Car accidents happen every day in the United States, and lane change accidents are especially common. If you are hurt in a car accident with a vehicle changing lanes, you may want to review your case with a personal injury lawyer. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Is a Vehicle Switching Lanes Accident?
As we drive, we often change lanes to pass a slower car, make a turn, or exit a highway. It is vital to be careful to change lanes safely, especially in heavy traffic.
Unfortunately, not every driver changes lanes safely, and accidents happen. A changing lanes car accident occurs when a driver hits another while switching lanes. They happen for many reasons: low visibility, aggressive driving, and not checking a blind spot. If you are in a lane change accident with a negligent driver, you could have a legal case.
Car Accident Liability Laws
Laws vary from state to state, but most require the at-fault driver to pay for the damages in a car accident they cause. Establishing liability in a vehicle switching lanes accident can be done by proving the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care on the road. All drivers owe others on the road a duty to drive safely and follow state, local, and federal driving laws.
- The at-fault driver did not follow their duty of care to you. Failing to check a blind spot before changing lanes would constitute a breach of the duty of care.
- The breach of care caused the injuries and damages you suffered in the vehicle switching lanes accident.
- You can ask for compensation for your injuries and damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Determining who is at fault in a changing lane car crash involves several pieces of evidence. These may include witness testimony, surveillance footage, skidmarks, and more.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your claim could help you build a stronger case than doing it on your own. The attorney has access to investigational tools and evidence that could increase the odds that you will end up with a fair settlement or verdict.
Comparative Negligence Overview
Switching lane accidents can be tricky to litigate because liability may be muddled. The other driver could be partially at fault for the accident, but the insurance company or court will investigate if you also were at fault.
For instance, if the other driver changed lanes into you, but you were speeding, you may be partially liable for the accident. When you share liability for an accident, you may end up with a lower settlement.
Many states follow what is called a comparative negligence rule in these types of accidents. This rule states that the court will lower your settlement amount by your percentage of fault for the crash.
For example, assume you are in a crash with a driver who changed lanes in front of you too closely, and you rear-ended him. You claim medical costs, lost earnings, and property damage of $50,000.
However, the crash happened at 10 PM, and the court determines you failed to turn on your headlights. This decreased your visibility to other drivers. The jury finds you 40% at fault for the crash. This means you would receive only $30,000 for your settlement.
Determining liability in a switching lanes car accident is complex. Speak to a personal injury attorney today to safeguard your rights and interests. The attorney can tell you the best legal path to take and help you get as much compensation as possible.