Who May Be at Fault for Causing a Sideswipe Crash in Minnesota?

car that was in a sideswipe collisionWhen drivers are not careful changing lanes, it can result in a sideswipe crash. While some of these crashes may only cause minor damage to the vehicles, some are more serious. For example, if a sideswipe collision occurs in heavy traffic or on a wet road, it could involve multiple vehicles.

If you were injured in a sideswipe crash, call TSR Injury Law to discuss potential legal options. We are prepared to pursue full compensation for your damages at no upfront cost to you. We have secured more than $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle collisions.

Below, our car crash lawyers in Bloomington discuss sideswipe crashes in more detail, including why they often happen, who could be liable, and steps victims can take after a sideswipe collision.

What are Sideswipe Crashes?

A sideswipe is a crash involving two vehicles that are traveling in the same direction. Often, one driver fails to stay in his or her lane, and the side of that driver’s vehicle collides with or swipes another vehicle.

The danger of sideswipe crashes is that they are often unexpected. This could result in the victim of the crash losing control of his or her vehicle, potentially crashing into other cars or fixed objects. The faster the involved vehicles are traveling, the more likely one or both drivers could lose control, which also increases the likelihood of other cars being involved in the collision.

Common Reasons Why Sideswipe Crashes Occur

There are many reasons why one vehicle may drift out of a lane and sideswipe another vehicle. Drivers might:

  • Take their eyes off the road
  • Get distracted by their smartphone or something else
  • Fail to use their turn signal to indicate their intention to change lanes
  • Be impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Behave recklessly while merging

Failing to use a turn signal could cause a driver to pull up next to another car while the driver of that other car begins to change lanes. For example, say you are about to pass a car in the lane to your right. If you were to see that car’s left turn signal blinking, you would likely slow down because you would expect the driver to change lanes. However, if the driver does not put on his or her turn signal, you may continue traveling at the same speed. As you pull up next to the car, the driver may begin to change lanes and collide with the right side of your vehicle.

Alcohol or drugs can make it harder for people to control their fine motor skills. They may not be able to hold the wheel steady. Impaired drivers may also not be seeing clearly, which can make it harder to stay in a lane.

Evaluating Fault for a Sideswipe Collision

Liability for a sideswipe crash comes down to which driver had the right of way. The driver who failed to stay in his or her lane is likely going to be held liable for damages.

If the crash occurs while two vehicles are merging, however, fault could be more complex. Sometimes one driver should have slowed down and merged behind the vehicle he or she collided with (often called the zipper method of merging). In other situations, it could be that one car was trying to merge and another driver was speeding, which resulted in a sideswipe collision. In these situations, fault for the crash might be shared between both drivers.

If one driver was impaired and his or her car drifted out of a lane as a result, he or she is likely to be found at fault.

The insurance company may try to argue the victim was speeding or that he or she should have been able to slow down or change lanes to avoid a collision. If you were approaching another vehicle and its turn signal was blinking, it may have been reasonable to expect you to slow down. If you were speeding, you might be found partially at fault for the collision.

However, insurance companies constantly claim victims are at fault when that is not the case. It is important not to take the insurance company’s word about your role in the crash. It is better to discuss the situation with a licensed attorney.

Evidence for a Sideswipe Crash Claim

There are various pieces of evidence that may help prove fault for a sideswipe collision. For instance, you could include video footage of the crash, pictures of the damage to both vehicles and also the police report.

Credible witnesses may also help to strengthen your claim, especially if they observed one driver drift out of his or her lane. It is not a good idea to solely count on video footage. It would only be available if there was a security camera in the area or if one of the involved drivers had a dashboard camera.

The police report may indicate which driver is likely at fault for the collision. Police officers respond to a lot of crashes, and they may be able to get a good idea about fault by looking at the damage to both vehicles and talking to both drivers. Unfortunately, police reports will often simply reflect what each driver claimed at the crash scene.  “Driver 1 said driver 2 hit him.  Driver 2 says driver 1 hit her.”

What Should You Do After a Sideswipe Crash?

