Say the words “truck accident”, and most people picture a scene in which one vehicle has collided into the rear, side, or front of another. However, an accident can also occur when two vehicles scrape or “swipe” alongside one another.
Truck sideswipe accidents can result in profound property damage, severe injuries, and long-lasting pain and suffering. At Trucking Injury Law Group, we do everything in our power to ensure that victims receive the full and fair compensation they are owed.
For an opportunity to speak with a sideswipe truck accident lawyer at no cost, contact Trucking Injury Law Group as soon as possible. Our Super Team of lawyers operates in multiple states and has the nationwide resources needed to handle even the most complicated personal injury cases. Your free consultation is just a call or click away.
Is a Sideswipe Considered a “Real” Accident?
Yes, any time that two vehicles hit, strike, or collide with one another, an accident has occurred. Unfortunately, there is a prevailing misunderstanding about truck sideswipe crashes, with many people (passenger vehicle and truck drivers included) not fully understanding just how serious they can be.
As truck accident attorneys, we have seen time and time again how an insurance company will try to downplay the severity of a sideswipe collision. We want to be clear—any time that a truck collides with a smaller vehicle, it has the potential to cause serious injuries, extensive property damage, and steep financial losses.
A trucking company or insurance adjuster may try to downplay what happened to you, but make no mistake—your physical, financial, and emotional damages are real and should not be minimized.
Why Sideswipe Accidents Happen
A sideswipe accident occurs when the sides of two different vehicles touch, scrape, or swipe against one another. The vehicles may be traveling in the same or opposite direction of one another.
One of the most common causes of this type of trucking accident is also one of the most easily preventable. When a truck driver fails to check their mirrors or does not consider that other vehicles could be in their blind spots and decides to change lanes, a wholly avoidable accident can occur.
Other causes of sideswipe truck accidents include:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Distracted driving (especially texting or physically manipulating a phone)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while tired or fatigued
Truckers are professional drivers who have been trained and licensed to safely sit behind the wheel of large commercial vehicles. When they choose to drive without regard for the safety of others, they have the power to cause real, lasting harm to accident victims.
The Role of “No-Zones” in Sideswipe Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks have four large blind spots that surround every side of the vehicle to the front, back, and both sides. When sharing the road with a tractor-trailer, always avoid spending time in its “no-zones”:
- 20 feet in front of the truck
- 2 lanes to the right, extending back to the rear of the trailer
- 1 lane to the left, extending back most of the length of the trailer
- 200 feet directly behind the truck
Many blind spot accidents are categorized as sideswipe collisions. This is because a truck driver can cause a crash when they fail to consider their blind spots before changing lanes or passing another vehicle.
Is the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for an Accident?
Like in any commercial truck crash, there may be multiple at-fault parties in a sideswipe truck accident claim. As a multi-state law group built on the knowledge, experience, and tenacity of our founding attorneys, we know what it takes to correctly determine fault and recover compensation on your behalf.
When a truck driver fails to check their blind spot or makes a lane change without making sure the way is clear, they are considered to be at fault for any accident that occurs. But what about their employer?
When truck drivers get behind the wheel of tractor-trailers and drive on behalf of their employers as part of their work duties, their employers are also legally liable for any accident that they cause.
Are Sideswipe Injuries Serious?
Whether traveling in the opposite or same direction, a sideswipe accident caused by a dangerous lane change has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. These injuries rarely affect semi-truck drivers, with those most seriously hurt often being the driver and passengers in the victim’s vehicle.
When two motor vehicles hit, connect, or swipe along their sides, one or more may lose control, colliding with other cars or spinning into the path of oncoming traffic lanes. What might start as a seemingly minor sideswipe collision can quickly spiral into something much more serious, involving multiple cars and victims.
Some of the most common injuries that tractor-trailers can cause in sideswipe accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
There is no denying it—a sideswipe accident involving a semi-truck and a smaller passenger vehicle can cause victims to suffer injuries that are life-altering. Because the reality for most victims of sideswipe truck accidents is that life will never look quite the same again.
Months or years of medical care, surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescription medications, and ongoing visits to specialists can consume a person’s life post-crash.
The Role of a Truck Accident Attorney in a Personal Injury Claim
Injury claims involving truck sideswipe accidents can be deceptively complex. Most trucking companies will take even a straightforward case of truck driver negligence and twist it into something else altogether, making it difficult for you to prove fault and secure the compensation you are owed for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.
You deserve better.
Don’t let the insurance company tell you what your claim is worth. When you hire a sideswipe accident lawyer, you are sending a clear message to the trucking company and its insurer: you know what you are owed, and you aren’t willing to settle for anything less.
Preserving Evidence in Injury Claims
Sideswipe truck accident attorneys also play a critical role in the collection, preservation, and analysis of evidence. When we work with accident victims, we determine and prove how the accident happened with the support of some of the following evidence:
- Pictures and videos taken at the accident scene (including those that show skid marks, time of day, and driving conditions)
- The police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Testimony from medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts
- Information recorded by the truck’s electronic data recorder (EDR)
If you suffered injuries in a sideswipe collision, the evidence you need to prove your case could disappear much faster than you realize. When in doubt, keep copies of anything you receive related to the crash, including invoices for medical attention you’ve received, bills for auto repairs, documented proof of time-off requests from work, and pictures of visible injuries.
How Long Do I Have To File My Claim?
Time will pass quickly in the days, weeks, and months following a sideswipe truck accident. Trucking companies count on crash victims not understanding their rights or the limitations on their ability to take legal action.
Statutes of limitations are time limits set by states that dictate the period in which you are allowed to file an injury claim. Most states permit victims to file a truck accident claim up to two to three years after a crash. However, you must know the specific statute of limitation set by the state in which your sideswipe truck accident occurred.
If you fail to file a claim within the prescribed period of time, you will lose out on your right to compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and emotional damages.
Trucking Injury Law Group Gets Results
Trucking Injury Law Group was born out of a passion to help those who have been injured in sideswipe truck accidents. As a multi-state, joint venture law group made up of a Super Team of lawyers, we are committed to the highest levels of professionalism, reliability, and expertise. We are known by the trucking companies for our steadfast legal representation.
When we take on a truck accident case, we don’t stop until we have reached the best possible conclusion. Our goal is to always preserve the dignity and well-being of our clients through unrivaled advocacy.
Ready to speak with a sideswipe truck accident attorney? There is no cost, obligation, or risk associated with our first meeting. Call or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free case evaluation.