Lane Change Car Accidents
Aggressive or unsafe lane changes are a leading cause of car accidents in California. There are two types of lane change accidents: when a vehicle changes lanes and collides with a vehicle already in that lane or when two vehicles collide while simultaneously changing lanes.
You may be entitled to compensation for your damages when you get injured or suffer vehicle damage in a lane change car accident that was the other driver’s fault. However, establishing liability in lane change accidents can be tricky.
If the accident happened in or near Oxnard, you could hire a car accident lawyer in Oxnard to guide you through the legal proceedings for getting full and fair compensation for your damages. If you were at fault, the lawyer could help minimize your payout, fines, and penalties. You can continue reading to learn more about lane change car accidents in California and how an attorney can help.
Common Causes of Lane Change Accidents
The most common cause of a lane change car accident is the driver’s failure to signal the other drivers on the road that they are changing lanes. In some cases, the driver cannot accurately judge the distance and speed of the oncoming traffic and collides with another vehicle.
In addition, some lane change accidents are solo accidents, where the driver loses control of the vehicle and goes off the road or collides with the surroundings. Finally, road conditions can be another cause of lane change car accidents. For example, a pothole or debris in the road can make drivers lose control of their vehicles or swerve out of their lane to avoid it. Unsafe lane changes can be dangerous for other road users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
How Is Liability Determined In a Lane Change Car Accident?
The driver who was changing lanes can be the one to blame, but multiple parties may share some fault in the accident. Similar to other car accident cases, an investigation may be needed to determine the liability of the accident. The damage to the vehicles can indicate which driver was at fault. In addition, eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage, and the police report are critical factors in determining the liability of the accident.
Every driver has a duty of care to check that the lane they are moving into is clear and check their blindspots before proceeding. If the driver breached the duty of care, they could be held accountable.
If a driver is negligent and violates traffic laws, such as preventing another vehicle from passing, passing while in a no-passing area, or failing to return to the right lane, they can put themselves and other road users in danger. If both vehicles were changing lanes and collided with each other, both parties could be equally liable for the accident.
What Injuries Are Common in Lane-Changing Accidents?
Some lane change accidents can result in minor injuries; however, a severe lane change car accident can lead to catastrophic injuries such as:
- Brain Injuries: This includes Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions. Some brain injuries can lead to permanent disability.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Any damage to the spinal cord can be devastating. It could even lead to partial or complete paralysis of the body.
- Cuts and Bruises: Various cuts and bruises can happen in a lane-changing accident. For example, the shards of windshield glass can cut or puncture the skin, causing severe lacerations.
Broken Bones and Fractures: Damage to the bones and joints are common in serious lane change accidents. Surgery or prolonged rest might be needed in severe cases to fully recover from broken bones and fractures.
Tips to Avoid Lane Change Accidents
Watch Your Speed
The general speed limit on California multilane highways is 65 mph; however, each road can have its own speed limit, so make sure you follow that limit. Changing lanes at speed can increase the chances of an accident.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Tailgating would put you at risk of a lane change accident. On congested roads, the best way to drive is to maintain a safe distance so you have enough space to change lanes without putting yourself or other motorists in danger.
Check Mirrors and Blindspots
Before you change lanes, check side view mirrors and any blind spots. Always use an indicator when changing lanes, even if you don’t see any vehicles around you.
Pay Attention to Road Conditions
Poorly maintained roads or a road under construction can increase your chances of getting into a lane change car accident.
Contact the Lane-Changing Car Accident Lawyer
If you can prove that the other driver is liable for causing the lane change accident, you can obtain full compensation; however, if you are at fault or share fault, the consequences can be different. Therefore, it is best to get in touch with an Oxnard personal injury lawyer, who can help guide you to the best legal course of action. We welcome you to contact us at The King Law Firm for the best legal representation and guidance in a lane change accident.