The car accidents that make the news headlines are the ones that involve an egregious driver error, such as someone driving at 100 miles per hour on a city street or driving the wrong way in a lane of traffic and crashing head-on into an approaching car. These types of accidents are not especially common, even though they are the most likely to cause severe injury. Almost everyone gets into a collision at least once in their driving career, even if they are very cautious. You are more likely to get involved in a lane change accident or rear-end collision than an accident so devastating and so preventable that it leads to the passage of new traffic laws. If you have been involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver merged into your lane of traffic in an unsafe manner, contact a Santa Fe motor vehicle accident and car accident lawyer.
What Causes Lane Change Accidents?
A lane change accident happens when one car merges into another lane of traffic and collides with another car that is already in the target lane. Some lane change accidents are sideswipe accidents, where the side of the merging vehicle collides with the side of the other vehicle. In other lane change accidents, one car strikes the rear corner of the other. Lane change accidents usually occur on city streets in heavy traffic and sometimes on interstate highways.
Lane change accidents occur because a driver chooses the wrong time to change lanes or does not respond appropriately when they see a car that is about to merge. Road rage, distractions, inexperience, and drunkenness are among the factors that can lead to errors in changing lanes.
Who is at Fault for a Lane Change Accident?
Since the driver who is going straight in a lane of traffic has the right of way, insurance companies usually determine that the driver who changed lanes is at fault for the accident. Arizona is a comparative negligence state, though. This means that insurance companies can decide that both drivers bear a share of the fault.
If you get injured in a car accident, Arizona’s comparative negligence laws mean that you can still recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. If you prevail in the lawsuit, the court will award you compensation, but it will not be the full amount of your accident-related losses, such as medical bills and vehicle repairs. It will only award you the percentage that is not your fault. Therefore, if you are 20% at fault for the accident, the court can award you an amount equal to 80% of your accident-related financial losses.
Contact Slate Stern About Car Accidents
A personal injury lawyer can help you if you suffered injuries when another driver merged into your lane of traffic. Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs in car accident cases. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.