Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
You likely have seen many unsafe lane changes on the road, whether it is a distracted driver passively drifting into your lane or a hasty driver cutting you off. In other cases, drivers fail to check their rear-view mirrors and blind spots correctly. Unsafe lane changes also occur when drivers fails to use their turn signals properly. Whatever the case, unsafe and improper lane changes can lead to serious accidents that can cause injuries or even death, particularly for motorcyclists. If you or someone close to you has been hurt or killed under these circumstances due to someone else’s recklessness, you may have a claim. Marietta motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Miller uses over three decades of trial experience to help victims and their families pursue fair compensation.
In 2008, the Georgia Department of Transportation reported that unsafe lane changes were the fourth-most common factor contributing to a crash. Motorcyclists may be seriously harmed or killed when a car or truck hits them due to an improper lane change. Since motorcycles do not offer the type of structural protection that other automobiles do, their drivers face an increased risk of injuries and death.Establishing Negligence for Motorcycle Wrecks
Before merging or switching into another lane, drivers must take special care to ensure that there is no other vehicle beside them or in their blind spot. If a driver fails to take proper precautionary measures before changing lanes, his or her conduct may be deemed reckless or negligent. That driver then may be held responsible for the careless action.
In a negligence claim, a victim must prove the following four elements:
- The driver owed the victim a duty of reasonable care;
- The driver breached his or her duty;
- The driver’s breach caused an accident that resulted in the victim’s injuries; and
- The victim suffered damages connected to the injuries.
Reasonable care is measured by how a reasonably prudent person would act in similar circumstances. An automobile driver has a duty to check the neighboring lane, check any blind spots, and use the turn signal effectively before switching lanes. If a driver fails to take any of these precautions and causes an accident, the duty of reasonable care has likely been breached.
If an unsafe lane change results in a death, the surviving family members of the person who died may have a wrongful death claim. The underlying premise of a wrongful death claim is that the death would not have occurred had it not been for the driver’s negligence.Recovering Damages for Collisions Caused by Unsafe Lane Changes
If a victim wins on a negligence claim, he or she can pursue compensation for any injuries that were sustained as a result of the accident. The victim can recover damages for expenses such as past, present, and future medical bills, physical therapy costs, property damage to the vehicle, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminished capacity to earn income. If relatives of a victim succeed on a wrongful death claim, they can potentially recover many of the expenses listed above as well as funeral expenses.Consult a Georgia Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed due to an unsafe lane change, you should speak to a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney who can inform you of all your options. We take the time to learn the facts of your case and provide you with personalized representation. Norman Miller spent nearly two decades working for insurance companies before beginning to represent accident victims, so he understands the strategies that your adversaries may use and knows how to counter them. Call us at 770-284-3727 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.