Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident In Florida?

Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident In Florida?

Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident In Florida? 1792 1024 Joel


Understanding Sideswipe Accidents in Florida

A sideswipe accident, a common yet often misunderstood type of collision, occurs when the sides of two parallel vehicles touch or collide. These accidents typically happen when one vehicle inadvertently drifts into another lane or when making unsafe lane changes. The dynamics of a sideswipe collision can be complex, as they often lead to loss of control, resulting in additional accidents or rollovers.

The causes of sideswipe accidents are varied, but some common factors include:

  • Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes
  • Distracted driving, such as texting or adjusting the radio
  • Aggressive driving or road rage
  • Attempting to avoid another collision or obstacle

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, over 8,400 crashes in 2020 were attributed to improper passing, many of which were sideswipe collisions. Such statistics highlight the need for increased awareness and stricter adherence to road safety practices.

The Impact of Sideswipe Accidents on Drivers and Passengers

Sideswipe accidents can have a profound impact on those involved. Due to the lack of substantial side protection in most vehicles, occupants are at risk of serious injury when their vehicle is sideswiped. Injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious conditions such as head, neck, spinal injuries, or even fatalities.

It’s crucial for Florida drivers to understand the risks and take proactive measures to prevent these types of accidents. By staying vigilant, checking blind spots, and avoiding distractions, drivers can significantly reduce the likelihood of becoming involved in a sideswipe collision.

“Sideswipe accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, but the consequences can last a lifetime. Stay alert and stay safe.” – Bengal Law

Blue vehicle with significant collision damage to front end

For those who have been involved in a sideswipe accident, it’s important to secure a police report and consider consulting with a knowledgeable car accident attorney. With the 2024 update to Florida’s comparative fault law, understanding your legal rights and options is more important than ever.

When a sideswipe accident occurs on Florida’s roadways, determining fault is essential for the resolution of any claims. Florida’s traffic laws provide a clear framework for understanding how fault is assessed in these situations. In the event of a sideswipe collision, the driver who failed to maintain their lane or made an unsafe lane change is typically found to be at fault. However, every accident is unique, and the specifics of the event can complicate fault determination.

One critical aspect of Florida law is the requirement for drivers to use turn signals when changing lanes. This action is not only a safety measure but also a legal obligation. A failure to signal intent can be a significant factor in proving negligence in a sideswipe accident claim. Furthermore, drivers must ensure that they have enough space to execute a lane change safely, without impeding the flow of traffic. These rules are designed to minimize the risk of sideswipe collisions and to provide a basis for establishing liability when they do occur.

Understanding the role of negligence is pivotal in sideswipe accident claims. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care on the road, leading to an accident. In the context of sideswipe collisions, this could include behaviors such as distracted driving, aggressive maneuvers, or failing to observe the surroundings adequately. Proving negligence often requires a thorough collection of evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage, to build a strong case.

Florida’s comparative fault system, updated in 2024, adds another layer of complexity to sideswipe accidents. Under this system, each party involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible for compensation, albeit reduced by your percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover damages, making it crucial to have a clear understanding of the events that led to the collision.

Evidence Collection and Analysis in Sideswipe Accident Cases

Gathering evidence is a fundamental step in the aftermath of a sideswipe accident. The types of evidence that can support your claim include:

  • Photographic or video evidence of the accident scene
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Vehicular damage assessments
  • Medical records documenting injuries sustained

These pieces of evidence contribute to a comprehensive analysis of the accident, helping to establish the sequence of events and the actions of each driver. An experienced car accident attorney can be instrumental in this process, offering the expertise needed to navigate the legal complexities and to ensure that your rights are protected.

“In the tangle of lanes and laws, determining fault in a sideswipe accident requires precision and expertise. Let Bengal Law guide you through the process.” – Bengal Law

At Bengal Law, we understand the intricacies of Florida’s traffic laws and the challenges that come with proving fault in sideswipe accidents. Our approach is to provide personalized attention to each case, ensuring that our clients are not just another number. We delve into the details of your accident, working tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been involved in a sideswipe accident, don’t navigate the legal waters alone. Contact Bengal Law for a consultation and let us put our experience to work for you. Remember, with the 2024 update to Florida’s comparative fault law, it’s more important than ever to have knowledgeable representation on your side.

Sunset backdrop with a severely damaged car from a roadside accident

For more information on how to proceed after an accident, consider reading our guide on what to do immediately after a car accident in Florida, or explore the steps to file a claim if you have no car insurance. At Bengal Law, we’re here to ensure you have the support and legal advice you need during these challenging times.


Understanding the right steps to take following a sideswipe accident can significantly influence the outcome of your claim. Immediate action is paramount to ensure your safety, preserve evidence, and protect your legal rights. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being involved in a sideswipe collision, here are some crucial steps to consider:

  • Check for injuries and ensure that everyone involved is safe.
  • Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if needed.
  • Document the scene by taking photos and videos of the vehicles, road conditions, and any relevant signs or signals.
  • Exchange information with the other driver, including contact details and insurance information.
  • Seek out witnesses and obtain their contact information for future reference.

