//Who Could Be at Fault in a Sideswipe Truck Accident?

Who Could Be at Fault in a Sideswipe Truck Accident?

When it comes to sideswipe accidents, the actual force of impact may be minor, but the repercussions that result are often devastating. Even at slow speeds, a sideswipe crash can push a vehicle off the road or into oncoming traffic.

White truck on the asphalt rural road in the polar night

Motorists need to be especially careful to avoid sideswipe collisions with commercial vehicles. Truckers have significantly larger blind spots than passenger vehicle drivers, and their reduced visibility can extend as much as 20 feet in front of them and 30 feet behind them.

Because sideswipe accidents typically lead to subsequent crashes, determining and proving liability can be challenging. If you were hurt in a sideswipe collision, turn to the Cooper Law Firm to see if you have grounds for a claim.

Attorney N. Eric Cooper helps clients throughout east Texas. Call 903-297-0037 to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in Longview.

Who Could Be at Fault in a Sideswipe Truck Accident

Sideswipe collisions are often referred to as “lane changing accidents” or “blind spot crashes” because they usually occur when a motorist attempts to move over without checking his or her surroundings adequately first. In sideswipe collisions between passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers, either driver can be liable.

The Passenger Vehicle Motorist

There are several scenarios in which a passenger vehicle motorist can be at least partially responsible for a sideswipe truck accident. Commercial drivers may have to follow certain regulations that only pertain to them, but it is still up to passenger vehicle drivers to exercise caution around big rigs, especially when passing them.

Motorists can be liable for sideswipe crashes if they:

  • Travel in the “No Zones,” or a trucker’s blind spots, unless attempting to pass safely;
  • Ignore a tractor-trailer’s turn signals and attempt to pass in a reckless manner;
  • Drift as the result of texting, eating, or partaking in some other distraction while behind the wheel;
  • Swerve or drift as the result of driving while drowsy or impaired;
  • Change lanes without using their turn signal; or
  • Change lanes or attempt to pass despite solid lane markers.

The Commercial Driver

Commercial drivers can be liable for a sideswipe truck collision if they fail to:

  • Follow the local traffic laws;
  • Abide by federal trucking regulations; or
  • Exercise reasonable care when changing lanes.

When a big rig moves over, it is considerably more dangerous than when a passenger vehicle changes lanes, and truckers need to compensate for the increased risk by exercising additional caution. For example, they must turn on their blinker to signal their intentions long before actually making the maneuver so nearby motorists have time to respond. Commercial drivers must also make it a point to move over in a smooth and gradual manner so as not to cause a rollover crash.

If you were involved in a sideswipe truck accident but you’re not sure how to prove the commercial driver is liable, turn to the Cooper Law Firm. Attorney N. Eric Cooper is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Gregg County Bar Association.

Contact us online or call 903-297-0037 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Longview. You can learn more about truck accident claims in Texas by visiting truck-accident.usattorneys.com/texas.

By |2018-01-16T20:10:41+00:00January 16th, 2018|Accidents|0 Comments

About the Author:

N. Eric Cooper graduated from Baylor Law School in 2002. Following graduation he was sought after by several firms, but decided to accept a position with Brown McCarroll, LLP’s Longview office. Eric chose this office because of the lifestyle offered by Longview and the surrounding East Texas area.

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