Who is at fault in a sideswipe accident in Texas? Often, the responsibility rests with the party that changed lanes or swerved across the center line to cause the collision. However, fault can vary in some cases.
Determining liability is essential as it influences who can seek damages after a sideswipe collision. You can learn more about how lawyers assess fault with our team at The Buzbee Law Firm. Call us or complete our online contact form to get started.
How do You Know Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe?
Determining fault for a sideswipe accident in Texas can prove challenging, especially if the drivers disagree about what happened. In many cases, police officers assess fault when they visit the scene of an accident and may make an initial statement in their report.
Therefore, reviewing the police report may tell you who law enforcement believes caused the accident. However, the police report may represent only one piece of evidence used to determine fault for a collision.
A sideswipe accident lawyer in Texas may also review other information, including:
- Statements from witnesses
- Video surveillance of the scene of the wreck
- Physical evidence from the collision scene
- The work of sideswipe accident experts
The facts surrounding the accident determine who is at fault in a sideswipe accident.
What Determines If Someone Is At Fault for a Sideswipe Accident?
Generally, an individual’s negligence determines if they were at fault for a sideswipe collision. Texas has strict legal guidelines for negligence, and drivers only display it if they:
- Owed you a duty of care
- Violated that duty of care
- Took a direct action that led to the sideswipe accident
- Caused your injuries or financial losses
All drivers owe one another a duty of care in Texas. This duty requires drivers to follow driving laws and operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner. Drivers who break these rules violate their duty of care.
These drivers may end up with liability for a sideswipe accident.
Can You Secure Damages After a Sideswipe Accident?
If another driver caused your sideswipe accident in Texas, you might have a chance to seek funds to cover your:
- Healthcare expenses
- Lost wages at work
- Vehicle repairs
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the facts of your case, you may file an insurance claim to seek compensation or file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the collision. Both legal options require your lawyer to show that the other driver was liable for the wreck.
How Long do You Have to Determine Fault for a Sideswipe Accident?
Texas gives you two years to file a claim after most sideswipe accidents. After this, the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims runs out. However, you may have less time if your sideswipe accident involves a government employee or vehicle.
Therefore, you only have a limited amount of time to establish fault and liability after a collision. Fortunately, a lawyer from The Buzbee Law Firm can work on your claim immediately after a crash. In fact, you can contact a lawyer before leaving the scene of the accident.
What Actions Cause Sideswipe Accidents in Texas?
Determining who is at fault in a sideswipe accident often involves assessing the act that led to the collision. These accidents often occur as a result of:
A Single Driver Changing Lanes
Drivers change lanes to pass slower vehicles, avoid obstacles, or prepare for a turn. A driver making a lane change may be at-fault for a sideswipe accident if they:
- Fail to leave enough room when changing lanes
- Don’t check their blind spots
- Don’t use their turn signal
- Change lanes while speeding
- Intentionally or unintentionally cut off another vehicle
However, the driver changing lanes may only sometimes cause a sideswipe accident. Sometimes another driver causes these collisions by:
- Accelerating when they see a driver trying to change lanes
- Decelerating if a driver is attempting to change lanes behind them
- Not paying attention to other drivers on the road
A sideswipe lawyer in Texas can assess liability for this kind of sideswipe accident.
Two Drivers Switch Lanes
Sometimes, two drivers try to switch lanes at the same time. We often see these accidents on roads with three or more lanes, where drivers do not always pay attention to all the traffic surrounding them.
In these accidents, both drivers often have responsibility for the collision. Accidents can occur if drivers:
- Fail to look at vehicles two or more lanes away before changing lanes
- Try to cross more than one lane of traffic at once
- Zigzag in and out of multiple lanes
You could work with a lawyer if you sustained injuries in this kind of sideswipe collision.
A Driver Merges
Sometimes, drivers find themselves in a lane that’s about to end and have to merge in with other traffic. Drivers in the standard traffic lanes have the right of way, so the merging driver is usually at-fault for a sideswipe accident in this situation. Drivers cause collisions when they:
- Merge too fast or too slow
- Cut off another vehicle
- Hesitate while merging
- Don’t look for other vehicles
- Don’t use their turn signal
Non-merging drivers may hold a portion of the fault for these accidents if they fail to adjust for the merging vehicle. Intentionally preventing a driver from merging could lead to negligent actions.
Talk to Us After a Sideswipe Accident in Texas
A car accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault in a sideswipe accident in Texas. Our team at The Buzbee Law Firm can step in to help with all your legal needs and concerns, building a claim to help you secure compensation.
Find out more by calling us or completing our online contact form.