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Determining Fault in a Changing Lanes Car Accident

January 17, 2024Other Personal Injuries

Imagine you’re driving on a busy road when suddenly, another car veers into your lane without warning. The other driver didn’t use a turn signal nor seemed to notice you were right beside them. You get into a collision, suffering severe injuries and heavily damaging your car.

In these situations, you deserve justice, and filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can help. Because Georgia is a fault state, recovering compensation depends on whether you can prove that another party caused the collision. Here’s how to determine fault after a lane change car accident.

Driver Responsibilities When Changing Lanes in Georgia

In Georgia, as in many other states, drivers must adhere to specific rules and responsibilities when changing lanes. All motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and, when they are changing lanes, they cannot jeopardize the safety of other road users.

The law expects drivers to check their mirrors, use turn signals, and ensure there is sufficient space in the lane they are moving into before making the change. Drivers must also be aware of their blind spots and check them before making a lane change. Neglecting these duties can lead to serious accidents.

Who Is Liable for a Changing Lanes Car Accident?

In Georgia, the driver who did not follow the proper lane-changing protocol is typically held responsible for the accident. This could be due to failing to signal, changing lanes too quickly, or not ensuring the lane was clear. However, other factors could play a role in the accident. For example, if a driver changes lanes during heavy rain and fails to account for the slick road conditions, they may bear liability for any resulting accident due to their lack of care under the circumstances.

Can Multiple Drivers Be Responsible for the Collision?

In certain cases, more than one driver can be held responsible for an accident that occurs while changing lanes. For example, if one driver changes lanes without signaling and another is speeding, both may share responsibility for the collision. However, this liability can impact your ability to recover compensation after a car accident.

Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence approach, which means that an injured party can recover compensation as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Their award will be reduced by the percentage of fault that they share. If they are 50% or more responsible, they are ineligible for compensation.

For example, say that you request $50,000 in damages and you are 15% at fault, you would recover $42,500. If you are found to be 60% liable for the accident, you will not recover a settlement at all.

Protect Your Rights with a Georgia Car Accident Attorney

Being involved in a lane change accident can be a scary experience, and if someone else is at fault, you deserve justice. To protect your legal rights and establish a strong case for compensation, it’s crucial to contact a Georgia car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you investigate the accident, gather evidence, and help establish the fault of the other driver.

Moreover, your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if your case goes to court, provide robust representation to ensure your rights are upheld. Contact a Georgia car accident lawyer today and assert your right to compensation.