Improper Lane Change Accidents

Car crashes and collisions can happen to even the safest and most experienced of drivers. While some car accidents and injuries occur due to traffic, road, and weather conditions, the reckless or negligent actions of other drivers are often involved. While speeding, driving under the influence, or driving while texting or using your cell phone are among the most common types of hazards, even something as simple as making a lane change improperly can put you and your passengers at risk.  

When a driver wants to change lanes, he or she must signal his or her intention with his or her vehicle’s blinking turn signal. There are points on the roadway where drivers simply are not permitted to change lanes, such as lanes marked with solid lines and construction areas with signs telling drivers to remain in their lanes. Even when it is legal to change lanes, it is not always safe for a driver to do so. Changing lanes illegally or unsafely can result in a collision.

How Improper Lane Change Accidents Happen

The Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT) reports that in more than 11,000 accidents that occur on state roads each year, driver’s involved are cited for improper lane changes. These types of violations include passing in a no passing zone, as well as unsafe passing, which often involves speeding, swerving into opposing lanes, or failing to check other traffic conditions. Types of accidents that can result from improper lane changes include:

  • Side swipe accidents, in which one vehicle collides into the side of another while passing;
  • Head on collisions, in which a vehicle attempting to pass collides with opposing traffic;
  • Rear end collision, in which drivers fail to estimate the rate at which traffic is moving before attempting to pass;
  • Angle collisions; which can occur when the driver misjudges the lane beside them or fails to spot a vehicle in their blind spot.

These types of accidents can also involve pedestrians or bicyclists, who get caught in the passing vehicle’s lane. Sharing the road with tractor trailers can also make lane changing particularly hazardous, as these vehicles have much larger blind spots than regular automobiles.

Ways you Can be Injured in an Improper Lane Change Accident

There are many ways you can be injured in a collision caused by another driver’s failure to change lanes properly. Depending on the rate of speed you and the other driver are traveling and the point of impact, the damage you suffer can be severe and or even life threatening. Examples of injuries sustained is the result of lane change accidents include:

  • Muscle and tendon sprains, strains, and tears;
  • Severe cuts and lacerations;
  • Broken bones and dislocated joints;
  • Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae and spinal cord injuries;         
  • Head injuries, including concussion and traumatic brain injury;
  • Damage to internal organs and internal bleeding.

Even if you suspect your injury is minor, it is important to seek medical attention right away if necessary. Many serious conditions have symptoms which take days or weeks to occur, and failing to get treatment could result in lasting disabilities, and even death.

What to Do After an Improper Lane Change Accident

Stop your vehicle. If you or anybody else involved in the collision needs emergency medical care, call 911 to have an ambulance sent to the scene. Whether you call 911 or not, notify the local police of the accident so an officer can come to the scene to fill out an official police report. This document will detail the date, time, and location of your accident as well as whether any ordinances were violated.

Under Arizona motor vehicle laws, drivers have a duty to exchange information with other drivers at the scene. This includes exchanging driver’s licenses and vehicle registration numbers, as well as personal contact and insurance information. This information will be required if you choose to have a lawyer file a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider or a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages. Do not leave the scene of the accident without this information, a copy of the official police report, and contact information for any witnesses to the collision. In addition to ensuring your best chance of recovery, when appropriate and necessary, seeking immediate medical attention can provide additional information in support of your claim.

Seeking Compensation for your Damages After an Improper Lane Change Accident

If you have been injured in an accident due to another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Your medical expenses, such as your hospitalization and medicine costs;
  • Your lost wages and decreased future earning capacity; and 
  • Your pain and suffering. These are the expenses that do not fit into either of the other categories, like your physical and emotional trauma following the accident. 

Working with the right personal injury lawyer can mean the difference between recovering enough compensation to cover all of your damages and having to make up the difference between what you receive and what you need from your own pocket. We handle the claims process, which can be daunting if you have never completed the personal injury claim process before.

How Our Team can Help you Seek Compensation for your Damages

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we work with individuals who are suffering from car accident injuries to help them seek compensation for their damages. One of the most important components of any personal injury claim is the claimant’s body of evidence. This is how you demonstrate to the negligent party’s insurance provider that your damages were the direct result of their client’s negligence. The evidence that we may use to support your claim includes:

  • Your medical bills and records;               ​
  • Documentation of your lost wages;            ​
  • Testimony from witnesses to the accident, including video surveillance of the collision;
  • The official police report for the accident; ​
  • Photographs of the accident and your injury; and              ​
  • Expert testimony from parties such as your doctor or an accident reconstruction specialist when needed. These individuals have the expertise to discuss your case and your injury despite not having witnessed it firsthand.  

You typically won’t have all of this evidence, and we can help you obtain it. Our job is to give your claim the strongest body of evidence possible to help you seek an appropriate compensation amount.

Work with Our Team of Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a car accident, consider working with an experienced car accident lawyer to pursue monetary compensation for your damages. Our team of Phoenix car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. is here to help you seek the compensation you deserve for your damages. To learn more, contact our office for a free case evaluation. A few previous settlements we have secured for car accident victims include:

  • $95,000 for a pedestrian who was struck while moving through a crosswalk; and  
  • $152,000 for a bicyclist who suffered a wrist injury when unsecured netting from a fence caused her to fall from a bicycle.  ​

Do not wait to start working with a member of our team. Contact Abels & Annes, P.C. today.

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