A sideswipe accident can be scary. It can cause panic and fear, sometimes leading to drivers making rash decisions and erratic movements on the road. It’s vital to recognize who is at fault when a sideswipe accident occurs. Is it always the driver next to you? Is it somebody else? Can you be at fault? We’ll explain the complexities in these types of crashes below.
Is the Driver Next to You Always Negligent?
If a driver merges into your lane, they are almost always responsible for a sideswipe crash. However, there are additional circumstances that come into play. For instance, if the driver next to you is maneuvering to avoid another driver on the other side of them, how much fault falls on the driver in the further lane?
The driver next to you should take steps to avoid an accident but merging into you is not one of those precautionary maneuvers. They can still hold some fault, even when another driver is negligent and is overall responsible for causing an accident.
Can You Hold Some Fault?
You need to be as safe as possible because you can hold some liability in a sideswipe crash if you don’t take any steps to avoid the harm. For instance, if you recognize a driver merging towards your lane, you can hold negligence if you:
- Speed up as the car merges in front of you
- Slow down as the car merges behind you
- Are distracted and fail to recognize the vehicle merging
- Refuse to allow the other driver to merge
Your safety and health is imperative. The moment someone else puts you at risk, it’s crucial to try and avoid a crash. If you can’t and the other driver causes you harm, you may have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible party.
At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we commit to helping you through the challenging legal process. Our North Dakota car accident attorneys will be there for you from start to finish, working in your corner to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.