Lane Change Accidents
Before a driver commits to a lane change, there are a number of steps they need to take to maximize safety and avoid an accident: turn on the directional signal, check their mirrors, rotate their head to check their blind spot, and upon confirming that there is nobody in the lane where they are planning to shift, they can then commit to the maneuver. We all do this many times daily, and new vehicles even offer blind spot warnings, such as a red LED in the side mirror that alerts a driver to another vehicle next to them.
For new drivers especially, making a lane change can be intimidating, whether on a secondary road or a highway, but part of the difficulty comes with making absolutely sure that it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, many drivers skip one — or all — of the safety steps before making a lane change, often leading to collisions. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to lane change accidents because of how much easier the smaller vehicle can disappear in a blind spot, and to further complicate things, just a small “tap” between a passenger vehicle and a motorcycle can be catastrophic.
Suppose you have been in a lane change accident that someone else caused. In that case, you may already be aware that you have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, but do you know how complicated the process can be if you fight to get the money you deserve? Sure, there is an easy way through the claims process — file your claim, provide information and documentation at the adjuster’s request, and then accept the initial settlement offer — but the path towards the compensation you deserve is much more complicated.
Contact Mountain States Injury Law Today To Connect With a Car Accident Attorney
Working with a car accident attorney is one of the most important steps you can take after a car accident. Yes, your health and wellbeing are your absolute top priority, but there is no reason that you should take on any of the financial burden caused by another driver’s negligent or reckless driving.
Mountain States Injury Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation where you will have the opportunity to discuss your situation in great detail with an experienced attorney. Many people are understandably anxious about what the future may hold as their medical bills mount and their wages stagnate if they are unable to continue working, but after talking with our team, you will be able to look towards the future with confidence.
Read more about lane change accidents below, and contact us right away to discuss your unique situation with a knowledgeable legal professional.
What Is a Lane Change Accident?
A lane change accident is a type of car accident that occurs when one vehicle changes lanes and collides with another vehicle in the adjacent lane. Lane change accidents can also occur when two vehicles simultaneously attempt to move into the same space in a third lane, resulting in a sideswipe collision. Even confirming that a space is open before committing to a change isn’t enough to avoid a collision. That is why a driver must keep all of their attention on their immediate task: safely operating a motor vehicle and avoiding crashes while obeying all of the rules and regulations of the road.
Lane change accidents are often caused by drivers who fail to signal before changing lanes, misjudge the speed or distance of oncoming traffic, or fail to check their blind spot for other vehicles. These accidents can also be caused by road conditions, such as potholes or debris in the roadway, which can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
Like any car accident, lane change accidents can be minor — resulting in only property damage — or they can be major, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Lane Change Accident
After an accident, the victims typically file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance — provided they have insurance. If they do not, the next option is to file a lawsuit. Once the claim is initiated, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to the case, who will then spend the coming weeks or months investigating the situation before offering the victim a one-time settlement payment. The problem with this offer is that it is rarely anywhere close to the amount that the victim is owed, but unfortunately, many people feel cornered and accept the offer without realizing they have alternative options until it’s too late.
The Claims Investigation
When you work with a personal injury attorney, your lawyer will initiate the claim and handle all communication and administrative work while you focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track. Insurance adjusters know they cannot resort to dirty tricks and intimidation tactics when working with a lawyer, and your lawyer will focus on gathering as much evidence and information possible to support your settlement demands. When an attorney and an insurance adjuster compare their initial calculations, the figures are shockingly different.
Once both parties have introduced a settlement figure, the next step is to negotiate. Your attorney will use several different legal instruments to arrive at their calculations, and the insurer will likely go through each line item looking for ways to lower the amount.
One such tactic leverages a common, important law known as “pure comparative fault,” which entitles a victim to seek compensation even if they accept partial fault for the crash. Their final settlement is reduced by the amount of fault they assumed. There is also “contributory negligence,” which bars a victim from any compensation at all if they contributed — but insurers use this as a way to knock a few percentage points off of what they owe.
Remember: insurance companies operate to make money, so no matter how pleasant the adjuster on your case may be, they are working in the best interest of their employer at your direct expense. If you accept a settlement offer, you will need to waive your right to any future legal action, whether or not new information arises or you discover that you are owed more.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner you can get through the claims process with confidence. During our free consultation, we will be able to go through other cases we’ve represented that are similar to yours to give you a better sense of how these situations are handled. While no two personal injury cases are alike, there are commonalities, and knowing that others have been through this process before you can give you peace of mind and faith in your attorney.
We look forward to discussing your case and helping you get the money you deserve.