Lane change or “side swipe” collisions are more common than one might think. These auto accidents are described as a “glancing blow” from or on the side of another object, such as another vehicle and usually occur when one vehicle makes an improper lane change and makes contact with the vehicle in the adjacent lane. Drivers of motorcycles and commercial trucks can also be guilty of side swipe collisions. Cyclists are often victims of these accidents as drivers underestimate or fail to acknowledge the space a cyclist needs on the road.
A side swipe accident in Woodland Hills may also be caused by a distracted driver who veers into the adjacent lane. Distracted driving occurs under a variety of circumstances, including texting while driving, using a phone, being impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs, or a host of other circumstances.
Common Injuries from Side Swipe Accidents
Common injuries from these types of auto accidents include neck and low back injuries, which result from a significant jolting or jerking motion. Generally, insurance companies for the drivers will claim that these types of accidents will result in minimal damages because the cars traveled at the same speed and therefore, the impact forces are low. If you are injured in a side swipe, the injuries may not show up right away. Hiring an auto accident lawyer may be a smart move so that the insurance company does not ignore or minimize your damages in an attempt to settle the case quickly. Your attorney may explain to the driver’s insurance company that while the X-rays are negative, a herniated or bulging disc will not show up in the X-ray. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (“MRI”) test is generally recognized as the best diagnostic tool for evaluating spinal injuries.
Financial Recovery and Side Swipe Accidents
If you are involved in one of these accidents, know first that California law is on your side. There is a “presumption of negligence” on the part of the car changing lanes. In other words, the driver of the car that changed lanes (into the adjacent lane) will be presumed to have acted outside the scope of what a reasonable person would do. Before a driver changes lanes, he or she has a duty to check blind spots, signal, check the blind spots again, and safely change lanes. A driver can be held liable for changing lanes in a manner that was neither safe nor prudent and thus caused a car accident. If you are injured in a side swipe accident, discuss your ability to recover damages for the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages, and potentially long-term care with your experienced personal injury attorney.
For more information on what to do if you have been injured in an auto accident in Woodland Hills, contact personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg today.