Athens Sideswipe Accident Lawyer
Sideswipes occur when one car scrapes against or hits a second car side-to-side while they are driving in the same or opposite directions.
If you were in a sideswipe collision in Athens that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a case. Call an Athens sideswipe accident lawyer at (706) 995-7547 for help holding the negligent person accountable.
Sideswipes Are Particularly Dangerous
Sideswipe accidents are more dangerous than some others because one or both cars can easily lose control of their vehicles. The first instinct after swiping or getting swiped might be to swerve in the opposite direction or overcorrect.
If the impact of the sideswipe is great enough, it can also send one or both cars in the opposite direction due to the sheer force of the collision.
Either way, when a driver loses control, they can veer into obstacles, run off the road, or swerve into oncoming traffic, causing additional accidents.
Common Injuries in Sideswipe Collisions
The sides of a vehicle are less protective than the front and rear, making severe injuries possible. Keep reading to learn about a few of the most common injuries that sideswipe accidents can cause.
A bone fracture is any break in a continuous piece of bone, and they’re common in sideswipe accidents. You can fracture ribs or your collarbone from hitting the side door, dashboard, or even the airbag. You could also fracture the bones in your arm on side impact.
Some bone fractures are small breaks in the bone continuity and can heal quickly, but other bones might have larger fractures or be fractured in multiple places. These can take much longer to heal and may require surgery.
Neck and Back Injuries
The most common neck or back injury by far is whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the head being thrust suddenly forward and then backward. In this case, it can also occur from the head being thrust suddenly from one side to another.
Whiplash can range from mild to severe and usually results in neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. It often heals with rest and pain medication, but some people may require a neck brace.
When it comes to back injuries, things can get a little more serious. If you damage the muscles or tendons in your back, you could end up with moderate to severe back pain that could lead to permanent mobility issues.
However, if you damage nerves or part of your spinal cord, you could be left with paraplegia or quadriplegia. Paraplegia is the paralysis of both legs and the lower half of the body, while quadriplegia is the paralysis from the neck down, including both arms and both legs.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and Concussions
The impact of a sideswipe accident can cause the driver or passengers to hit their head on the window, steering wheel, or dashboard, which is a common cause of concussions or a more serious traumatic brain injury.
However, concussions do not require you to hit your head. Concussions are caused by the head being jolted rapidly, hitting the brain against the inside of the skull and causing swelling. Milder brain injuries can heal with rest, but others cause permanent brain damage and negatively affect cognition, memory, behavior, and emotions.
It’s important to get checked out by a doctor after a car accident, even if you feel fine. Early detection and treatment of head injuries can increase your chances of a full recovery.
Internal Injuries From Seatbelts
Seatbelts are crucial for safety and absolutely save lives when worn during car accidents, but they can also be the cause of serious internal injuries.
The tension exerted by the seatbelt on the body can injure vital organs such as the stomach, intestines, bladder, lungs, heart, or kidneys. It can also cause bruised or fractured ribs, sternum and chest injuries, and damage to shoulder muscles and soft tissue in the abdomen.
Like TBIs, internal injuries are not always immediately obvious. It’s another reason why you should see a doctor right away. Getting checked out early could improve your chances of healing fully, or even save your life.
Who’s liable in a sideswipe?
Typically, the driver who didn’t stay in their lane and hit someone in a different lane is the one held liable for the sideswipe accident. However, that’s not always the case. In some cases, the driver who was hit while staying in their own lane may be at fault if they cut the other driver off or sped up while the other driver was merging lanes.
One major reason to hire an Athens sideswipe accident lawyer is that they can help you to prove that the other driver was negligent and liable for the accident. You’ll need to gather as much evidence as possible about the accident.
This may include photos and videos of vehicle damage, photos and videos of the scene of the accident, surveillance footage, police reports, and witness statements – anything that can help piece together what happened in the moments leading up to the sideswipe.
Also keep records of any doctor’s visits and diagnoses as this evidence can help you prove liability as well.
Tips to Avoid Sideswipe Accidents
Erratic and reckless drivers can swerve into a different lane and sideswipe a car without warning, so these collisions aren’t completely preventable.
However, you can still do your part every day to reduce the chance of being in an accident. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:
1. Always check your mirrors and blind spots.
First and foremost, always check your mirrors and blind spots regularly, especially when you’re changing lanes, braking, or preparing to take an exit. A car could be attempting to merge into the same lane as you from either side at the same time.
Checking mirrors and blind spots is an automatic behavior for many drivers, but others fail to do so before merging or don’t check frequently enough.
2. Use turn signals when changing lanes.
Also, be sure to always use turn signals when merging onto the highway, changing lanes, and taking exits, even if you think no one is in the lane you’re moving to. Drivers behind you could speed up or change lanes, and drivers in front of you could brake suddenly or change lanes as well.
Always use your turn signals well before you change lanes so surrounding vehicles have the opportunity to see it. Failing to use turn signals can not only cause an accident but also make you the negligent one at fault.
Injured in a sideswipe? Let us help.
Were you injured in a sideswipe accident in Athens? We want to help. An Athens car accident lawyer can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for causing your injuries and bring justice to your case. Although we can’t undo your injury, we can help you get the maximum amount of compensation available.
Attorney Mike Rafi has years of experience helping injured Georgians and is ready to help you recover damages like medical bills, lost wages, and more. With us, your first case consultation is always free. Call (706) 995-7547 to schedule your free consultation with an Athens sideswipe accident lawyer.
The sooner we start working together, the sooner you can be compensated for your injuries and the trouble they’ve caused you. Call us today!