Once the immediate concerns are addressed, the next step involves navigating insurance claims and settlements. In Florida, the no-fault insurance system means that your own insurance may cover certain expenses regardless of who was at fault. However, this does not preclude the need for a thorough investigation, especially if the accident resulted in significant injuries or if the other driver’s negligence was blatant.

It’s also critical to seek legal representation early in the process. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, represent you in court to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Common Challenges in Sideswipe Accident Claims and How to Overcome Them

Sideswipe accident claims in Florida can present several challenges, such as:

To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to have a solid legal strategy. This involves gathering all relevant evidence, such as police reports, medical records, and expert testimonies. Additionally, an attorney can help articulate the impact of the accident on your life, including pain and suffering, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.

“At Bengal Law, we stand by your side, fighting for your rights with the compassion and dedication you deserve. Our goal is to turn the tide in your favor and secure the justice and compensation you need to move forward.” – Bengal Law

Remember, with Bengal Law, you’re not just a case number; you’re part of our family. We pride ourselves on providing personalized attention and a tailored approach to each client. Our commitment is to your well-being and to the successful resolution of your sideswipe accident claim.

If you’ve been involved in a sideswipe accident, don’t wait to get the help you need. Call us at (407) 815-3000 or send us a message to schedule a consultation. With the latest changes in Florida law, including the reduced statute of limitations and the modified comparative fault system, having the right legal team by your side is more crucial than ever.

Take the first step towards protecting your rights and securing your future by reaching out to Bengal Law today. Let’s work together to navigate the aftermath of your sideswipe accident and ensure you are justly compensated for your losses.


 Image depicting Who Is At Fault In a Sideswipe Accident In Florida?


Who Is At Fault in a Sideswipe Accident in Florida?

When it comes to sideswipe accidents, Florida’s bustling roads can be particularly unforgiving. Determining fault in these accidents is critical for the outcome of any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. At Bengal Law, we understand that sideswipe accidents can be complex, with multiple factors contributing to the incident.

Florida’s traffic laws are designed to protect motorists, but when sideswipe accidents occur, the question of liability often hinges on the specifics of each case. The Florida Statute 316.089 stipulates that a vehicle must not move from a lane until it is safe to do so, which is often the central point in sideswipe cases.

However, with the 2024 update to Florida’s comparative fault law, if you’re found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may be ineligible to recover damages. This makes it all the more essential to have a seasoned Orlando car accident lawyer on your side to navigate these legal waters.

Let’s delve into the causes of sideswipe accidents and explore how fault is determined in the Sunshine State, ensuring you’re well-informed and prepared to defend your rights.

Understanding Sideswipe Collisions and Fault Determination

A sideswipe accident occurs when the side of one vehicle strikes the side of another, typically when both are moving in the same direction. The causes can range from distracted driving to failing to check blind spots or improper lane changes. Determining who is at fault is a matter of establishing negligence and which driver violated traffic laws.

In Florida, sideswipe accidents are often scrutinized under the lens of the updated comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you were partially at fault, you might still be entitled to compensation, although it may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Thus, it is crucial to have a Rockledge personal injury lawyer to represent your interests.

For example, if you were sideswiped while legally changing lanes because another driver failed to signal or check their blind spot, the other driver would likely be found at fault. However, if you were texting while driving when the sideswipe occurred, you could be held partly responsible.

Collecting evidence is key to proving fault. This includes everything from police reports and witness statements to dashcam footage. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.

“Navigating the complexities of a sideswipe accident can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Bengal Law, we leverage our extensive experience to advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.” – Bengal Law

It’s also important to consider the role of insurance in these accidents. Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may cover certain damages, but it may not be enough to cover the full extent of your losses, especially if you’ve suffered significant injuries.

At Bengal Law, we’re committed to providing a personal touch in our legal services. We understand the emotional and financial toll a sideswipe accident can have on you and your family. That’s why we work tirelessly to investigate your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a sideswipe accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call Bengal Law at (407) 815-3000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With our expertise and the latest legal updates at our fingertips, we’ll fight to ensure you’re not left bearing the burden of someone else’s negligence.

Remember, time is of the essence due to the reduced statute of limitations. The sooner you act, the better your chances of securing the compensation you need to recover and move forward. Trust Bengal Law to guide you through every step of the process and help you achieve the justice you deserve.

Concerned Person at a Car Accident Scene in Suburban Florida

Key Steps to Take After a Sideswipe Accident

After a sideswipe accident, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • Ensure your safety and that of others by moving to a secure location if possible.
  • Contact law enforcement and seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor at first.
  • Gather evidence at the scene, including photos, videos, and contact information from witnesses.
  • Notify your insurance company about the accident, but refrain from making any statements that could be used against you.
  • Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options and the best course of action.

Adhering to these steps can significantly impact the strength of your claim and your ability to recover damages. With Bengal Law, you’ll have a dedicated team that understands the intricacies of uninsured motorist coverage and how to effectively deal with insurance companies after a car accident.

