sideswipe accident lawyer LA

Driving in Los Angeles, you’re likely familiar with its heavy traffic and varied driving habits. Despite being an experienced driver, you might find yourself involved in a sideswipe collision — a common yet challenging type of accident that can result in major injuries.


These collisions often result in vehicle damage and can lead to personal injuries and financial difficulties. Knowing the correct steps to take after a sideswipe car accident is key to protecting your interests and ensuring a smooth recovery process.


This blog provides the necessary information to help you manage the situation effectively — and why it’s necessary get the help of a sideswipe accident lawyer LA.



What is a Sideswipe Collision?

California law defines a sideswipe collision as a type of car accident (or any vehicle) when the sides of two parallel vehicles touch while moving in the same direction or when one vehicle drifts into another lane.


These accidents occur typically on multi-lane roads and can result from a variety of causes such as distracted driving, failing to check blind spots, or when drivers abruptly change lanes without so much as a turn signal.


Other situations that cause a sideswipe include drivers merging onto highways, exiting a parking lot or driveway without checking their surroundings, and even when changing lanes around a curve.


Despite typically causing less damage than head-on or rear-end collisions, sideswipes can still lead to significant vehicle damage and personal injuries — necessitating the assistance of an experienced sideswipe accident lawyer LA. 

Common Injury Claims Related to Sideswipe Accidents

common injury claims related to sideswipe accidents

Injuries from sideswipe accident cases can vary depending on the force of impact and the speed at which the vehicles were traveling. Some common injuries include whiplash, concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.


Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the neck is suddenly jolted back and forth, causing strain or sprain to the muscles and ligaments. This type of soft tissue injury can result in pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.


Concussions are another frequent injury in sideswipe collisions. These occur when there is a sudden blow or jolt to the head, resulting in temporary loss of brain function. Symptoms may range from mild headaches to dizziness, confusion, and memory loss. In severe cases, concussions can lead to long-term cognitive issues.


Broken bones are another common consequence of this type of car crash. These can range from minor fractures to more serious breaks, depending on the force of impact and the location of the injury. They may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation to fully heal.

Spine Damage

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe outcomes. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body, so any damage can have significant consequences. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, individuals may experience partial or complete paralysis below the site of injury.

Mental Health Strain, Pain and Suffering

It’s not just the physical injuries that can have long-lasting effects, but also the emotional and psychological impact of a sideswipe accident.


Victims may experience fear, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the traumatic event. These mental health issues can greatly impact one’s ability to function in daily life and often require professional help to overcome.

Financial Hardship

Sideswipe accidents can also result in financial burdens for victims. High medical bills, lost income from time off work, and property damage are all potential costs that individuals may face after a motor vehicle accident. In severe cases, victims may be unable to return to their previous job or lifestyle due to their injuries, leading to permanent injuries and long-term financial strain.

Liability in Sideswipe Accident Claims

Both drivers may bear some responsibility when an accident happens. For example, if one driver was distracted and drifted into another lane while the other driver was speeding and unable to avoid the collision, both parties may share fault.


In another case, one driver may be solely liable for the sideswipe crash. This could be due to reckless or negligent driving behaviors such as texting while driving or failing to properly maintain their vehicle.


Victims of sideswipe collisions should consult with an experienced sideswipe accident lawyer LA to determine who is at fault and what compensation they may be entitled to.


A car accident lawyer can help file a claim for sideswipe accidents, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for fair compensation on behalf of accident victims.

Filing a Car Accident Claim:
Relevant California Laws on Sideswipe Collisions

relevant california laws on sideswipe collisions

Facing the aftermath of a sideswipe collision in California requires an understanding of several key laws:

California Vehicle Code 21658(a)

CVC 21658(a) requires drivers to stay within a single lane and only change lanes when it’s safe to do so, typically enforced in cases of sideswipe collisions where one driver fails to maintain their lane.

Negligence Laws

Proving negligence after a sideswipe collision in California involves showing that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their lane or in safely executing a lane change.

Comparative Fault Rule

California follows a comparative fault system, meaning that if both drivers share some fault for the accident, any compensation awarded will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.

Statute of Limitations

Under California Civil Procedure Code 335.1, there is a two-year limit from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury and three years for property damage. Missing this key deadline can result in the case being dismissed.

What a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Can Do

An experienced sideswipe accident lawyer LA can help reduce the burden on victims and their families by:

  • Evaluating your claim: When you file a claim for sideswipe accidents,  an attorney can assess the strength of your case and estimate potential compensation.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies: Lawyers are skilled in negotiating with insurers to ensure you receive fair compensation without falling prey to lowball offers.
  • Navigating legal proceedings: If your personal injury case goes to court, you need a lawyer by your side to handle the complex California legal system.

Victim of a Sideswipe Car Accident in LA?
Insurance Companies Will Try to Lower Your Claim’s Value. Call Our Personal Injury Attorney to Get the Compensation You Deserve.

If you’ve been involved in a collision with another vehicle in Los Angeles, reach out to our personal injury lawyer to file a claim for sideswipe accidents and ensure you receive fair, if not the highest, compensation.


The attorneys at RTM Law, APC Personal Injury Attorney have the expertise to guide you through the claims process, from assessing your case to handling negotiations with insurance adjusters. Let us take care of the legal aspects so you can focus on your healing.


Talk to our Los Angeles auto accident lawyer to discuss your situation and explore options for your personal injury claim.




    We Help Accident Victims File
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