Accidents Caused by Unsafe Lane-Changing in Miami
Unsafe lane changes are some of the most common causes of car crashes. An unsafe lane change occurs when a motorist switches from one traffic lane to another but collides with a car that is already in that same lane. If a vehicle suddenly turns into your lane and causes you to crash or collide with other vehicles, contact a Miami car accident attorney immediately. An unsafe lane change may occur when:
- A driver fails to signal before making the lane change or turn • A driver fails to see a fast approaching car in a parallel lane or misjudges its spee
- A driver is texting or distracted somehow while driving
- A driver falls asleep
- Two cars merge into a middle lane simultaneously
- A driver disregards checking the blind spot
- One driver at a junction attempts to turn while another driver is attempting to pass
- A driver moves out of a parking space into a lane but fails to check for oncoming traffic
- A driver merges onto a highway unsafely and sideswipes another vehicle.
Lane Change Laws in Miami, Florida
Florida Statute § 316.085(2) states that no vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by law and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction of any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.
Additionally, no vehicle shall be driven from a direct course in any lane on any highway until the driver has determined that the vehicle is not being approached or passed by any other vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver desires to move and that the move can be completely made with safety and without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the same direction. This means that Florida law requires drivers to be certain that no one is passing them or approaching them before they move into another lane. Additionally, Florida law requires drivers to have clear visibility of the road before passing or changing lanes in traffic. If you have only a small amount of space in front of you or behind you, another driver should not try to squeeze into that space. If they try to do so, it may cause them to strike your car or force you to brake suddenly, potentially leading to you getting rear-ended or losing control of your vehicle.
Tips on How To Avoid Lane Change Accidents on Florida Highways
There are many different ways to prevent lane change accidents from taking place. Properly changing lanes can greatly reduce the risk of lane change car accidents, deaths, and injuries on Florida’s highways and roads.
- The first tip is to adjust your rate of speed whenever traffic flow changes to mirror said changes. That way, you have more time to react to any sudden changes or movements.
- Next, avoid stopping on a busy highway unless it is absolutely necessary. Another important tip is to always check for vehicles around your car before making a turn into a lane. An easy way to do this is to make sure you check your blind spots before turning into a lane.
- Next, make sure that there you don’t turn into a lane when there is already a solid line present. A solid line indicates that lane changes are prohibited. And finally, if you must pass a vehicle, pass on the left and return to your lane once the vehicle is visible in your rearview mirror. Increase this distance when passing larger vehicles.
- If you’re driving a commercial vehicle, be sure to check your side mirrors and blind-spot mirrors as some commercial vehicles don’t have a rearview mirror.
Who is at Fault in an Accident on a Multi-Lane Highway in FL?
When both of the cars involved in an accident were moving, one of the most important questions that police officers and insurance agents will be asking is who had the right-ofway? The answer to this question hinges on the applicable traffic laws. The driver with the right-of-way usually won’t be at fault for the accident, though he or she may end up with a portion of responsibility. Again, the issue isn’t who was responsible, but who had primary responsibility for the accident. Generally speaking, a vehicle that enters a lane of traffic is at fault for any accidents that result from their entrance into that lane. Similarly, when a driver merges lane and causes a car accident, the merging vehicle is usually at fault for the accident. This is because the driver who is changing lanes has an obligation to ensure he or she can safely do so before merging lanes. So, whether the vehicle in question was entering the roadway, exiting the roadway, or simply traveling along the roadway, it’s safe to say that the merging vehicle will typically be at fault. Investigators will also look at whether or not the merging driver properly used their turn signal. Failure to signal before changing lanes doesn’t always result in a citation in every state, but it’s an important piece of evidence when determining a driver’s negligence. When only one of the cars is changing lanes, the car that’s already in that lane may be partially liable for the accident due to unlawful behavior. In such cases, the actual percentage of fault applied to each driver will vary depending on the situation. Some examples of unlawful behaviors that could impact assigning fault for the accident include:
- Driving excessively fast for the road conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to turn on headlights at night
- Intentionally making reckless maneuvers to prevent the other car from merging
- Suddenly speeding up or slowing down as the other vehicle changes lanes
- Texting while driving
Seeking Compensation in Lane Changing Accidents in Miami
Many injured accident victims file a claim with their insurance carrier on their own. Unfortunately, if the claim gets denied, they often try to go through the appeals process on their own as well. The problem, however, is that the process can be complex, and they are up against an insurance company who has its own attorneys and a bottom line it is trying to protect. Hiring an attorney with experience in lane change car accident cases puts someone in your corner who has the legal knowledge, extensive skill in negotiation, and the resources to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
At the initial consultation, an attorney will ask you many questions regarding the cause of the accident, your injuries and other important information he or she will need to proceed with your claim. An attorney will also explain some of the different types of compensation you may be entitled to depending on the circumstances of your case. The basis for compensation after an auto accident varies on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. Our lawyers will do everything we can to investigate the accident and every party who is involved to ensure you that we obtain all information necessary to properly compensate you for your injuries. If you recently sustained injuries in a lane change car accident, you are most likely going through a difficult time in your life. You may be losing income due to missed work or you may be recovering from serious injuries.
The car accident lawyers at Suarez & Montero can help you file a personal injury lawsuit after your car accident. Generally, you can collect the following damages from the responsible party: past and future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.
Speak with an Attorney to Discuss Your Lane Change Accident
Unsafe lane changes can cause serious car accidents. After any type of accident, you should consider talking to a car accident lawyer to learn what your rights and obligations are under the law. Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents including:
Frequently Asked Questions
As mentioned, unsafe lane change accidents and injuries may lead to a civil lawsuit for damages. In such cases, the plaintiff may be awarded a monetary damages award to compensate them for losses such as medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and other costs. These types of claims may sometimes be subject to state limitations on damages awards for personal injury claims.
Generally speaking, a vehicle that enters a lane of traffic is at fault for any accidents that result from their entrance into that lane. Similarly, when a driver merges lane and causes a car accident, the merging vehicle is usually at fault for the accident. This is because the driver who is changing lanes has an obligation to ensure he or she can safely do so before merging lanes. So, whether the vehicle in question was entering the roadway, exiting the roadway, or simply traveling along the roadway, it’s safe to say that the merging vehicle will typically be at fault.
If you are involved in an auto accident—even a minor one—it’s essential to call the police so that an officer or highway patrolman can fill out an official police report for the accident. The police report for an accident is a critical document that you can use as evidence in your personal injury claim against the other driver. Even if you don’t file a personal injury claim, the insurance company will need the official police report to assign fault for the accident. Without this, you’re left with a he said / she said argument that’s difficult to substantiate in court. When the police officer or highway patrolman arrives to fill out the police report, you should refrain from assigning yourself any blame for the accident, even if you are positive it was your fault. Let the authorities and insurance agents do their job to investigate the accident and assign percentages of responsibility for the accident. At the same time, if the other driver violated any laws or exhibited questionable behavior, you should mention these to the officer and include them in the official police report.
In Florida, negligence per se refers to the legal principle that states that if a defendant’s actions violated a law or regulation, then the court will consider the actions to be negligent without asking whether or not a reasonable person would have done the same thing. In these cases, the judge or jury will ask only whether the statute was violated and, if so, what damages resulted. In order to prove negligence per se, an injured plaintiff must demonstrate that: the defendant violated a statute or regulation; the statute or regulation was designed to protect some group of people from harm; the plaintiff was in the group the statute aims to protect; and that the defendant’s actions caused the kind of injury that the statute was designed to protect the plaintiff (and those like him) against.