Lane Change Accidents: Who is at Fault?

You are driving on the Florida Turnpike, staying in the same lane with cruise control on at two miles per hour above the speed limit like you always do on your way to work. You often see lane change accidents; suddenly, you are in one. Out of nowhere, another car merges into your lane, directly hitting you at a high rate of speed.  You pull over to the side of the road, somewhat shaken, and you cannot even get out the driver’s side door because the entire door is crumpled in.  The other driver also pulls over to the side of the road and apologizes profusely, but insists she did not see you and that you “seemed to come out of nowhere” despite her checking her blind spot multiple times before switching lanes.  When the police officer arrives to investigate the accident, she tells him that she was going the speed limit and the situation was clear for her to change lanes because she checked her blind spot multiple times, and she even had her blinker on as required by Florida law. She says you must have sped up when you saw her blinker on, in turn causing the accident.

Changing lanes can be a particularly fraught situation in South Florida traffic, resulting in frequent lane change accidents. People rarely use their blinkers, despite the fact this is required by Florida law when changing lanes, and frequently dart in and out of lanes at a high speed, particularly on highways.  Improper lane changes can not only result in a traffic ticket for someone who does so but also form one of the leading causes of car crashes in Florida.  Traffic accidents that occur as a result of someone improperly changing lanes can also present a difficult situation if the driver that is changing lanes claims he or she could not see the driver who was traveling in the lane into which he or she was merging or else that the driver who was in that lane was somehow violating the law or acting negligently, and thus at fault for an accident.  However, the experienced personal injury personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley can help a jury to see how the situation exactly occurred and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve if you were injured by someone changing lanes into your vehicle on a Florida roadway.

Florida Law Regarding Changing Lanes

Florida law requires that a driver stay only within a single lane while operating his or her vehicle at any one time.  This does not mean that you have to pick a lane and stay in it the entire time you are on a particular road; it instead means that a driver cannot straddle two lanes and then change into one of the two if traffic suddenly backs up in one of the lanes.  When a vehicle that is attempting to merge into another lane or change lanes and hits a vehicle that is legally traveling in that lane, the car that is already in that lane typically will not be held responsible for the lane change accident.  Any driver that wants to change lanes is required to check his or her blind spots and ensure that traffic in the lane he or she wants to merge into is clear for the motorist to do so.  Lastly, a motorist is required to use his or her blinker when changing lanes.  This is a fairly simple concept and should avoid lane change accidents: if the car that is seeking to change lanes is required to ensure it is safe to change lanes before doing so and, if something occurs, the motorist that is already in that lane typically has the right of way.  However, the reality of a crash involving a car switching lanes may not always be so simple, especially if the motorist changing lanes does not tell the truth about what occurred.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. if You Have Been Injured in Florida

When you or a loved one suffers a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal assistance you can depend on to help you recover maximum compensation for those injuries. The experienced, skilled Florida personal injury lawyers at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. are adept at handling even the most complex personal injury claims, including complicated motor vehicle accidents involving lane changes where the party who actually caused the accident may be trying to point the finger at our client. Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation.  Call us today at 877.694.6079 or email us at contact@schwedlawfirm.com at to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.