Sideswipe accidents occur when two cars that are travelling alongside each other in the same direction collide with each other. Frequently, sideswipe accidents happen when one driver decides to change lanes without first making sure that it is safe to do so. With today’s high speed vehicles and distracted drivers, sideswipe accidents are occurring more commonly than ever before. With I-phones, texting while driving, Bluetooth devices, GPS, drivers making adjustments to their radios, IPods, checking directions on an Ipad or reviewing printed directions, conditions are very conducive to mistakes and resulting accidents.
At the Law Offices of Mark A. Siesel, we have represented many clients who have been severely injured in sideswipe accidents since the founding of our firm in 1986. Sometimes, these accidents are caused by the simple act of a driver not paying attention to the road for a split second. In fact, if a driver is travelling at 60 miles per hour, the car is travelling at 88 feet per second, so even a momentary glance away from the road can lead to a car moving into another lane and covering half a football field doing so in a mere 2 seconds! Sideswipe accidents often occur when two lanes merge and neither driver is paying enough attention or refuses to yield the right of way, especially aggressive drivers and those in a hurry to get somewhere.
Under New York’s Vehicle & Traffic Law, Section 1128, when a roadway has been divided into two or more lanes, the law requires that: “A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” Automobiles are generally designed to give maximum protection from head on accidents and rear end collisions. Bumpers, airbags, and extensive “crush zones” (which are designed to absorb the force of severe impacts) provide good protection against head on collisions. However, although some cars now include side airbags as standard equipment, this is a more recent advancement, and the majority of vehicles manufactured prior to the last few years do not come equipped with side airbags. In a sideswipe collision, there is no crush zone to absorb the impact to the vehicle and the occupants of the car. Further, sideswipe accidents are often followed immediately by a far more serious collision with a fixed object such as a guardrail, a metal or concrete barrier, a stanchion, telephone pole, tree, or light post. In sideswipe accidents, it is this second collision which proves far more serious and sometimes fatal, especially if the vehicle is not equipped with side airbags, the occupant is not wearing his or her seatbelt, there is inclement weather, the driver is inexperienced and “overcorrects”, or the vehicle is travelling at a high rate of speed.
At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, we have successfully represented clients throughout the State of New York who suffered injuries in sideswipe accidents due to the negligence of truckers, bus drivers, livery drivers, and cab drivers, among others. We pride ourselves on quickly and aggressively determining all possible parties that are responsible for our clients’ damages, including pain and suffering, past and future medical and hospital bills, past and future lost earnings, loss of earnings potential, and loss of the ability to perform activities of daily living. We retain all the necessary experts as needed, including engineers, vocational rehabilitation experts and economists. Contact the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark A. Siesel for a free consultation on your potential case. For a free consultation to discuss your case in detail and your legal options, contact us anytime at (914) 428-7386 or online.