It is the responsibility of every driver to avoid accidents and ensure it is safe before changing lanes. Doing so carelessly is not only dangerous, but against the law. On the other hand, that doesn’t give others a free license to run into you when you are changing lanes. When an accident does occur, it can be a bit more difficult to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault without talking to an experienced car accident attorney.
Determining Fault in a Lane Changing Accident
Typically, the driver who is changing lanes is the one who is at fault for the accident. When passing, drivers must make sure the lane is clear by not only checking their mirrors, but also blind spots, which require you to physically turn your head and look out the back side windows. Signals must also be used. In general, if a party breaks any rule of the road, they are responsible for a lane changing crash. Liability may be apparent if you or the other party:
- Fails to signal when changing lanes.
- Changes lanes into another vehicle
- Passes in a no-passing zone.
- Fails to return to the right lane.
- Prevents another car from passing.
- Violates any other traffic laws (such as by speeding)
But, that is not always the case. If more than one driver was switching lanes, there might be some debate as to who is liable or both parties might be. Several factors specific to each case will be considered, such as where the impact on the vehicles occurred, the severity of the damage, the speed at which they were traveling, etc.
Proving Fault in a Lane Changing Accident
To be successful in a claim for compensation, the following elements must be established:
- The at-fault driver had a duty of care to drive safely, and follow the rules of the road.
- The at-fault driver breached that duty by unsafely changing lanes.
- The at fault driver’s breach of duty directly caused the accident and your injuries.
- You sustained calculable losses as a result of the accident, such as medical bills and lost income.
Proving fault will require evidence and documentation that supports your claim. An accident attorney can help you gather any accident reports, medical records, medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, repair estimates, photos of the damages and injuries, and statements from any witnesses.
Shared Fault in Texas
In Texas, as long as a driver is less than 51 percent responsible for an accident, they can recover compensation. However, the total amount awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, if the vehicle that changed lanes is 80 percent at fault and the other driver is 20 percent, the driver who is 20 percent at-fault can recover 80 percent of the compensation they are entitled to.
Speak to a Lane Change Accident Attorney
Our team at the Milano Legal Group PLLC has extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in a lane change accident. We offer consultations free of charge, call us today at (713) 489-4270 or reach us online.