Who Is The At Fault Driver In Changing Lanes Car Accident

Who Is The At Fault Driver In Changing Lanes Car Accident

Simply changing a lane can result in an accident if not done properly. What is so frustrating about such accidents is that you can’t really do much to avoid them. You never know when a driver will suddenly make an unsafe lane change causing their vehicle to crash into yours. If you are injured or lose property in this kind of an accident, you should know that you may be eligible for compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer can review your case and answer all your questions about legal options you can take.

Why Lane Change Accidents Occur

The common causes of lane change accidents include:

  • Passing other vehicles on the road excessively
  • Distracted driving such as using a cell phone while driving and other distracting activity
  • Speeding excessively 
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Poor driving conditions such as adverse weather conditions or low visibility situations

These accidents can also happen when a driver merges into a lane of moving traffic and crashes with another vehicle. In such a situation, the merging driver is the at-fault driver. 

Determining The At-Fault Party In A Lane Change Accident

Changing Lanes Car AccidentThe at-fault driver in an unsafe lane change accident is the driver that enters a lane of traffic. The driver that enters a lane is also referred to as the negligent driver because the driver failed to act with reasonable care to protect others from harm. Every vehicle operator has the duty to act as a reasonable driver, and to avoid acting in a way that might cause injuries to other road users.  The Texas’s laws regarding safe mergers (safe lane changing) states that:

  • A driver should only change lanes when it is safe to do so. You need to determine whether there is sufficient space in the next lane, and whether the road and weather conditions at the time of the lane change is safe, before changing lanes. 
  • The driver that is merging into a lane with traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have right of way
  • A driver has to signal other drivers when changing lanes. Any driver that does not signal is being negligent

The police officer that arrives at the scene of the accident will include these violations in the official police report for the accident. This is the reason why it is important to call the local police immediately after your accident so that the officer can fill out an official police report.

Texas Comparative Negligence Law

The comparative negligence or comparative law in Texas is a legal concept used in civil liability cases that addresses incidents where victims were at-fault to some degree. The degree of fault of the car accident victim is often described in percentages. You are entitled to receive some compensation if the percentage of your fault is below 51%. The amount of compensation you are supposed to receive is reduced according to the percentage of your fault. If your percentage of fault is 51% and over, you may not receive compensation.

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