If you get into a sideswipe crash, you should contact the police immediately so they can investigate If it is safe to do so, you can get out of your car and exchange information with the other driver. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their contact information so the police officer can understand what really happened and your lawyer can contact them in the future. It is also useful to take pictures of the damaged vehicles and your injuries, but only if you can do so without putting yourself or others in harm’s way. Get immediate medical treatment for your injuries and contact a lawyer to discuss your options for seeking compensation.

It is important to remember your injuries could be more severe than you realize. You need to recover compensation for all your damages, and it is difficult to do that without an attorney’s help. Research has consistently shown that injured victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.

Contact TSR Injury Law to Discuss Legal Options

If you were injured in a crash and suffered damages, we are prepared to help you recover the compensation you need for your damages. We know that no amount of money can erase what happened, but we also know it can be an important part of helping you move forward.

Insurance companies are looking for any way to deny or undervalue your claim. Our firm has a history of proven results, and we are prepared to seek maximum compensation on your behalf.

Give us a call today to learn more about our services. We do not charge any upfront fees and the initial consultation is free.

Contact TSR Injury Law today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Assessing Fault for a Red-Light Car Crash in Minnesota

red light over intersectionSome of the worst car crashes happen when one or more drivers completely ignore traffic laws, road signs or traffic signals. For example, red-light car crashes often result in severe injuries and even death.

There are various reasons why these crashes are often so dangerous. We trust other drivers to stop at red lights, so much so we often do not check for traffic to the left or right when going through an intersection on a green light. Think about slowing for every green light to make sure other drivers are stopping for their red lights.  When a crash is unexpected, there is little or no time to slow down or try to maneuver away from danger.

The sides of many vehicles are not built to withstand a collision the way the front and rear are built to withstand collisions. That is why you often hear about T-bone crashes resulting in devastating injuries.

Below, we discuss fault for red-light crashes and why this issue could be complicated. If you were injured by another driver running a red light and have questions about seeking compensation, give us a call today. We have the resources and proven track record to help you determine legal options.

Why do Red-Light Crashes Happen?

Red-light crashes are incredibly dangerous. In 2019 alone, according to statistics collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 846 people died and 143,000 people were injured in red-light crashes.

Red-light crashes involve drivers running red lights and drivers making right turns on red lights. For example, some red-light crashes happen when a driver approaches an intersection with a traffic light and tries to get through a yellow light that is about to turn red. In this common scenario, if the light changes to red before the driver gets through the intersection, and the other traffic gets a green light, the red-light runner could then get hit by an oncoming car.

Drivers who are turning right on red need to be cautious and make sure they have enough time to safely make the turn without obstructing oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, drivers routinely pull out into traffic when it is not safe to do so. This may result in a rear-end collision at high speed, which can cause serious damage to both vehicles and significant injuries to those involved.

There are also red-light crashes that occur when one driver attempts to turn left. This can happen when the driver in the left-turn lane ignores a red arrow or a red light and collides with a vehicle heading in the opposite direction.

Another example of a red-light crash is when a driver slams on the brakes after a light turns yellow. The driver thinks he or she cannot reach the intersection and get through it safely before the light changes so he or she hits the brakes. This results in a rear-end crash because the trailing driver cannot stop in time.

Who is Liable for a Red-Light Collision?

Red-light crashes are usually the result of one or more drivers running a red light and impeding another driver’s right of way. If you violate another driver’s right of way, you are going to be found at fault for the crash.

However, there could be situations when fault is shared between the driver who ran the red light and the other driver or drivers involved in the crash. If another driver also broke traffic laws and this contributed to the crash, that driver may bear partial fault.

For example, if you made a right turn and it looked like traffic was clear, but another driver changed lanes as you were turning and rear-ended you, the other driver should be at least partially to blame. In some situations, that other driver may be 100 percent at fault. It depends on various factors involved in each situation.

Distracted drivers could also be found at fault for crashing into a driver who was turning right. It could be argued the distracted driver would have been able to avoid a collision if he or she was not distracted. However, the driver who was turning right may also be found at fault for violating that driver’s right of way.

