Drivers making erratic lane changes can cause car accidents resulting in property damage, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. When drivers change lanes, they have a duty to ensure that the other lane is clear. Turning on the turn signal in a vehicle is the first step in executing a safe lane change. Drivers also must double-check for traffic by glancing over their shoulder rather than simply relying on mirrors.
There are a few other ways that drivers can reduce the risk of a lane change accident:
- Move over only one lane at a time rather than skirting across multiple lanes.
- Change lanes only where it is legal, which typically will be indicated by dashed lane marking.
- Make sure that you are not cutting off another driver by leaving him or her enough room.
- Change lanes on straightaways rather than areas where the road is curved.
- Avoid lane changes while on inclines that limit visibility.
- Limit lane changes in limited visibility.
Though these are simple rules, many drivers routinely ignore these basic guidelines. Unsafe lane changes can cause dangerous road departure crashes and rollover accidents. These types of serious auto collisions often cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, fractures or broken bones, internal organ damage, and even wrongful death.
Insurance companies for negligent drivers aggressively defend against claims for these kinds of severe injuries. Insurers typically try to settle for far less than the value of the claim. An experienced car accident lawyer can help injury victims document their damages by coordinating diagnostic scans, such as MRIs, CTs, and X-Rays. Even if accident victims think their injuries are not serious, they should seek immediate medical care because sometimes serious conditions are not immediately obvious. Delays in obtaining diagnostic testing and treatment can compromise injured parties’ prognosis and their claim for recovery.
Settling with the insurance company quickly before obtaining legal advice can result in recovery far below the amount an injury victim is entitled to under state law. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) found that hiring a personal injury attorney resulted in a settlement 350 percent greater than settlements received by unrepresented parties.
If you have any injuries at all, no matter how slight they may seem, it is in your best interest to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. The insurance company might try to settle the case before you obtain legal advice and learn the actual value of your auto accident claim. The lawyer can talk with you about your case and evaluate whether the other driver was negligent.
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