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How Fault is Determined in Lane Merging Accidents

lane merging accident

What you’ll learn reading this article:

  • Kentucky lane merging accidents are complicated and stressful.
  • Many of these accidents happen due to negligence, like distracted driving and speeding.
  • After a lane merging accident, you can seek compensation from the liable party.

Whenever you change lanes or merge onto a roadway, it’s your responsibility to make the maneuver safely. Make a mistake and you could set off a dangerous crash.

These are called lane merging accidents and they happen all over Kentucky’s roads. Sometimes they involve complex multi-car crashes where one car hits another, then those vehicles spin into traffic and cause additional chain-reaction collisions.

Untangling liability and determining who deserves compensation is challenging. Multiple people may share a portion of the blame, plus there could be a government municipality or construction company that contributed to the cause of the accident.

Why Do Lane Merging Accidents Happen?

Distracted driving is a huge cause of merging accidents. It’s difficult to complete a safe merge when you’re texting, eating, adjusting the music, chatting with passengers, or otherwise doing something distracting.

Speeding is another common cause. A driver might approach a merge point moving too quickly to safely join the other lane of traffic. Now they have to brake hard and might swerve or skid into nearby vehicles.

Here’s another cause of merging accidents that perhaps gets less attention: confusing and missing roadway signs. When the roadway has improper markings, it’s hard for motorists to merge safely. You may have a legal case against a government agency or private contractor who created a dangerous situation.

Most lane merging accidents boil down to someone failing to yield the right of way. That’s why a driver who merges dangerously and causes an accident might receive a citation from the police for violating the right of way rule.

How to Assign Fault in a Lane Merging Accident

It seems like the person who failed to merge properly should automatically be considered at fault, right? Not so fast. Determining fault isn’t always so easy.

Your accident can be investigated in a variety of ways: by the police, by accident reconstructionists, by the insurance company, and with the help of your accident attorney. Each of these investigations will reveal information that may or may not support your version of the crash.

From there, what happens next depends on the circumstances of your case. The police might cite you or someone else with a violation or they might not feel there is enough evidence to do so. The insurance company will have its version of events, probably hoping to avoid an expensive payout.

Your car accident attorney is there to represent you and will gather as much evidence as possible that supports your accident claim. They’ll also look for additional parties that might be involved in your accident, like a construction company that created a dangerous merge point or an auto manufacturer that installed faulty lane control technology.

Kentucky uses the pure comparative negligence rule to assign fault in auto accidents. This means each party in the accident will be assigned a percentage of blame, adding up to a total of 100%. So, for example, you might be 10% at fault and the other person is 90% at fault, which means an award of $100,000 would be reduced by 10% so you receive $90,000.

Taking Action After Your Lane Merging Accident

This is a stressful situation, but you don’t have to handle it alone. With the help of a talented car accident lawyer, you can secure accident compensation for many types of losses like your medical bills, missed days of work, car repairs, and more.

Talk to your Kentucky accident lawyer about the details of your accident and learn more about your legal options. At McCoy & Sparks, we have plenty of experience with lane merging accidents and we’re here to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Trust McCoy & Sparks – Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky

Recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results. Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draws upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all of your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to 1-844-4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.