Why Lane-Change Crashes Happen and Who May be at Fault

man-complaining-crash-black-carBeing a safe driver requires effort and attention to detail. When drivers are negligent or distracted while changing lanes, the consequences can be disastrous.

However, proving which driver is at fault can be difficult with this type of collision. Both cars are in motion, and these crashes can happen very quickly. Because determining liability may be complex, it is wise to discuss your claim with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience recovering compensation for crash victims.

Common Causes for Lane-Change Crashes

Most lane-change accidents are caused by the negligence of the driver who was attempting the lane change. For example, the at-fault driver may have changed lanes without first:

  • Checking side and rear-view mirrors for other cars
  • Having enough distance from other vehicles
  • Using a turn signal

Other situations where a driver may be liable for a lane-change accident may include:

  • Changing lanes while entering a curve in the road or traveling uphill where the driver cannot see other vehicles
  • Changing lanes in an area where lane-changing is illegal, such as when signs prohibit lane changes or there are two solid lines
  • When weather conditions such as heavy rain, ice, snow or thick fog make it unsafe to switch lanes

California Law for Lane-Changing

Under California Vehicle Code 22107, drivers are prohibited from making unsafe lane changes. This means drivers can only change lanes when it is safe to do so and only after signaling. This code applies to both changing lanes and when drivers change direction, moving left or right from a direct course.

Drivers who fail to signal before making a lane change could receive a fine and a point on their driving record.

Determining Fault for a Lane-Change Accident

Accurately determining fault in a lane-change collision is complex. Your law firm will investigate the accident scene, the vehicles involved and gather important evidence needed to prove fault in a lane-change crash. Some examples of this evidence may include:

  • Pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles involved
  • Video footage from nearby cameras
  • The vehicle’s black box revealing the vehicle’s speed and whether the brakes were applied
  • Cellphone records showing whether the driver was texting or talking while driving
  • Blood, breathalyzer or urine tests to show the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs 

When needed, the Arnold Law Firm hires an accident reconstructionist to help rebuild the scene of the accident and create a detailed report about how the accident occurred. 

Discuss Your Situation in a Free Consultation

If you or someone you care for was injured in a collision, we recommend discussing your situation in a free consultation with a reputable attorney from the Arnold Law Firm.

There are no fees to pay upfront and no hidden costs involved. Our attorneys work on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless you do. All your information is confidential and there is no obligation to retain our services, so there is no risk in speaking with one of our legal professionals.

Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

Call (916) 777-7777 to learn more.