When we learn to drive, we’re taught to signal and check before changing lanes. But over time many drivers develop the dangerous habit of not doing either.
Unsafe lane changes can lead to major car accidents. Many cause catastrophic injuries and even death. If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident because of an unsafe lane change, contact The Dominguez Firm right away for a FREE consultation at 800-818-1818. We can travel to your home or hospital at a moment’s notice.
Keep reading for more information on unsafe lane changes and your legal rights if you were involved in a crash due to an unsafe lane change.
Dangers of Unsafe Lane Changes
Drivers who perform unsafe lane changes put everyone around them at risk. These are some of the most dangerous maneuvers drivers make when changing lanes:
- Not signaling before changing lanes.
- Changing lanes without checking surrounding traffic for cars. This can involve not checking a rearview mirror or blind spot. Some drivers may take a chance and switch lanes because traffic is light.
- Crossing multiple lanes at once.
- Not staying in one’s lane. Drivers can swerve or partially drift into another lane for several reasons. They may be distracted by their phones, feel sleepy, or be driving under the influence.
- Changing into the highway merge lane.
- Changing lanes in an intersection.
- Two vehicles trying to enter the same lane simultaneously.
Many unsafe lane change accidents happen on highways. Because of the higher rates of speed, these collisions can cause chain reactions and multi-car accidents.
Injuries caused by unsafe lane changes:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Note that unsafe lane changes were the 3rd leading cause of traffic accident deaths in 2018.
Unsafe Lane Changes and Improper Passing
Think of improper passing as the result of an unsafe lane change. Whether it’s due to driver impatience, road rage, or driving while impaired, unsafe lane changes and improper passing are very dangerous.
There are specific laws to address improper passing. For example, in California, drivers can’t pass on the right except when the other driver is turning left and they have room to do so.
Other examples of improper passing include:
- Passing in a no passing zone.
- Continuously weaving between vehicles that are going slower.
- Attempting to pass another vehicle by crossing into the lane for oncoming traffic when there is no visibility, such as on a blind curve.
Liability in Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Accidents caused by unsafe lane changes can be tricky. Often, the at-fault driver will deny having made an unsafe lane change. Because of this, their insurance company could try to pin part of the blame on you in an attempt pay out less for your injuries.
That’s where having The Dominguez Firm by your side can be invaluable. Our car accident lawyers have over 30 years of experience dealing with these types of cases. We know how to counter defense attorney and insurance company tactics. As a full-service law firm, we also offer in-house investigators and experts ready to reconstruct your case accurately.
Motorcyclists and Lane Splitting
California is the only state that allows lane splitting. Motorcycle riders in the Golden State are allowed to ride between vehicles traveling in the same direction on surface streets and highways. Drivers are expected to share the road but sometimes they make unsafe lane changes, hitting motorcyclists.
This commonly happens when drivers rely on their rearview mirrors and don’t check their blind spots before changing lanes. They can easily hit a motorcycle rider who was traveling right next to them.
Because motorcycle riders lack protection, they can suffer serious injuries or even be killed in an unsafe lane change accident with a vehicle.
Recovering Compensation From Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
If you were injured in an accident due to an unsafe lane change, you would be entitled to compensation for those injuries.
Also, if you were a passenger injured in a crash due to an unsafe lane change, you would be entitled to compensation regardless of who was to blame for the accident.
Your compensation would be broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages (the legal term for your compensation) are all of the expenses you’ve had because of your unsafe lane change accident.
Examples of economic damages are:
- Ambulance fees
- All medical expenses caused by the accident, including hospital fees, medical treatment, and mental health counseling
- Lost wages and income
- The cost to repair or replace your vehicle
- For more serious injuries, long term care
Non-economic damages compensate you for the emotional pain you’ve experienced because of your accident.
Some commonly available non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Non-economic damages aren’t based on any receipts. However, there’s no limit on how much can be awarded in non-economic damages, so they usually make up the biggest part of a settlement.
Contact the Unsafe Lane Change Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm Today
The uptick in the amount of traffic on our streets and highways is evidence of things slowly returning to normal in 2021. With that also comes a rise in the number of unsafe lane change accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a car accident because another driver changed lanes in an unsafe manner, contact The Dominguez Firm at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation today.
The sooner you call, the faster we can start working on your case. And we won’t charge you anything up front for our services. At the end of your case, we receive a percentage of your final settlement amount. You’ll know that percentage when you sign on as our client and it will be fixed.
Plus, if we can’t secure any compensation for you, which rarely happens, you owe us nothing. If there is no recovery, there is no fee, so call us today!