Sometimes while driving side by side and parallel to another vehicle, you may notice that the other driver is distracted possibly by their phone. In some unfortunate situations, this causes their car to drift into another lane and lead to an automobile accident resulting in personal injuries. These are known as 'sideswipe' accidents and are notoriously denied by insurance adjusters for various reasons discussed below.
Clearly in this situation the other driver is at fault but unfortunately in many cases, especially when there is no witness (who usually do not stop to assist largely because both cars continue in motion subsequent to the accident and people are otherwise usually busy). the at fault driver misrepresents what actually occurred and/ or the adjuster buoyed by the absence of any corroborating witness (or video) evidence summarily denies the claim leaving the victim holding the bag. Although some of these result in low impact accidents, some do lead to serious injuries given that sometimes drivers lose control of their cars, swerve into other lanes, may cause the other car to flip over.
Adjusters do this because Maryland is one of a handful of states that still recognizes the defense of contributory negligence which bars any recovery regardless of how negligent their insured was. One way to mitigate this risk, particularly when the victim is injured, is to ensure that a police officer arrives at the scene and depending on the severity of the victim's injury, ensure emergency treatment is received. This would require the police to write a report and assign fault to the wrongdoer. At the scene of the accident, victims are usually more truthful due to guilt of causing the accident hence this may help in obtaining adequate proof of fault. Additionally, look around for witnesses and / or traffic light cameras to serve as corroborating evidence to support your assertion of fault against the wrongdoer. Notwithstanding, given the complexity of side swipe accidents and other types, of accidents, if additional information is needed, call us for a free phone or in person consultation.