Seattle Sideswipe Accident Lawyer

Getting into a sideswipe accident is more than just an inconvenience. These types of incidents can leave individuals with substantial property damage and injuries, and often struggling to recover compensation. Here, we want to review sideswipe accidents, how they most commonly occur in the Seattle area, and what types of compensation you may be able to receive if the incident was caused by the negligence of another driver.

What is a Sideswipe Accident?

As the name suggests, sideswipe accidents happen when one vehicle strikes, scrapes, or otherwise makes contact with the side of another vehicle. Sideswipe accidents typically are not as serious as T-bone incidents (another type of side-impact collision), but they can lead to major injuries and property damage, given the right circumstances. These incidents can happen between two vehicles in motion or between one vehicle that is moving and one that is not.

How Do Sideswipe Accidents Happen in Seattle?

Sideswipe accidents can occur in various ways around the Seattle area, including the following:

  • Lane changing without checking blind spots: Drivers may change lanes without properly checking their blind spots, leading to collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes. This is particularly common on Seattle’s busy highways like I-5 and I-90, where lane changes are frequent.
  • Distracted driving: Engaging in activities like texting, using a phone, or adjusting the GPS/radio can divert a driver’s attention, causing them to drift into neighboring lanes. With Seattle’s heavy traffic, distractions can easily lead to sideswipe accidents.
  • Fatigue: Drowsy drivers are more likely to unintentionally drift out of their lane and into another vehicle. Seattle’s long commutes can exacerbate driver fatigue, increasing the risk of sideswipes.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol or drug impairment can impair a driver’s ability to maintain their lane and avoid sideswipe accidents. Despite Seattle’s efforts to curb impaired driving, it remains a significant risk factor.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive behaviors like tailgating or weaving between lanes increase the risk of sideswipes. Seattle’s dense traffic can sometimes lead to road rage and aggressive driving.
  • Inadequate use of turn signals: Failing to signal lane changes or turns can lead to unexpected movements and sideswipes.
  • Poor weather conditions: Reduced visibility and slippery roads in adverse weather make it easier for vehicles to inadvertently collide. Seattle’s frequent rain and occasional snow create hazardous driving conditions.
  • Inadequate road markings: Missing or unclear lane markings can confuse drivers, leading to sideswipe accidents. This can be a particular problem in areas with ongoing road construction or poor maintenance.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Novice drivers may struggle to maintain their lane or properly judge distances between vehicles, increasing the likelihood of sideswipes.
  • Mechanical failures: Vehicle issues like tire blowouts, brake failure, and steering defects can cause a driver to lose control and sideswipe other vehicles.
  • Medical conditions: Drivers with medical conditions that affect their control or awareness can unintentionally drift into adjacent lanes.

Common Injuries Sustained From a Seattle Sideswipe Accident

Sideswipe accidents can lead to a range of injuries for those inside the vehicles involved. The severity of the injuries will vary depending on the overall nature of the accident. For example, incidents that occur at higher speeds or those that lead to a vehicle slamming into other objects or going off the road may lead to worse injuries.

Some of the most common injuries associated with sideswipe accidents include:

  • Whiplash: This neck injury is common in car accidents and results from the sudden jolting motion of the head.
  • Other neck or back injuries: These can range from mild to severe and may include herniated discs or spinal fractures.
  • Spinal cord trauma: This serious injury can lead to partial or complete paralysis and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Severe bruising or contusions: Impact with parts of the vehicle or other objects can cause significant bruising.
  • Concussions: A blow to the head during a sideswipe can lead to a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury.
  • Traumatic brain injury: More severe impacts can result in long-term brain damage and cognitive issues.
  • Lacerations or puncture wounds: Broken glass and metal can cause cuts and punctures that may require stitches or other medical treatment.
  • Burn injuries from airbag deployment: While airbags save lives, they can also cause burns when they deploy.
  • Fractured or dislocated bones: The force of a sideswipe can break or dislocate bones, especially in the arms, legs, and ribs.
  • Sprains or strains: These soft tissue injuries can cause pain and limited mobility, often requiring physical therapy for recovery.

What Types of Compensation Can You Recover?

Sideswipe accident victims in Washington may be able to recover a range of compensation types if another driver caused the incident. We suggest contacting a skilled car accident attorney in Seattle who can walk you through every aspect of your claim, handle negotiations with any insurance carrier involved, and fully prepare your claim for trial if necessary. An attorney can work to help you recover various economic and non-economic damages for your losses, which can include:

  • Compensation for medical expenses related to the incident
  • Lost income if you are unable to work while you recover
  • Property damage expenses
  • Rental vehicle or out-of-pocket losses
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages

The exact types and total amount of compensation available will vary depending on the facts related to each particular situation. Please contact an attorney for further information as soon as possible.