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Who Is Liable In A Florida Sideswipe Accident?


Sideswipe accidents, also known as lane change accidents, are quite common in Florida and are very dangerous. Sideswipe accidents are dangerous because the sides of a car do not offer the same protection as the rear or front side, meaning lane change accidents can result in severe injuries. Also, these accidents are dangerous because sometimes a sideswiped car can crash into other traffic.

What Is a Sideswipe Accident?

A sideswipe accident, or lane change accident, happens when there are two vehicles traveling in the same direction, and then one hits the side of the other. When a sideswipe accident occurs, the initial impact may not be severe. But, even a low impact can result in the sideswiped vehicle colliding with other traffic.

Often, sideswipe accidents occur when one vehicle leaves its lane of travel. Hence, the name lane change accident.

Common Causes of Sideswipe Accidents

There are many ways a sideswipe accident can happen. However, most sideswipe accidents occur because of negligence. For example, a sideswipe accident can occur if a motorist changes lanes improperly or without signaling. A lane change accident can also happen because of reckless acts such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or road rage.

Who Is Liable in a Florida Sideswipe Accident?

If you were recently in a Florida sideswipe accident, you might be wondering who is liable for your injuries and damages. In a sideswipe accident case, the driver who unsafely changed lanes is usually the one who is held responsible. According to Florida Statute 316.089, a vehicle should only be moved from one lane to another if a driver has ascertained that it is safe to do so.

Unfortunately, establishing liability in a sideswipe accident isn’t always that easy. Sometimes, there is a conflict about who is at fault for the accident. Fortunately, an attorney can help you establish liability after a sideswipe accident. For example, your attorney can work with the police to assess the damage to the vehicles and use the results of the assessment to establish liability. Your attorney can also use witness testimonies to determine who is responsible for your accident.

Comparative Negligence

Sometimes, a claimant can also be found at fault for their sideswipe accident. Fortunately, even if you are found at fault for your Florida sideswipe accident, you can still obtain compensation as long as the defendant is also to blame. Florida uses the pure comparative negligence rule when it comes to car accident cases. This rule allows for the allocation of fault in percentages and for a plaintiff to recover compensation even if they are also to blame for their accident. However, if it is determined that, for example, you were texting while driving when the other driver changed lanes without signaling, your percentage of fault will reduce the amount of compensation you recover.

Contact Us for Legal Help

Contact one of our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm if you’ve been injured in a Florida sideswipe accident. We can help you prove fault on the part of a defendant and recover compensation even if you are also to blame for your accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Orlando, Miami, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, and Daytona Beach areas.

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