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A sideswipe is often seen as a minor or harmless accident – the cars may be damaged a bit, but there are no physical injuries involved. This is true of some sideswipes – but not all; some sideswipe accidents have devastating consequences and result in major injuries and fatalities. According to the National Highway Safety and Transportation Board, a large number of sideswipes are caused by trucks and large vehicles changing lanes; a passenger car that is sideswiped by a large truck can be destroyed in an instant.
A sideswipe accident occurs when two vehicles moving in the same direction collide, with the impact on the side of one or both vehicles. This type of accident often occurs when a driver is distracted, trying to change lanes or to make a turn. In many cases, a sideswipe leads to a more serious collision; when one or both drivers overreact or lose control of their vehicles.
The accident itself is caused when one car veers out of its own lane and into the adjacent lane; the reason for the change of lanes can vary and include:
A passenger or driver could sustain injuries to the arms and legs, internal injuries, or damage to the head, neck or back. It is important to be checked out by a medical professional after a sideswipe accident; you could be more hurt than you realize. Injuries to the head, neck and back may not be immediately apparent, but could have long lasting impact on your ability to work and function.
Since the damage to the car may be minimal and restricted to cosmetic dents and dings, the insurance company may dispute or refuse to pay claims related to injuries. Scrapes, minor dents and the loss of a mirror or other feature may be the only signs that an accident has occurred; the insurer may not be willing to pay for the very real injuries that result from this seemingly “minor” accident.
Contact us if you’ve been involved in a sideswipe accident in Maryland; our auto accident attorneys are here to make sure you get the help you need during this difficult and stressful time.
Parking lot accidents typically don’t cause serious injuries, but they happen frequently and can result in substantial property damage to vehicles. Busy lots can be confusing, with cars headed in various directions, and many drivers are not clear on who has right of way in a parking lot.
Accidents can create even more confusion, since parking lots are private property. If you’re involved in a parking lot accident, you may be unsure who has liability.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, who was at fault? Sometimes, more than one party shares fault for an accident. What happens if you’re partly to blame for your injury?
Under a legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence,” you could be barred from recovering damages if you contributed in any way to causing an accident. This is true even if you contributed only slightly and someone else’s actions served as the primary cause.
Maryland is one of a handful of states with contributory negligence still used to guide personal injury cases.
Riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous way to get around. In more than half of crashes involving a motorcycle and a vehicle, the rider is not at fault. But lack of blame doesn’t make crashes less hazardous for motorcyclists: 75 percent of crashes result in an injury or fatality for the rider.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of serious injury or death on your motorcycle is to wear a sturdy helmet. If you crash, a DOT-compliant helmet can help minimize head trauma, possibly saving your life. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that motorcyclists wearing helmets had a lower likelihood of injuries to the head and face in a crash, and they were less likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury.
In Maryland, helmets aren’t just a suggestion for motorcycle riders; they’re the law.