Data shows that in a vast majority of cases, lane changing accidents are caused by the negligence of the motorist who is moving into the lane. Given below are the most common causes of lane changing accidents.
The term blind spot refers to any area – directly behind or on either side of a vehicle – which is not visible to the driver. While rear-view mirrors and side mirrors can greatly reduce a vehicle’s blind spots, they cannot eliminate them altogether.
This is why motorists must look over their shoulders and check their blind spots before switching lanes. When they fail to do so, the likelihood of a collision increases considerably.
Drunk driving can increase the risk of vehicular accidents – including and especially lane change accidents – to a significant extent. A drunk motorist might not be able to judge the distance between their vehicle and the vehicles that are already occupying the lane, as a result of which they are more likely to a collide into another vehicle.
Alcohol is also known to affect motor skills, which means a drunk driver is more likely to lose control of their vehicle compared to a sober driver – especially while changing lanes.
A motorist is supposed to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel all the time. If they get distracted for any reason – eating, chatting with passengers, texting, or talking to someone on the phone – they are more likely to make a mistake that can result in an accident.
Especially, if a motorist gets distracted while changing lanes, they might fail to check if it is safe to do so and as a result might collide into another vehicle.
If a motorist drives in an unsafe or reckless manner, they are more likely to cause an accident, especially while performing risky maneuvers like lane changing.
Unsafe driving habits that can cause lane changing accidents include:
Section 1128 of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires motorists to check whether it is safe to make a lane change before attempting to do so. If they fail to do so, and if their actions result in an accident, they can be legally held responsible for resulting damages.
In most cases, the motorist who enters or merges into a lane will be held responsible for any accident resulting from their actions. This is because the motorist who attempts to change lanes is legally required to check whether it is safe to do so.
Even if a motorist believes that it is safe to enter or merge into a lane, they must use their turn signal to alert the motorists who are already occupying the lane. Failing to use the turn signal, especially while changing lanes, is considered a traffic violation in New York. So, in case of a crash or a collision, the merging driver will be held responsible for the resulting damages.
Since 1975, New York has been following the comparative negligence doctrine for assigning liability in personal injury cases. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, both parties involved in an accident can be held liable for the resulting damages, depending on the extent to which their actions contributed to the accident.
For instance, if two motorists attempt to change lanes at the same time – a practice commonly referred to as sideswiping – they can both be held equally liable for the accident.
Similarly, if a motorist who is already occupying the lane tries to prevent another motorist from merging into the lane, they can be held liable for the accident as well.
In these kinds of cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim will be reduced in proportion to the degree to which their actions contributed to the accident.
If, for example, you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, and if you have been awarded $100,000, your compensation will be reduced by 20%, which means you will receive $80,000.
The comparative negligence doctrine makes it easier for lane change accident victims to sue the driver at fault, even if their own actions contributed to the accident to a certain extent.
In contrast, in states which follow the contributive negligence doctrine, if a victim is found to be partially at fault for the accident, they will lose the right to seek compensatory damages from the at-fault motorist.
Interestingly, prior to 1975, New York also applied the contributive negligence doctrine for personal injury cases. In 1975, it was changed into a pure comparative fault law, which is fair to all the parties involved in an accident.
If a motorist in New York attempts to change lanes in an unsafe manner and causes an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. In addition to this, they also have to face the following penalties.
It should be noted that if a driver receives six points within a span of 18 months, they have to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee of $300. They have to pay $75 for every point they receive over six. If they receive 11 points within a span of 18 months, their driver’s license will be suspended.
If you are injured in a lane change accident as a result of another motorist’s negligence, you can seek compensation for the following damages.
An experienced lane change accident lawyer can take care of all the legwork involved in filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party, including:
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a lane change accident in New York, the personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, LLP can help you.
Our law firm has been representing victims of vehicular accidents for nearly a century. Our attorneys have the skills, resources, and trial experience needed to establish the liability of at-fault motorists in personal injury lawsuits involving lane change accidents. We are proud to say that we have a 95% success rate and have recovered over one billion in compensatory damages for our clients over the years.
If you or any of your family members have been injured in a lane change accident, call us today at (212) 210-1615 to schedule a free consultation with one of our New York lane change accident lawyers. We can help you get justice and make sure you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
|$15 Million - Jury Award Against Hospital|
|$10.5 Million - Malpractice Infant Brain Damage|
|$9 Million - Brain Injured Baby Settlement|
|$7.75 Million - Pediatric Intensive Care Unit|
|$7.5 Million - Injured Construction Worker Settlement|
|$7.25 Million - Intersection Accident Settlement NYC|
|$5.5 Million - Bus Accident Award|
|$5.5 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.5 Million - Blinded Woman|
|$5.45 Million - Injured Child|
|$5.4 Million - Construction Burn Victim|
|$5.1 Million - Motorcycle Victim|
|$5 Million - Eye Surgery|
|$4.5 Million - Failure to Perform C-Section|
|$4.5 Million - Personal Injury Settlement|
|$4.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Infection|
|$4.125 Million - Failure to Diagnose Quadriplegia|
|$4.0 Million - NYC Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$3.8 Million - Electrician|
|$3.75 Million - Hospital Negligence Sepsis|
|$3.7 Million - Birth Injury Infant Stroke|
|$3.5 Million - Faulty Freight Elevator Fall|
|$3.4 Million - Surgical Error Bronxville Hospital|
|$3.28 Million - Eye Surgery Case|
|$3.15 Million - Settlement for a Brooklyn Laborer|
|$3.1 Million - Verdict Returned by NY Jury|
|$3.1 Million - Awarded by Brooklyn Jurors|
|$3 Million - Birth Injury Development Delays|
|$3 Million - Settlement Scaffold Injury Hudson Yard|
|$3 Million - Hot Water Burn Death|
|$2.6 Million - Surgical Error Premature Death|
|$2.5 Million - Hospital Malpractice Toddler Hemiplegia|
|$2.4 Million - Failure to Diagnose Lead to Paralysis|
|$2.3 Million - Birth Injury Brain Damage|
|$2.1 Million - Hospital Negligence Birth Injury|
|$2.1 Million - Failure to Diagnose Stroke|
|$2.1 Million - Surgical Error Paraplegic|
|$2.1 Million - Injured Worker|
|$2 Million - Hospital Negligence Permanent Injury|
|$2 Million - Malpractice Settlement Delay in Delivery|
|$2 Million - Verdict against Hospital|
|$1.8 Million - Failure to Diagnose Tumor|
|$1.75 Million - Diagnosing Prostate Cancer|
|$1.5 Million - Prostate Procedure Malpractice|
|$1.5 Million - Delay in Treatment - Nerve Damage|
|$1.4 Million dollar settlement in Action Over Explosion|
|$1.26 Million - Disabled Vehicle's Driver Hit|
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