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Who’s to Blame in a Lane Change Accident?

Cars driving in traffic

Once an accident occurs due to one or both vehicles changing lanes, this is aptly referred to as a “lane change accident.” As with all accident cases, it will be important to determine who was at fault in the lane change accident. This is due to the fact that the person at fault for causing the accident will be responsible for compensating the other driver should they have suffered harm as a result of the accident. Of course, more often than not the compensation comes from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance carrier. So, who is to blame in a lane change accident?

Who’s to Blame in a Lane Change Accident?

There are a variety of things that can cause unsafe lane changes to occur that result in an accident. Most of them are unsafe driving maneuvers or outright driver carelessness. Failure to check blind spots, for instance, is a common contributing factor if not an outright cause of lane change accidents. Sometimes lane change accidents occur because a driver drifts into another driver’s lane or fails to use a signal prior to making a lane change to alert another driver to the fact that they will be changing lanes.

Other unsafe driving choices that commonly lead to lane change accidents include speeding, texting, and driving under the influence. All of these dangerous driving behaviors can cause lane change accidents as they do things like take a driver’s full attention off of the road, limit the driver’s reaction time, and impair a driver’s judgment. If any driver has engaged in such dangerous driving behaviors, then they will likely be found at least partially, if not totally, to blame for a subsequent lane change accident that happens as a result.

It is, however, not uncommon for more than one driver to contribute to causing a lane change. Perhaps one driver was speeding, but the other driver was texting or otherwise distracted during a lane change. Both of these dangerous driving behaviors could be viewed as contributing causes to the accident. Thus, both drivers would likely be held partially accountable for any subsequent injuries and other damages that resulted from a lane change accident caused by the dangerous driving behaviors.

New York, and 12 other states, follow a “pure” comparative negligence fault law. Under a pure comparative negligence standard, every party involved in a personal injury suit can recover compensation for the harm they have suffered regardless of the percentage of fault they are assigned for causing the accident. This means that one party could be found to have been 99% at fault for causing an accident and could still recover damages. The thing is, however, that your damage award is reduced in proportion to your assigned percentage of fault and so they would only be able to recover 1% of their damages as a result.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a lane change accident, time is of the essence. Reach out to trusted personal injury attorney Michael LoGiudice so he can begin fighting for your right to monetary compensation right away. Contact us today.

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