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Hiring a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area

In this article, we will discuss who is at fault, the risks associated with improper lane changes, legal consequences, representation options if you were injured, and how to avoid becoming involved in the first place.

The specifics of the accident will determine who is at fault in a car accident involving an improper lane change, such as whether the driver was drunk or high on drugs, or distracted by texting. In general, the driver who makes the incorrect lane change is at fault. However, there may be other factors that influence fault, such as whether the other driver was also negligent or reckless. An investigation of the accident may be required to determine fault. This could include gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and on-scene photographs. In some cases, the investigation may be conducted by an insurance company or a car accident attorney.

Young woman overtaking other car on highway

The Five Risks of Improper Lane Changes

Improper lane changes can be hazardous and endanger drivers, passengers, and other road users like cyclists. While it seems like a minor mistake, cutting off another driver can have serious consequences. The following are some of the dangers associated with improper lane changes:

  1. Collisions: The possibility of a collision is one of the most serious risks of improper lane changes. A driver may collide with another vehicle in the lane they are entering if they fail to check their blind spot or use their turn signal incorrectly.
  2. Injuries: Collisions caused by improper lane changes can cause minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries.
  3. Property Damage: Improper lane changes can also cause significant property damage to the vehicles involved, including damage to the body, engine, and other car parts.
  4. Legal Ramifications: If a driver causes an accident due to an improper lane change, they may face legal ramifications such as traffic tickets, fines, and, in some cases, criminal charges or civil charges.
  5. Higher Insurance Rates: Drivers who cause accidents due to improper lane changes may face an increase in their insurance rates if they are found to be at fault or even worse if injuries were sustained be sued by the other party.


The Five Causes of Improper Lane Changes

  1. Driver Distraction: This is one of the most common causes of incorrect lane changes. Drivers who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other factors may fail to pay attention to the road, miss traffic signals or signs, and fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes.
  2. Intoxication: Drug or alcohol intoxication can also cause drivers to make improper lane changes. Impaired drivers may lack the coordination and reaction time necessary to safely change lanes, and their judgment may be impaired.
  3. Reckless Driving: Drivers who change lanes aggressively or recklessly, weave in and out of traffic, or cut off other drivers without warning, are examples of reckless driving. This type of behavior can result in potentially dangerous situations, such as car accidents.
  4. Inexperience: Inexperienced drivers, such as newly licensed drivers or those who have recently moved to the US that lived in a foreign country with different traffic laws, may be unfamiliar with the rules of the road and may unintentionally make improper lane changes.
  5. Fatigue: Finally, being tired can also make it hard to change lanes correctly. Drivers who are tired or sleepy might not be able to pay attention and change lanes safely, or they might miss traffic lights or signs. They could also fall asleep while driving, which could result in a fatal accident.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney If I’m Injured?

If you were injured in a lane-changing accident for which you were not at fault, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can assist you in navigating the legal system and protecting your rights, and they may also be able to assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Here are some specific ways a car accident attorney can help:

  1. Investigate: A car accident lawyer can investigate the accident, collect evidence such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements, and determine who was at fault for the car accident.
  2. Representation: Your attorney can represent you in insurance company negotiations and, if necessary, in court. They can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the appropriate compensation for your injuries.
  3. Compensation: Your lawyer can assist you in obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the accident.
  4. Expertise: Car accident lawyers have knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations and can assist you in understanding your legal rights and options.

It is essential to select a personal injury attorney who has handled cases comparable to yours and who has a strong track record of obtaining favorable results for their clients. Additionally, you can search for attorneys who provide complimentary consultations to discuss your case and evaluate your options. When searching, finding a board-certified attorney is also very beneficial, a very high standard that is only awarded by the state bar.


How to Avoid Lane Change Accidents?

Here is a list of tips for avoiding accidents during lane changes:

  1. Use Your Turn Signals: When changing lanes, always use your turn signals. This notifies other drivers of your intentions and can help avoid collisions.
  2. Check Your Blind Spots: Check your blind spots by looking over your shoulder or using your mirrors before changing lanes. This will assist you in determining whether there are any vehicles or other obstacles in the lane you wish to enter.
  3. Stay Focused on the Road: Avoid distractions while driving, such as using your phone, eating, or adjusting your radio. Maintaining your focus on the road can help you avoid accidents.
  4. Be Aware of Other Drivers: Keep an eye out for other drivers on the road, and be especially wary of those who weave in and out of traffic or drive recklessly. Allow plenty of space for these drivers and avoid engaging with them. If an accident occurs, please be mindful of road rage and how to defuse the situation.
  5. Stay in Your Lane: Stay in your lane as much as possible, and avoid abrupt lane changes or weaving in and out of traffic. This can help to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring.
  6. Follow the Rules of the Road: Always obey traffic laws, including posted speed limits and traffic signals. This will assist you in remaining safe and avoiding lane-changing accidents.


LegalFinders Can Help

Always remember to be patient and courteous on the road. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors that can lead to accidents, such as cutting off other drivers or tailgating. You can help prevent lane change accidents and keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road by driving responsibly and cautiously. LegalFinders can help connect you to a lane change accident attorney if you suffered an injury from this type of accident. We refer clients to the top-rated firms in your area.


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Published: 27 February 2023


NHTSA – Distracted Driving

FMCSA – Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2020

U.S. Department of Transportation – 2023 Progress Report on the National Roadway Safety Strategy