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Sideswipe Car Accidents

One of the many types of car accidents that can occur on a highway in Pennsylvania is a sideswipe crash. Ranging from a minor scrape to a severe collision, a sideswipe accident can occur when a car changes lanes or attempts to merge. If you get injured in a sideswipe car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the other driver.

What Is a Sideswipe Car Accident?

A sideswipe car accident describes a motor vehicle collision where the side of one car touches or collides with the side of another. Typically, they occur when two vehicles are traveling parallel to each other in neighboring lanes of same-direction traffic. If one vehicle moves into the other vehicle’s lane when it is not safe to do so, the sides of both vehicles can touch or collide.

Common Consequences of Sideswipe Accidents  

A sideswipe accident could be minor, such as a low-speed scraping of two cars that only causes property damage. However, these accidents can also be severe and result in a major collision that inflicts injuries or deaths. 

Common severe injuries include:

If the sideswipe accident occurs at a high speed or causes one or both vehicles to lose control and veer off the road, the consequences can be dire. These accidents can also be serious if they cause additional collisions involving multiple vehicles.

What Causes Sideswipe Car Accidents?

Sideswipe car accidents are often the outcome of a dangerous or illegal lane change. Drivers in Pennsylvania have a legal responsibility to change lanes safely and prudently. Title 75 of the Statutes of Pennsylvania states: 

Upon a roadway no person shall turn a vehicle or move from one traffic lane to another or enter the traffic stream from a parked position unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this section.

The failure to change lanes safely is known as negligence. Examples include speeding, failing to signal, failing to check blind spots, driving while distracted or intoxicated, aggressive driving, and weaving in and out of multiple lanes.

Who Is Liable for a Sideswipe Car Accident in Pennsylvania? 

Pennsylvania has a unique “choice” no-fault car accident law. Under this insurance rule, drivers have the choice between “limited tort” and “full tort” coverage. The type of insurance you paid for will determine your rights after a sideswipe accident. 

With limited tort coverage, a no-fault rule applies, meaning you will file a claim with your own insurer for medical bill and property damage coverage, regardless of who is at fault for the crash. If you have full tort coverage, you will have the right to hold another driver liable or financially responsible for the sideswipe collision.

In a full tort coverage claim, you or your car accident attorney in Pittsburgh will have to prove that the other driver is at fault for the crash. Note that there is an exception to the no-fault system for severe injuries; a driver can generally be held liable for a sideswipe accident that causes significant or permanent injuries even if the victim has limited tort coverage.

When to Contact a Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating Pennsylvania’s insurance laws after a sideswipe car accident can be difficult, especially if you are also dealing with painful or debilitating injuries. The best way to protect your rights during the legal process is by hiring an attorney to handle your claim for you. 

Your specialized Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer can investigate the sideswipe accident, determine fault and causation, collect evidence, and go up against one or more insurance companies to pursue just compensation on your behalf. To discuss a specific case, contact Dallas W. Hartman P.C. for a free consultation.

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