Drivers frequently change lanes without incident, but in some instances, two motorists will attempt to move into the same lane of traffic at one time, causing a sideswipe accident. Sideswipe accidents can cause significant property damage and painful injuries, but it is not always immediately clear who is responsible, and liability is often disputed. If you were hurt in a sideswipe crash, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether you have a viable claim for damages. The knowledgeable Roswell car accident lawyers at Don Turner Legal Team can determine whether you may be owed compensation. We have the skills and resources needed to help you seek the best result possible in your case.Causes of Sideswipe Accidents
Sideswipe accidents occur when there is an impact between the sides of two vehicles, and they are typically results of careless driving. Georgia’s motor vehicle laws dictate that drivers cannot change lanes until and unless they can do so with reasonable safety. This means, in part, that they must activate their turn signals for an appropriate amount of time to alert other drivers of their intent to change lanes. When drivers fail to abide by these rules and change lanes suddenly without any warning, they may hit motorists traveling in the lane into which they are moving, causing sideswipe accidents. Sideswipe crashes can also occur when two cars attempt to move into the same lane at the same time. Drivers who are not paying attention and inadvertently veer into an adjacent lane often hit other moving or parked vehicles as well.Pursuing Damages for Sideswipe Accidents
People hurt in sideswipe accidents often have significant pain and financial losses, and they may choose to seek compensation from other parties involved in the accident. In order to recover damages, though, a plaintiff in a sideswipe accident case must first establish liability. Generally, this means that the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent.
In Georgia, negligence consists of four elements: duty, breach, damages, and causation. In other words, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty owed may be the general duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, or it may be an obligation imposed by a statute like a motor vehicle law. Then, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant acted in a way that constituted a breach of the duty owed. The plaintiff also needs to show that the accident caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm, such as physical injuries, financial losses, and mental and emotional trauma. Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate a link between the defendant’s acts and the harm suffered. In other words, the plaintiff needs to produce evidence that shows that the accident would not have happened without the defendant’s breach. While the departure from the duty owed does not need to be the sole cause of the collision, it must have been a significant factor in causing it.
Given the manner in which many sideswipe accidents occur, a defendant may be reluctant to concede responsibility for the plaintiff’s harm, and they may blame the plaintiff for the accident. Plaintiffs who are found partially at fault for accidents can still recover damages, though, as long as they are not 50 percent or more at fault.Discuss Your Car Accident With a Skillful Roswell Attorney
Sideswipe accidents typically occur when people fail to adhere to safe driving practices, and motorists who cause such crashes should be held accountable for any harm that they cause. If you sustained damages because of a sideswipe accident, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer to assess your possible claims. At Don Turner Legal Team, our car accident attorneys can examine the circumstances surrounding your harm and develop arguments that will aid you in pursuing a successful outcome. We regularly assist people in lawsuits arising out of car accidents in Roswell, Atlanta, McDonough, and other areas of Georgia, including communities in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Clarke, Cherokee, Douglas, Forsyth, Greene, Hall, Henry, Richmond, and Rockdale Counties. You can contact us through our online form or at (770) 594-1777 to schedule a meeting.