While changing lanes may feel like a routine part of driving on the freeway, this simple action is the cause of a significant number of accidents. While the driver changing lanes is most often at fault in these types of accidents, a variety of other parties can be held liable depending on the situation.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we can help you identify the liable party in your lane-changing accident so you can pursue the compensation you need and deserve. We have been helping accident victims throughout Indiana recover damages for over 100 years. Contact us today by phone or through our website and schedule a free case review with one of our Indiana car accident lawyers.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Changing Lanes Car Accident
Determining who is at fault for your changing lanes car accident is critical for recovering compensation. You must first figure out who is to blame for your accident before you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. There are a variety of parties who can potentially be held liable, depending on the specific details of your accident.
The Driver Who Changed Lanes
The most commonly at-fault party in these accidents is the driver who changed lanes. If the driver failed to signal or changed lanes without looking to see that they could safely do so, they may be liable.
If a driver in either lane accelerates or decelerates significantly while a driver is changing lanes, they may be to blame.
A Government Entity
If poor road conditions cause the driver who is changing lanes to lose control of their vehicle, the government entity responsible for the road where the accident occurred could be to blame.
The Manufacturer of One of the Involved Vehicles
If an equipment malfunction in one of the involved vehicles leads to the crash the manufacturer of the vehicle or a parts manufacturer may be held accountable.
These are just some of the potentially liable parties. A variety of others could be to blame, depending on the specific details of your accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help you identify all the potentially liable parties in your case.
The Elements of Negligence
To establish that the negligence of another party led to your changing lanes car accident, you must prove the presence of four elements in your case.
Duty of Care
The first thing you must prove is that the liable party owed you a duty of care. If attempting to recover compensation from another driver on the road, proving the existence of a duty of care is simple since all drivers are required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. Likewise, vehicle manufacturers are required to put safe cars on the road.
Breached Duty of Care
You can prove that a driver who was changing lanes breached their duty of care by providing eyewitness testimony or video surveillance showing that they failed to signal before changing lanes. Additionally, you could show that the at-fault driver was distracted at the time of the accident in various ways.
Next, you must show that you suffered damages. Medical records and vehicle repair bills can help establish the existence of damages. However, it is critical that you seek medical care immediately after your accident. Any delays in seeking treatment will give the defense room to argue that your damages were the result of another incident rather than the crash.
The last thing you need to prove is that the liable party breaching their duty of care was the direct cause of your damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you demonstrate causation in court.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Indiana
When dealing with fault in a car accident case, Indiana uses a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, multiple parties can be held liable for an accident. Even if you are partly to blame for the collision, you can still pursue compensation as long as your level of fault is not over 50%.
However, you should note that the amount of money you will be eligible to recover will be reduced proportionately to your level of liability. That means that if your case is worth $100,000 and you are found to be 30% to blame, you can only recover compensation up to 70% of the value of your claim, which would be $70,000.
Get Help from an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
The easiest way to prove the fault of another party is by contacting an experienced car accident attorney. At Vaughan & Vaughan, we know exactly what to look for after an accident to prove the liability of the at-fault party. Our team of personal injury lawyers has been securing significant compensation for our clients for over 100 years.
Contact us today by giving us a call of completing our online contact form, and schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.