If you were injured in an auto accident that occurred while your vehicle or the other one was merging onto the freeway, you may be wondering who is at fault for your accident. Who is at fault in a merge lane accident depends on which vehicle has the right of way. In California, freeway traffic always has the right of way.
Common Causes of Merging Accidents in Manhattan Beach
California drivers who fail to yield the right of way to ongoing traffic are usually at fault in a merging lane accident. Common causes of lane merging accidents in California include:
- Merging into traffic at an unsafe speed — either too fast or too slow
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failing to use turn signals
- Merging too close in front of or behind another vehicle
- Crossing multiple lanes of traffic
How to Avoid Merging Lane Accidents
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has some helpful advice for safely merging into freeway traffic:
- Enter the freeway at or near the traffic flow speed
- Watch for vehicles around you
- Use your turn signals to inform other drivers that you’re changing lanes
- Unless necessary, don’t stop before merging into traffic — avoid causing traffic delays that could lead to a collision
- Remember, freeway traffic has the right of way
- Follow the three-second rule — leave three seconds of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you
- If you have to cross multiple lanes, change lanes one at a time
The same rules apply in situations where a motorist has to merge because a lane is ending. Observe any posted signs and warnings when merging into the next lane.
Although ongoing traffic has the right of way, there are certain circumstances in which a vehicle that has the right of way could share liability for a merging accident in California. This can occur in situations where it was determined that the driver who had the right of way was driving too fast or was driving while impaired when the accident took place.
What Makes Merging Lane Accidents So Dangerous?
Merging lane accidents are often side-swipe accidents. While not normally a high-speed impact type of accident, a sideswipe collision can cause a vehicle to lose control and veer off the road or into another lane of traffic. In addition, the sides of a vehicle lack the bumpers and other structural reinforcements mounted on the front and rear. This makes drivers and passengers particularly vulnerable to injuries in a collision.
The damage can be much more serious when a merging lane accident occurs between a vehicle and a big truck. In some instances, the smaller vehicle can become trapped and pinned beneath the truck.
Injuries sustained during a merging lane accident can be serious and even fatal. They can include:
- Minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Deep wound cuts
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ injuries
Protect Your Rights After a Merging Lane Accident in Manhattan Beach
Were you injured in an accident that was caused by a vehicle that was merging into your lane? Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to collect compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. These damages can include but may not be limited to:
- Current and ongoing medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
To ensure you get the total compensation to which you are due, it’s important to protect your rights after a merging accident in California. The Manhattan Beach car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC are here to protect your rights and ensure you get the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Personal injury attorney Scott Dinsmore has been protecting the rights of clients living in Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, and other South Bay communities for over thirty years. We’ve obtained millions of dollars in settlements for our clients, including several large settlements for clients who were injured in automobile accidents.
Get Help Proving Your California Lane Merging Accident Case Today
Contact the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC through our website or call us at (310) 318-1220 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Scott will discuss your case, answer any legal questions you may have, and provide helpful, professional advice on the best way to proceed with your car accident claim. We handle most personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront costs for our clients and we only collect a fee after your case is settled.