Lane Change Big Rig Accidents: Who is at Fault?
Written by greg on July 25, 2017
If you have been involved in a lane change big rig accident, a key factor that must be addressed is establishing who is at fault. Legally this is known as proving liability.
Once a determination is made of who is at fault in a lane change big rig accident, other issues can be addressed. These include ascertaining the extent of injuries, damages, and other losses in a big rig accident case.
Common Situations in Which a Big Rig Operator Causes a Lane Change Accident
There are a variety of situations in which a big rig driver can be responsible for causing a lane change accident. These cases include a big rig operator that fails to use a turn signal. It can also include a situation in which a commercial truck driver is speeding or makes a lane change in an intersection. A big rig driver that weaves excessively or even dangerously between lanes can be the underlying cause of a commercial truck accident.
Underlying Factors that Contribute to Big Rig Lane Change Accidents
There exist a variety of factors that contribute to big rig lane change accidents. Some of the most common factors the contribute to a lane accident include a distracted big rig operator. A commercial truck driver can be distracted by some things. These include talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio dial, eating, or drinking.
Driver fatigue and driver intoxication represent two other types of underlying factors associated with big rig lane change collisions. Indeed, driver fatigue is a recurring problem highlighted by operators who skirt the regulations regarding maximum drive times and minimum rest times between trips.
Most Common Types of Big Rig Lane Change Accidents
One of the two most common types of big rig lane change collisions involves a rear-end crash during the lane change process. The second most common type of lane change accident features an angle or sideswipe collision. Although both types of accidents can have serious results, typically an accident involving a sideswipe during a lane change maneuver will have the most severe consequences.
The Elements of Fault in a Big Rig Accident Case
There are four primary elements of legal liability or fault in a big rig collision case, including the duty of care. A commercial truck driver has a legal duty to operate a big rig in a reasonably safe manner.
The importance of eye witness testimony can’t be overstated. If you are hurt in a lane change crash, try to get contact importation at the scene from all witnesses. Do not rely on the investigating officer to record that information.
Changing lanes while speeding, or changing lanes when another vehicle occupies the lane can represent a breach of a duty of care. The breach of the duty of care must be the actual and legal cause of an accident.
Finally, a person pursuing an injury claim following a big rig lane change accident must be in a position to prove damages stemming from the crash. Typically, legal damages include the cost of medical care, lost income, disability, pain, and disfigurement.
Consult with a big rig accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Facts & Statistics –