Motorists in Springfield must take care to avoid a collision when changing lanes. This includes signaling for a lane change and checking their blind spots ahead of time. When a driver causes an accident due to changing lanes unsafely, they could face civil liability for any personal injuries they cause.
Unsafe lane changes are a serious threat to the health and safety of every driver. In fact, they are one of the leading factors in fatal accidents across the country. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the failure to keep within the proper lane resulted in more than 3,700 fatalities in 2018 alone. That number accounts for more than 7 percent of all traffic deaths. Only driving under the influence and speeding caused a larger share of traffic fatalities in 2018.
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash due to a driver changing lanes unsafely, you could have the right to pursue monetary compensation. The failure to pursue a claim in a timely manner could put your chances of recovery at risk. The guidance of a Springfield unsafe lane change accident lawyer could position you to successfully recover the damages you may be entitled to. To learn more, contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC at (937) 247-6521 to discuss your accident during a free consultation.
Common Factors of Accidents Caused by Unsafe Lane Changes
There are a variety of ways a driver could cause an accident due to unsafe lane changes. These driving errors can occur through carelessness or because the driver was distracted. In some cases, aggressive driving or road rage will also lead to dangerous lane changes. Some of the factors involved in an unsafe lane change accident include:
- Changing lanes in an intersection
- Changing lanes in a crosswalk
- Failing to signal
- Drifting into another lane
- Swerving erratically from one lane to another
- Straddling a lane marker
- Changing lanes at high speed during unsafe weather conditions
Each of these factors has the potential to cause an accident. If you suffered injuries in an accident due to a motorist making an unsafe lane change, the Fitch Law Firm LLC could help. Contact the office of our Springfield unsafe lane change accident lawyer today at (937) 247-6521.
Proving the Driver Negligent for Changing Lanes Unsafely and Causing Your Accident
Every personal injury case requires a showing of negligence. If you are able to demonstrate that the other driver acted negligently, you are entitled to financial recovery. There are four steps to proving negligence. They include establishing a duty of care, demonstrating a breach of that duty, tying your injuries to that breach, and proving you suffered compensable damages.
In a motorcycle accident case, establishing that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care is often simple. Every motorist in Springfield owes one another a duty to operate their vehicle safely. This generally means adhering to traffic laws.
Second, you must prove that the at-fault party breached their duty to drive safely when they caused your accident. Evidence of an unsafe lane change could demonstrate a breached duty of care. If the at-fault party causes a crash by failing to signal or sideswiping you while attempting to change lanes, the evidence of a breached duty could be clear.
You are only entitled to compensation for the damages that stem directly from the at-fault party’s negligence. At trial, you must prove how that negligence directly resulted in your personal injuries or property damage. This is known as causation.
Finally, you can only recover monetary damages by proving you suffered compensable damages. Compensable damages can include anything from lost wages to pain and suffering to medical expenses.
Types of Damages Available to Accident Victims
There are two forms of compensable damages available in an accident case. They include economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to measurable losses than can occur in motorcycle accidents. They are measurable in that there is a specific financial value attached to the loss. You can establish this value through the use of documents like paid receipts, invoices, or estimates. Common examples of economic damages include lost wages, medical costs, and property damage repairs.
Non-economic damages are not so easy to measure. These losses are subjective and lack a uniform way to assign value to them. Some common examples include mental anguish or pain and suffering. Because a person cannot quantify their physical pain, a jury must determine what these damages are worth based on the testimony at trial.
Marked Line Violations Under Ohio State Law
The Ohio code treats many unsafe lane changes as marked lane violations. While marked lane violations are a traffic violation and are not directly tied to your civil lawsuit, a conviction could have an indirect impact on your case. At trial, your unsafe lane change accident attorney can offer evidence of a criminal conviction as proof of negligence. In other words, if the at-fault driver was ticketed and is found guilty, it could greatly increase your odds of recovering damages. But what is a marked lane violation?
According to Ohio Revised Code § 4511.33, drivers must drive entirely within a single lane or line of traffic when possible. Any motorist attempting to change lanes must use their turn signal before doing so. While crossing over a lane marker entirely is a violation of this statute, it is not unlawful to weave within a lane, make contact with the line, or even drive on top of the line. That said, any motorist that causes an accident while violating this statute could see their conviction used against them in a personal injury lawsuit.
Get Help Today from the Office of an Unsafe Lane Change Accident Attorney in Springfield
If you are living with the consequences of an unsafe lane change accident, you could have a viable claim for monetary compensation. A Springfield unsafe lane change accident lawyer could evaluate your case and assist you with pursuing your personal injury claim against the at-fault party. To learn more, call (937) 247-6521 to discuss your accident with a member of the Fitch Law Firm LLC during a free consultation.