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Auto Accident 1.16.2022

Who is at Fault in a Michigan Sideswipe Accident?

Lawyers Fighting For Victims of Sideswipe Accidents.

The party at fault in a sideswipe car accident will depend on the specific facts of each collision. The party who caused the car accident through negligence or reckless acts is likely to be found responsible for the car accident collision. Sideswipe accidents are hard to prevent.

What Can Cause a Sideswipe Accident?

Many different actions and inactions can lead to a sideswipe collision. Here are just a few examples of driver errors that can lead to this type of auto accident:

  • A car veers or strays from its lane on the highway due to driver distraction, fatigue, sleepiness or impairment from drugs or alcohol. The straying vehicle will usually be responsible for the car accident.
  • Reckless or Intentional sideswipe (road rage) collisions can be the result of road rage. The aggressive road rage driver is at fault.
  • Large vehicles such as tractor-trailers can sometimes sideswipe smaller cars in their blind spots. The vehicle that failed to check its blind spot before changing lanes is often found negligent for improper lane change.
  • Merging into lanes are the scene of many sideswipe collisions. Whether trying to merge onto the highway or exit the road, usually the merging car that failed to yield the right-of-way is at fault.
  • Sometimes, drivers are not paying attention to their surroundings and misjudge the amount of space they have to pass or change lanes. Even an honest mistake can be the basis for negligence.
  • Improper passing of another vehicle, the passing car might sideswipe the vehicle it is trying to pass. Poor judgment in deciding to attempt the maneuver when there is not enough time to pass safely tends to lead to the passing driver getting charged with the collision.

This list includes some of the most common causes of these sideswipe crashes and who is at fault in sideswipe accidents. Your specific accident circumstances might involve different facts, but the negligence can be determined by an experienced car accident lawyer at The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm. In cases of automobile negligence, as opposed to an intentional act like road rage, the law provides a way to go about proving the fault of the responsible party.

How To Prove Who Was The Negligent Driver

Michigan follows the standard method of determining who was at fault in sideswipe accidents and other types of personal injury claims. The American Bar Association (ABA) teaches that we will have to show proof for all four of these elements to pursue a claim for compensation against the at fault defendant driver:

Duty of Care

The person we go after for damages must have owed you a legal duty. All drivers have a legal obligation to drive with due car and caution, and pay attention to their surroundings.

Breach of Duty

Negligence means that someone failed to live up to level of conduct. For example, if someone was on the entrance ramp to a highway and did not bother to look for traffic in the lane they tried to enter, this would constitute violation of the failure to yield statute or improper lane use. The was negligence is proven generally is by showing the at fault driver broke the law.  


Negligent acts happen all the time, but they do not always cause accidents. When the negligence or careless act causes a collision, the facts satisfy this requirement for legal liability.
For example, if someone moved into another lane without looking, and the car was able to get out of the way there would be no causation since no accident happened. If, however, the negligence of not looking caused a sideswipe collision, the careless driver would be at fault for causing the accident.


You must have damages to pursue damages in car accident claims. Physical injuries and economic losses satisfy the damages element.

After we establish all four of these negligence elements, you can be awarded damages against the defendant.

What Damages You Can Receive for a Sideswipe Accident When Someone Else Is At Fault

As in all other types of personal injury claims, the amount of compensation you can receive after for a sideswipe collision will depend on the nature and extent of you injuries and damages. Here are some of the more common types of damages that people pursue in car accident injury claims, according to the ABA:

Lost Income

If you lost wage income because you missed time from work as a result of the accident because of medical treatments, and recuperation time, you can typically calculate this loss for includsion in your claim. This category damages can include loss of income, salary, wages, self-employment, and other forms of lost income.

In Michigan, people cannot claim loss of earning capacity in a car accident case. Michigan law requires the at fault driver to pay your excess wage loss based upon the job you had at the time of the car accident. Your excess wage loss would consist of income you would have earned but for your injuries. Usually, your Michigan no-fault insurer would pay the first three years of wages, and the excess or differential over the first three years you would claim from the at fault driver. However, if you have to take a lower-paying job or reduce your hours as a result of your injuries, this would qualify as lost income or decreased earnings.

Medical Expenses

Generally, the law allows you to seek damages for the reasonable cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries. In Michigan, the no-fault insurance claim would pay medical expenses up to the policy limits of coverage, but you could claim excess medical bills which were not coverage by no-fault personal injury protection coverage.

Also, the emergency room, doctors, hospital, diagnostic procedures, lab tests, x-rays and other imaging studies, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and other necessary medical services or goods can count as allowed medical expenses.

Non-economic Losses

These types of intangible damages are considered intangible because they don’t have a market for them and often don’t have easy way to measure them in dollars, unlike lost income or medical bills. Still, these damages and losses are real and valid claims in a personal injury auto accident case.

For example, financial compensation for pain and suffering measures in real dollars the physical discomfort and emotional distress you endured as a result of the collision and your injuries. The jury can be asked to quantify your pain and suffering on a daily, hourly, or annual basis in terms of dollars. Some other examples of intangible damages include permanent scarring, disfigurement, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the loss of the enjoyment of your life. All these would take a look at the changes in your life compared to before the accident. There is no magic formula or scale to measure these damages, but left to how much the jury feels your damages are worth.

Call Today for Your Free Case Review

At the Law Offices of Joseph Dedvukaj, we go the extra mile for our clients. Our automobile accident attorneys will take care of all of the legal matters so that you can focus on healing. We can even help get your car fixed and help you schedule your appointments.

You can call us today at 866-HIRE-JOE for a free consultation and find out how we can help you. Joseph Dedvukaj is an ABA Member. and BBB A+ rated.

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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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