Don’t let a sideswipe accident upend your life. Contact Bengal Law today and let our experienced legal team provide the support and representation you need for a successful resolution to your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Florida’s comparative fault rule affect my sideswipe accident claim?

Under the 2024 update to Florida’s comparative fault rule, your ability to recover damages in a sideswipe accident claim can be affected if you are found to be 50% or more at fault. Here’s what you need to know:

  • If found less than 50% at fault, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
  • Being more than 50% at fault bars you from recovering any damages.
  • It’s crucial to have a personal injury attorney to help build your case and argue for a fair assessment of fault.

What evidence is crucial for proving fault in a sideswipe accident in Florida?

Proving fault in a sideswipe accident requires a comprehensive collection of evidence, which includes:

  • Police reports: Official documentation of the accident scene and details.
  • Witness statements: Accounts from individuals who saw the accident occur.
  • Photographs and videos: Visual evidence from the scene, including traffic camera footage.
  • Expert testimony: Insights from accident reconstruction specialists.

Securing this evidence can be complex, and a personal injury lawyer can assist in this crucial step.

Can I still file a claim for a sideswipe accident if I have no visible injuries?

Yes, you can still file a claim for a sideswipe accident even if you have no visible injuries. Here’s why:

  • Injuries from car accidents, including sideswipe collisions, may not be immediately apparent.
  • It’s essential to seek medical attention to document any delayed symptoms.
  • An injury claim can cover more than just physical injuries, including emotional distress and property damage.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you understand the full extent of your claim.

Additional Areas We Serve

Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a sideswipe accident or need legal guidance, our reach extends across Florida to provide support. Explore the cities and areas where our expertise is readily available:

Other Practice Areas We Serve

Our legal expertise isn’t limited to sideswipe accidents. We offer a wide array of services to meet the diverse needs of our clients throughout Florida:

Top-Rated Lawyers Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is essential for your sideswipe accident claim. Our top-rated attorneys are committed to guiding you through each step, ensuring informed decisions and the best possible outcomes.

  • Jeff Starker: With over three decades of personal injury experience and a background as a former insurance adjuster and defense attorney, Jeff Starker brings a wealth of knowledge and a dedication to maximizing your case value.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard, a forward-thinking attorney with a SuperLawyers rating and multiple awards, is committed to aggressively defending your rights and securing the compensation you deserve after an accident.

Car Accident Testimonials in Florida

Our unwavering commitment to our clients in Florida is reflected in the hard work we put into every case. The positive reviews we receive are a testament to our dedication and the successful outcomes we achieve.



Secure the Compensation You Deserve with Bengal Law

At Bengal Law: Florida Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, we recognize that every sideswipe accident case is as unique as the individuals involved. That’s why we’re dedicated to giving your case the personalized attention it needs for success. We understand the complexities of Florida’s accident liability laws, and our hands-on approach means we’re with you every step of the way.

If you’ve been in a sideswipe accident in Florida, don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Allow our knowledgeable and compassionate team to champion your cause, secure your peace of mind, and fight for the full financial recovery you deserve.

Your healing is our priority. But you don’t just have to take our word for it—

  • Read testimonials from our satisfied clients
  • See the list of prestigious awards we’ve earned for our legal work
  • Learn how we have successfully settled millions of dollars for our clients

When you’re ready to tell your story, we’re here to listen – because you’re more than just a client, you’re family. Reach out to us right away for a free consultation at (407) 815-3000 and let’s start building your case together.

Our Distinctive Recognition

Award Organization Year
Highlighted among the “Top Personal Injury Attorneys near Orlando, FL” Expertise 2024
Listed among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Sanford” Thumbtack 2024
Listed among the SuperLawyers “Rising Star” SuperLawyers 2020
Ranked in the top ten on “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Orlando, FL” Thervo 2024
Named as one of Avvo’s 10.0 Rating attorneys Avvo 2024

With Bengal Law on your side, expect nothing less than professional excellence and a steadfast commitment to securing the compensation you rightfully deserve after a sideswipe accident. Don’t delay—let our legal expertise pave the way to a smoother recovery.


Jeff Starker

Legally Reviewed by Jeff Starker

Expert Attorney

Having meticulously reviewed this content, Jeff Starker brings over three decades of personal injury law experience to the table. With a career that spans from insurance adjusting to insurance defense, and presently a champion for plaintiffs’ rights, Jeff’s unique insights are invaluable. His success in securing substantial compensation for countless clients in Florida is a testament to his dedication and expertise.

For counsel that is both compassionate and results-driven, turn to Jeff Starker for your personal injury needs.

Learn More About Jeff

Schedule a free consultation

Getting the compensation you need to make a full financial recovery starts with a free case evaluation with accident attorneys Jeff Starker or Joel Leppard.

Start today by texting or calling our office at (407) 815-3000 to schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, or complete our contact form to start your journey of getting help. We look forward to serving you.

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