What is a Sideswipe Accident?


Sideswipe accidents typically occur when two vehicles that are traveling in the same direction collide. These accidents most often result in damage on the right side of one vehicle and the left side of the other. Unfortunately, these accidents can also result in severe or fatal injuries to the occupants inside.

If you were hurt in a sideswipe accident caused by another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, you could be owed significant compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, repairs to your vehicle, and other losses. It’s crucial to hire an experienced injury attorney to represent you, however, since seeking compensation can be a challenging process, especially as you work to recover from your injuries and move on with your life.

When a sideswipe accident injures you, turn to the skilled New York and Long Island car accident lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C. for help. For nearly four decades, we’ve helped injured New Yorkers get the fair compensation they need, and we’ll be ready to put our experience to work for you. Call us at 1-800-TOP-FIRM or reach out to us online right away to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

The majority of sideswipe accidents occur when both vehicles are driving next to each other, and one vehicle merges into the other. The accidents are often due to driver negligence. Some of the most common causes of sideswipe accidents in New York and throughout the country include:

  • Distracted driving. Many sideswipe accidents happen because a driver is not paying attention due to distractions, such as texting, eating, using the GPS, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or any other distraction that takes their mind off driving.
  • Driving erratically. Motorists who are in a hurry may recklessly weave in and out of traffic as they try to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Sudden lane changes can lead to sideswipe collisions.
  • Speeding. This limits a driver’s ability to maintain control of their vehicle and also reduces the time they have to react appropriately to hazards and other dangers the road.
  • Failing to yield. When a driver merges into traffic, they must yield to oncoming traffic. However, many drivers fail to yield as they pull onto freeways. Failing to yield can lead to a sideswipe accident when the oncoming driver cannot move out of the way in time.
  • Failure to change lanes properly. Motorists who do not recognize changes in traffic or wait until the last minute to exit an interstate may misjudge the space in between cars when merging to another lane. Also, drivers who attempt to pass a slow-moving vehicle may misjudge the speed and distance oncoming cars, making them swerve to avoid a head-on collision.
  • Impaired driving. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may have their judgment and depth perception seriously limited, which can result in them colliding with a neighboring vehicle.
  • Driver fatigue. Drowsiness and fatigue have a similar effect on a motorist’s driving abilities as does alcohol intoxication. Drivers who drive while tired have a heightened risk of drifting into another lane and causing a sideswipe collision.
  • Objects in the road. A driver may swerve to avoid hitting an object in the road and end up sideswiping a vehicle in an adjacent lane.
  • Defective brakes, tires, or other car parts. Sometimes sideswipe accidents are a result of defective auto parts, such as a glitch in the steering system. A braking system defect may force a motorist to swerve uncontrollably as they try to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Who is liable in a sideswipe accident?

Sometimes it is hard to determine fault in a sideswipe collision. Drivers in New York have a duty to stay in their lane and not move into an adjacent lane until they can safely and carefully do so. In most sideswipe accident cases, the driver who leaves their lane is the one at fault. However, if both drivers leave their lanes at the same time and collide, both will likely share fault.

The New York sideswipe accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. have extensive experience determining liability in sideswipe accident cases. If you have been injured in a sideswipe accident in New York that was caused by someone else, we are ready to fight tirelessly for the compensation and justice you deserve. To prove who was at fault for your sideswipe accident, we are ready to interview witnesses, request police reports and insurance records, and get help from accident reconstruction experts.

Common injuries

Injuries resulting from sideswipe accidents range from minor to severe and may include:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Bone fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Shoulder damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Nerve damage
  • Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
  • Knee or hip damage
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Contact a New York Sideswipe Accident Lawyer

Sideswipe accidents can cause significant damage to your vehicle and can result in serious injuries. If you have seriously injured in a sideswipe accident in New York caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Allow the New York personal injury lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. to help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact us at 855-TOP-FIRM. The New York car accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. are prepared to help you move forward with your life after a sideswipe accident. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid until you receive a financial award.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.