Pedestrians and bicyclists could also be found partially liable if they go out into an intersection and drivers do not have enough time to avoid a collision. Pedestrians and bicyclists still need to make sure it is safe to proceed. Under state law, it is illegal to step off a curb and walk into a vehicle’s path. This could happen when a driver is turning right at a red light.

In a rear-end crash approaching an intersection where the light was yellow and the lead driver chose to stop, he or she could be found partially at fault, depending on how far he or she was from the intersection and how much time there was before the light would turn red. However, the trailing driver may have been tailgating, which could make him or her liable for the crash.

Injured in a Collision? Call to Discuss a Claim

For decades, the licensed Minneapolis car crash attorneys at TSR Injury Law have been assisting crash victims with the legal process. We have obtained millions on behalf of our clients who were injured because of the negligence of others.

An initial consultation with one of our attorneys is free and you are not obligated to hire us after this meeting. If you hire our firm, there are no upfront fees to pay, and we also do not collect any fees while working on your case.

Learn more by giving us a call today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Assessing Fault for a Crash Involving a Vehicle Making a U-Turn

yellow u-turn sign in front of cloudy skySometimes you must make a U-turn to get where you are going. Other times, you missed a turn and need to head back the way you came.

The problem is that this is a dangerous maneuver. You can consider this a left turn, which you may know is much more dangerous than a right turn. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of confusion about who has the right of way in these situations, and it can lead to crashes and other drivers getting angry as they try to turn left while waiting for a U-turning driver to get out of the way.

Below, our experienced attorneys discuss fault for a crash involving a vehicle making a U-turn. If you were injured in a crash in Minnesota, give us a call today to discuss how we may be able to help. We have helped numerous crash victims secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. An initial consultation is 100 percent free.

What Does State Law Say About U-Turns?

According to Minnesota Statute 169.19 Subd. 2., you are prohibited from making a U-turn on a curve or crest of a grade if approaching vehicles cannot see you from a distance of 1,000 feet. You are also prohibited from making a U-turn if you cannot do so safely and without interfering with traffic.

It is also illegal to make a U-turn when a sign says you are prohibited from making a U-turn. Even though you have a green arrow, you are required to yield to the drivers who are turning right onto the road where you are making a U-turn. Unfortunately, drivers either do not know this or do not care. U-turning drivers often violate the right of way of right-turning drivers – they may do this because the drivers behind them are honking because they are waiting for the U-turning driver to get out of the way.

What Does This Mean for Assessing Fault?

When a Bloomington car accident lawyer reviews a crash involving a turn, he or she is going to try to determine who may have had the right of way. The driver who violated the right of way is likely to be found at fault for the crash.

Keep in mind that drivers turning left may also have the right of way versus a U Turning driver because they are often turning because they have a green arrow. Even if they are turning right on a red light, they probably have the right of way compared to a U turning car. If you want to make a U-turn and are concerned about making the drivers behind you angry, pull up and a little around the median to give them space to get around you. It should be possible to do this without getting in the way of left-turning drivers.

Assessing fault may be complicated if the driver who wants to turn right waves you ahead, but then your two vehicles crash anyway. Does this gesture give you the right of way as the driver making a U-turn? Can you still be found partially or fully at fault for the crash?

Impatience is often a factor in car crashes. It is important to wait to make a turn to be sure you have enough time and space to do so. If you are unsure about whether you have enough time, it is probably better to wait for more traffic to clear. You should not assume right-turning drivers will slow down or yield. They may not even be looking for you, as they assume they do not need to stop or yield because they have the right of way.

If possible, avoid making a U-turn, as it can be a dangerous traffic maneuver.

Call TSR Injury Law for Help After a Car Crash

Think the insurance company is going to fork over the compensation you need after a car crash?

Oftentimes, insurance companies deny or underpay claims, even when liability seems clear, and the victims’ damages are covered by the insurance policy. You need an experienced advocate at your side to aggressively pursue the compensation you need.

TSR Injury Law has been assisting crash victims for decades and has secured millions on behalf of our clients.

Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.