In general, an unsafe lane change accident may arise when a driver switches lanes in a manner that violates the law or is considered to be reckless and dangerous to others on the road.
In fact, unsafe lane changes often form the basis of many claims involving motor vehicle collisions. This is especially true in cases where the drivers are operating their vehicles at a pace above the speed limit and a crash occurs on a highway or a freeway.
Some common examples of actions that can cause unsafe lane change accidents to happen may include the following:
- When there are poor driving conditions, such as when a road is unpaved because it is under construction or if there is inclement weather like sleet or freezing rain;
- If a driver was distracted by other things while operating their motor vehicle (e.g., texting on their phone while driving, fighting with passengers, or fiddling with the car radio);
- When a driver is intentionally driving recklessly, negligently, aggressively, or while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances;
- If a driver was speeding and suddenly stopped short for some or no reason;
- When a driver does not check their car mirrors or fails to signal before switching lanes;
- If a driver’s motor vehicle needed to be repaired (e.g., the driver could not brake to avoid another vehicle while switching lanes because their brakes were not working properly); and/or
- Many other different and specific causes that drivers encounter while operating a vehicle on the road.
In some unsafe lane change incidents, the accident may involve multiple motor vehicles due to a chain reaction. Car accidents that involve multiple vehicles tend to have a higher risk of casualties, severe bodily injuries, and major damage done to vehicles or any other surrounding property.
Thus, if you would like to sue another driver, or alternatively, if you are being sued by another driver for an unsafe lane change accident, it is strongly recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney who practices law in your area immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and can determine whether or not you have a viable cause of action.
In addition, an attorney can also provide legal representation in court and can defend or protect your interests, depending on the facts of your particular unsafe lane change accident case.
What are the Penalties for Unsafe Lane Change Accidents?
The penalties for an unsafe lane change accident can range from minor penalties like fees to major legal consequences, such as a prison sentence. Whether an individual receives a minor or major legal penalty will depend on the circumstances surrounding a particular matter and state or local law.
For example, in a less serious matter, an unsafe lane change accident may only result in a traffic citation or traffic ticket. This may require the driver to attend traffic court and/or pay a small fee.
On the other hand, if an unsafe lane change accident causes serious injuries to those involved and results in a lawsuit, then a driver could potentially face civil fines or jail time. They may also need to pay a large sum of money to an injured party as part of a monetary damages award.
In situations where an unsafe lane change accident was due to a motorist’s reckless, aggressive, or drunk driving conduct, that driver may be sued in civil court in a private action brought by the injured parties and have charges filed against them by the district attorney in criminal court. In this case, they will most likely face jail time and hefty criminal fines if convicted of the charges.
In addition, a driver who causes an accident because of an unsafe lane change maneuver may also have their car impounded or taken away from them. They could also have their driver’s license temporarily suspended or permanently revoked for the rest of their life.
Lastly, to learn more about the types of legal penalties that a driver can receive for causing an unsafe lane change accident, they should speak to a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true in cases where a driver is facing criminal consequences, such as receiving a prison sentence and having a felony appear on their criminal record.
Are There any Legal Remedies for Unsafe Lane Change Accidents or Injuries?
As previously discussed, injuries suffered as a result of an unsafe lane change accident between two or more motor vehicles can lead to a private legal action for damages in civil court. If a plaintiff is able to prevail in a lawsuit involving an unsafe lane change accident lawsuit, then they will most likely receive a monetary damages award. A monetary damages award will be issued by a judge when a plaintiff should be compensated for their losses.
For example, a plaintiff may use the funds from a monetary damages award to pay for items related to their accident. These include hospital bills, lost wages, property damage done to their vehicle, medical expenses, medicines or treatments, and various other costs associated with the accident.
It should be noted, however, that these types of cases may sometimes be subject to state restrictions on the amount of damages that an injured party can collect. Although they are not commonly issued, a plaintiff may also receive a punitive damages award in extreme cases. A punitive damages award may be subject to certain state limitations as well.
Some other costs that an injured party may be able to recover after an unsafe lane change accident can include being reimbursed for attorneys’ fees and/or administrative expenses, loss of consortium, car dealership or mechanic repair fees, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Unsafe Lane Change Accident Lawsuit?
A collision between two or more motor vehicles that is caused by an unsafe lane change can result in a lawsuit. This is especially true in cases where a motorist or passenger dies or sustains severe bodily injuries. As such, it may be in your best interest to hire a local car accident attorney if you need help with filing a claim or defending yourself against a lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to perform the necessary legal research to determine your legal rights and options for a particular matter. Your attorney can also provide legal guidance on the laws in your jurisdiction and can assist you in navigating the procedures implemented by your local court system. In addition, your attorney can help you to recover any damages you may be entitled to if you are the one who is bringing the lawsuit.
On the other hand, if you are the party who is being sued for an unsafe lane change accident, then your attorney can assist you in building a strong defensive argument and can provide legal representation in court. Alternatively, should you and the plaintiff decide to settle the matter outside of court, your attorney can also assist you in negotiating a reasonable settlement arrangement.
Finally, in some cases, your matter may need to be resolved with your auto insurance company instead. In which case, your attorney will be able to review your auto insurance policy and other related documents, as well as can represent you and communicate with your auto insurance company on your behalf.