings may be found to be at fault. Similarly, if the accident occurred at an intersection, the driver who failed to yield the right of way may be found to be at fault.
It’s important to note that even if both drivers were partially at fault for the accident, they may still be able to recover damages under California’s comparative negligence laws. Under these laws, each driver’s liability will be determined based on their degree of fault, and damages will be awarded accordingly.
In cases where liability is unclear or disputed, it may be necessary to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney who can help determine who was at fault and ensure that you are able to recover the damages you are entitled to