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Lane Change Accidents

There are many different types of car accidents and motorcycle collisions. One of the most common accidents involves an unsafe lane change. These lane change accidents occur when a car suddenly changes lanes and collides with another car in that lane, or causes the other car to collide with a third car. These accidents frequently result in significant physical injuries. In fact, they are the third leading cause for deadly crashes. Clearly, these accidents result in substantial medical bills, lost income, potential disability, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Lane change accidents are commonly caused by drivers' failure to check their blind spots before changing lanes. Blind spots are the portion of the highway or road that is not visible in side or rearview mirrors. Drivers typically check blind spots by looking over their shoulder. Some other causes for these accidents are failure to use a turn signal; changing lanes at a traffic intersection; distracted driving; aggressive driving; not seeing the vehicle in the other lane; and miscalculating the speed of the vehicle in the other lane. Additionally, these accidents occur when two cars simultaneously swerve into the same lane.

These accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. California imposes a duty on drivers to operate their vehicle with care, caution, and awareness of their surroundings. This duty requires drivers to signal and check their mirrors and blind spots before safely changing lanes. This duty of care aims to prevent harm to other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The above common causes for these accidents are failures to fulfill this duty.

Lane change accidents raise complicated issues regarding fault. Generally, the vehicle changing lanes is at-fault for these accidents based on their duty to safely change lanes. For example, if a driver's failure to use a turn signal before changing lanes caused the accident, the merging vehicle will be at-fault. However, many accidents involve a sharing of fault between drivers. Below are scenarios where fault may be shared.

  1. The accident may be caused by both cars merging into a middle lane at the same time. In this case, each driver will likely be 50% at-fault.
  2. The lane and location of the cars in the accident may not be determinable. In this case, each driver will likely be 50% at-fault.
  3. The driver of the car that was initially in the merged lane may be engaging in unlawful driving (e.g. speeding, aggressive driving, etc.). If this behavior caused or contributed to the accident, this driver may be at-fault. The percentage of fault generally depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

The insurance company's attorney will likely argue that you are partially or fully at-fault. These arguments support a claim for comparative negligence. If you are determined to be partially at-fault for the accident, then your compensation for your injuries will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if total compensation is $100,000 and you are found to be 25% at-fault, then your compensation is reduced to $75,000. Issues of fault become more complicated when multiple vehicles are involved in the accident.

These accidents often occur at high speeds, resulting in loss of control of a car, rollovers, and multiple car accidents. This high impact often results in significant physical injuries that require expensive and lengthy medical treatment along with extended periods of missed work. However, California compensates victims injured due to other drivers' negligence. These victims are entitled to recover compensation for past and future medical treatment, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. As such, it is important that you retain an experienced lane change accident attorney, who will obtain evidence regarding the fault of other driver(s) and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney today if you or a loved one suffered an injury in a lane change accident. Slatter Law Firm has been helping individuals injured due to car accidents throughout Los Angeles and Southern California for over four decades. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.