Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident Changing Lanes?
Even though you may be very careful to look over your shoulder, check your mirrors, and use your turn signal when changing lanes in traffic, not every motorist is quite as cautious. Other drivers’ carelessness while changing lanes can put you at risk of being seriously hurt in an accident. A crash can leave you with severe or life-threatening injuries, as well as overwhelming financial stress as you struggle to get back on your feet.
If you have been hurt in an Alabama car accident caused by an unsafe lane change, you need to learn about your legal rights. Our lawyers at Serious Injury Law Group can help. We will demand full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you have suffered as a result of your crash.
Unfortunately, the process of obtaining monetary damages can be complicated, so you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible about your next steps. Please contact our law firm to set up a free consultation on your case.
Determining Fault for a Changing-Lanes Accident
When you want to seek compensation for your losses as the victim of any motor vehicle crash, it’s essential to establish who was at fault. Most collisions are caused by carelessness, which is referred to as “negligence” in the practice of law. As part of your personal injury claim, you must prove:
- The responsible motorist had a duty to drive safely, so as to not create a risk of harm to others.
- That person breached this duty by making an unsafe lane change.
- The breach of duty was a direct cause of the accident in which you were injured.
- You sustained losses as a result of the accident.
While these elements may seem straightforward, you must have solid, credible proof to establish each one in an accident involving a vehicle changing lanes.
Our team at Serious Injury Law Group will conduct an in-depth investigation to gather critical evidence, but you may be able to collect some details at the scene of the crash, as well. Examples of the types of evidence that may be useful in determining fault are:
- Photos of the damage to vehicles, the scene of the crash, and conditions in the surrounding area
- Surveillance videos from nearby structures and businesses
- Statements from witnesses who observed your car get hit while changing lanes
- Information from the police accident report
- Input from accident reconstruction experts, who have specialized knowledge regarding the science behind motor vehicle collisions
Our attorneys know what it takes to prove fault and craft a strong case for maximum compensation. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Understanding the Right of Way
It’s clear who has the right of way in many traffic situations, but the issue may not be so obvious in a car accident while changing lanes. The concept is also known as yielding to other vehicles, and the failure to yield – i.e., the failure to allow right of way – is a violation of traffic laws.
Generally, every driver must allow right of way by doing everything possible to avoid a collision. For instance, the failure to yield right of way might occur in a changing lanes accident if the other driver forcefully maneuvers into your lane. You may be unable to slow or stop in time to avoid a crash, so the responsible driver has violated the right of way law.
Common Causes of Lane Change Accidents
Though negligent acts are behind most lane switching crashes, the specific causes may vary. These collisions are typically the result of:
- Drunk driving
- Texting, talking on the phone, surfing the Internet, posting to social media, and other dangerous, illegal cellphone usage
- Other forms of distracted driving, such as adjusting the radio, using a GPS, eating, and grooming
Our attorneys will investigate your crash to determine what exactly caused the other driver to change lanes recklessly.
Compensation After a Lane Change Car Accident
If you were hurt due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to a range of monetary damages intended to reimburse you for your losses. Depending on your situation and the nature of your injuries, our car accident lawyers at Serious Injury Law Group can help you seek payment for:
- Your medical costs, including expenses for surgery, physical therapy, pain medications, hospitalization, and future treatment
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your injuries
- Reduced income capacity for the future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Losses that affect your quality of life and personal relationships
There is no way to know how much your case is truly worth without a full investigation. Contact our firm today so we can begin work on your case and start documenting your losses.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
In most car accidents, your first step in seeking compensation is filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You might think the process is as easy as filling out a few forms, but it’s much more complicated. Insurers look for reasons to deny your claim or pay out as little as possible to protect their bottom line.
If the insurer won’t agree to a reasonable amount to settle, you’ll have to file a lawsuit in court. Our attorneys will be at your side throughout the process, managing all the legal legwork in your claim, including:
- Investigating your accident to collect all the evidence showing who was at fault
- Thoroughly documenting your medical bills, lost wages, and all other damages related to your crash
- Filing claims forms and supplying supporting documentation
- Negotiating with the insurance company for a full and fair settlement that takes into account both current and future losses
- Advocating on your behalf at trial, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement
Contact Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Legal Options
There are many complicated issues involved when determining fault in an auto crash that involves changing lanes. However, your focus should be on recovering from your serious injury. Trust our team at Serious Injury Law Group to handle all the details of your personal injury claim.
To discuss how we can help with your case, please contact our law office to schedule a free case evaluation.