When a lane-change accident occurs, the question of who is liable for any damages can be complicated. Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties could potentially be responsible for paying compensation to those affected.
This article will discuss some of the parties that may carry liability in these situations and provide guidance on how fault is determined in a lane-change accident.
What is a Lane-Change Crash?
A lane-change crash, also known as a sideswipe or merging collision, occurs when two vehicles collide while attempting to change lanes. It can happen at any speed and on any road, from highways to city streets.
Lane-change crashes are very dangerous because the sudden impact can cause one of the cars to lose control and veer off the road or into oncoming traffic. These types of accidents can be difficult to predict and prevent since they often happen so quickly.
Who May Be Liable for a Lane-Change Crash?
It is possible for multiple parties to be held liable for a lane-change crash. The driver of the car that changed lanes may be responsible if they failed to check their blind spots or used excessive speed when changing lanes, violating traffic laws in the process.
The driver of the other car involved may also be accountable for a lane-change crash if they were negligent in some manner, such as by speeding or not paying attention to traffic signals. This is especially true if their actions led to the other vehicle changing lanes and causing an accident.
The owner of either car may also be included in any liability as they are legally responsible for the actions of anyone who operates their vehicle.
In addition, a third party such as a mechanic or product manufacturer may be held liable if it is determined that faulty maintenance or a defective part caused the crash. For example, if it is found that a tire blowout or brake malfunction caused the lane-change accident, then the mechanic responsible for maintenance or the manufacturer of the defective part could be held liable.
It is important to note that even if one driver is determined to be at fault for the crash, both drivers may still share some responsibility.
Ultimately, determining liability for a lane-change crash depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. It is important to obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney if you have been involved in a lane-change crash in order to ensure that any responsible parties are held accountable and you receive fair compensation.
How Fault is Determined in a Lane-Change Crash
When it comes to determining fault in a lane-change crash, the main factors considered are the behavior of each driver leading up to and during the crash. Did either driver fail to signal their lane change? Was one driver driving too fast for road conditions? Did either driver fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes? All of these actions can factor into fault determination.
Other things that may be taken into account include the driver's history of safe driving, any distractions (such as a cell phone or other electronic device) they may have been using at the time of the crash, and the visibility of each vehicle at the time of impact.
The speed of each vehicle prior to and during the crash can also be taken into account, as well as any driver fatigue or impairment. A court may consider other evidence such as skid marks and damage to each vehicle.
Ultimately, the fault for a lane-change crash is determined by evaluating all of these factors together in order to decide which driver was ultimately responsible. To obtain information about these, courts gather evidence from the following:
- Official police report
- Surveillance or traffic camera footage
- Photos and videos of the scene
- Dashcam footage
- Driver testimony
- Witness testimony
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- Medical records
- Cell phone records
Work With a Car Accident Attorney
A lane-change crash is a particularly dangerous type of car accident that can result in serious injuries and other damages. If you've been involved in a lane-change crash, it's important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help ensure you are protected and compensated for your losses. Talk to us about your accident today.