How is Fault Determined in a Sideswipe Collision in Ontario?

injured victim taking photo of sideswiped vehicleA sideswipe collision is an all too common occurrence on the roadway. These collisions happen when the sides of two vehicles make contact when next to one another or moving in the same direction.

If you have been seriously injured in a sideswipe collision, determining fault is important if you are trying to pursue compensation for all of your damages. It may be beneficial to seek legal representation.

An experienced car accident lawyer based in Windsor is prepared to discuss your legal options during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. If you have a valid claim, there are no upfront fees involved.

Talk to a lawyer today. Call: (866) 320-4770

Handling a Sideswipe Collision

After a sideswipe collision, you may be unsure about what to do next. There are certain actions that you can take to protect yourself and help preserve your claim for compensation.

Call 9-1-1 and Remain at the Scene

Drivers may not call 9-1-1 because they only see relatively minor vehicle damage, such as scrapes, dents or missing trim. However, a sideswipe collision can cause significant injuries and damages.

It is important to report the collision and remain at the scene until police arrive. The responding officer will put together a report with basic details about the collision, statements from all involved and details of his or her findings. The police report can be useful as you pursue a claim for compensation.

Get Examined by a Doctor

Check yourself and anyone else involved in the collision for injuries. Many car accident injuries do not show symptoms right away, which is why it is important to get examined by a doctor. He or she can assess the extent of any injuries you sustained and provide a treatment plan to aid in your recovery.

Your medical records can also help link your injuries to the sideswipe collision, making it harder for the insurance company to dispute your claim.

Why Sideswipe Collisions Often Happen

Sideswipe collisions often happen due to driver error. A driver may fail to pay attention to the road ahead and drift out of his or her lane into the path of other vehicles. A driver may merge or changes lanes without checking his or her blind spots and hit another vehicle travelling in the same lane.

Other dangerous behavior that can lead to sideswipe collisions includes:

  • Distracted driving – A driver who is texting, talking on the phone, adjusting a vehicle setting or is otherwise distracted can swerve out of his or her lane and swipe the side of another vehicle.
  • Speeding – Drivers traveling at high speeds can lose control of their vehicles and sideswipe another vehicle in the next lane.
  • Failing to yield – If a driver makes a turn but fails to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic, he or she can cause a sideswipe collision.
  • Drowsy driving – Drivers feeling tired may drift into another lane or fall asleep behind the wheel and collide with an adjacent vehicle.
  • Driving under the influence – Drugs and alcohol can significantly impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, putting him or her at risk of causing a sideswipe collision.

How No-Fault Insurance Works in Ontario

When an accident happens – with or without collision coverage – any driver involved must first file an individual claim with his or her own insurance company to help cover his or her damages.

This is true no matter who is at fault for the collision. This also applies to injured victims with accident benefits. They must go through their insurer for coverage.

Under Ontario’s no-fault insurance system, you do not need to prove the other driver was negligent in order to obtain compensation. This system can help speed up the claim process when a less serious collision takes place.

However, if you sustained significant injuries and damages that exceed the limits of your policy, you may be able to make a legal claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. Being able to pursue compensation in this situation will require proving that negligence played a role in the collision.

An experienced lawyer can provide assistance if the insurance company is devaluing or denying your claim. He or she can help you understand your rights and pursue the maximum compensation possible.

Fault Determination for a Sideswipe Collision

Insurance companies will conduct their own accident investigations to determine who was responsible and to what extent. They abide by the Fault Determinations Rules, which are governed by the Insurance Act.

Sideswipe collisions are covered under Regulation 668, Section 10 (Rules for Automobiles Travelling in the Same Direction in Adjacent Lane). If a driver sideswipes another vehicle, fault is determined by where the vehicles were and how they were traveling in relation to the lines on the roadway.

For instance, a driver may be at fault if he or she crosses a centre line or a lane-division line and sideswipes another car travelling legally within the lane. If two vehicles sideswipe each other because they both have crossed the centre line, both drivers may share equal fault for the collision.

Contact Us for Experienced Legal Help

Injured in a sideswipe collision? If so, you may be eligible for compensation. Greg Monforton & Partners is ready to investigate the collision to determine if the other driver is responsible for your damages.

An initial consultation comes at no cost or obligation to you. If your claim has merit, our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

Free Case Review 24/7. Ph: (866) 320-4770