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Sideswipe accidents occur when a vehicle contacts the side of another vehicle, and it can be difficult how to tell who sideswiped who in some situations. Although sideswipes that occur at slower speeds generally only result in minor property damage, accidents that happen at high speeds can result in serious injuries, and fatalities occur in almost 7% of sideswipe crashes in Arizona every year. In such cases, it is important to determine fault. 

How To Tell Who Sideswiped Who

how to tell who sideswiped who

Sideswipe accidents occur most frequently when one or more vehicles are merging into a lane or when a car is merging onto the highway. Common causes of these crashes include speeding, recklessness, distracted driving, failing to look in blind spots and not using a turn signal.

Finding fault helps determine who pays for medical expenses and other related damages. Several factors play into assigning responsibility for these accidents.

Location of Damage

The location of the damage on one of both vehicles can sometimes play a role in determining the at-fault party. Crash investigators and law enforcement officers have the skills necessary to determine this from this and other clues. This is why you should call the police when there is a sideswipe collision, especially when there are injuries, as they understand how to tell who sideswiped who.

Paint Transfer

how to tell who sideswiped who

Sometimes checking for paint color at the location of impact can help to determine fault. In many, but not all, cases, if the color of paint matches the paint of the other vehicle, the other driver was at fault. 

Witnesses or Video

Because finding fault in sideswiped crashes can be challenging, it helps if there were others who witnessed the crash. The police can conduct interviews with pedestrians or other drivers who saw the crash occur.

In straightforward cases, it is usually the driver merging into the lane who is at fault. However, the other driver may be at fault in certain situations, such as if they:

  • Were intoxicated or driving recklessly
  • Intentionally blocked the other driver from changing lanes
  • Were not driving at the appropriate speed to allow for a safe lane change

When a sideswipe accident occurs because two cars merged into the lane at the same time, it is common to find both drivers partly at fault.

What Happens With Joint Liability

If both drivers are liable for the accident, the injured party may still be able to recover damages, thanks to Arizona’s comparative negligence law. If the judge allows for damage compensation, the injured victim can collect damages, but the amount would be lower than if the other driver was 100% liable for the crash.

We Can Help With How To Tell Who Sideswiped Who

If you were injured in a car accident, you may wonder how to tell who sideswiped who. Contact us, and our car crash lawyers in Phoenix, AZ can review your situation to see if you should take legal action against the other party to recover damages. If so, we will build a strong case and fight for your rights to collect what you deserve.