Who is Liable For Lane-Change Accidents?
Lane change accidents are a common occurrence. The process of liability determination gets complex in such cases. Consult a Hopkinsville personal injury attorney to seek legal assistance for your case.
Types of lane change accidents
There are broadly two kinds of lane change accidents.
Almost all the cases of lane change accidents come under the category of proximity crashes. These kinds of accidents occur when the vehicle is changing lanes, and the existing vehicle in the same lane is driving at the same speed and colliding due to the speed and proximity.
Fast approach crashes
These types of crashes occur when one vehicle is driving at a higher speed than the other.
Lane-change crashes end up causing rear-end collisions or sideswipes. These result in loss of vehicular control, and the vehicle collides with other objects or vehicles on the road.
Determination of fault
The fault in lane change accidents is determined by events that took place before the accident. In most lane-change crashes, the liable driver is determined by these factors
- Distracted Driving
- Fatigue or drowsiness experienced by the driver
- Driving under the influence of illicit substances
- Failing to check the rearview mirror or blind spot before making lane changes
The drivers are specifically required to ensure their safety while changing lanes. Before merging into a different lane, they must check the traffic and blind spots. They should use turn signals to indicate other drivers. Failure to do so will make the driver liable for any potential accidents caused while changing lanes.
Along with these factors, many accidents occur due to lack of visibility, poor weather, or road conditions.
Proving Liability for a Lane-Change Accident
It is not easy to prove one driver’s negligence in a lane change accident. If the driver at fault refuses to take liability for the lane change accident, the injured victim must prove the driver’s negligent conduct with the help of credible evidence. Documents like police reports, witness testimonies, surveillance footage, and statements from car accident reconstruction experts can help prove the fault and get the deserved compensation.
Recovering compensation in cases of partial fault
Often, there are multiple parties involved in a car accident. In states with comparative negligence systems, the injured victims with less than 50% fault are entitled to recover compensation for their damages. However, the compensation amount will be deduced as per the proportion of liability held by the victims.
In instances where the fault proportion exceeds 50%, no compensation will be granted to the injured victim.