Finding the at-fault driver in a lane-change collision can be difficult for several reasons. Parties potentially at blame in a lane-change collision include:

  • A lane change by the motorist
  • Distracted driving by someone else
  • Drunk driving
  • There are two or more drivers.

Oftentimes, it’s easy to identify the guilty person. Sometimes, though, more than one motorist is to blame, and the investigation must focus on determining who was at fault to the greatest extent. In the event of a car crash, for instance, it is possible that one driver was at blame for 80% of the incident and the other motorist was responsible for the remaining 20%. According to the percentage of fault assigned to each driver, damages will be allocated. As you can see, determining who was at fault for a lane change accident is not as cut and dried as you may think.

Getting in touch with a car accident attorney is the first thing you should do if you or a loved one has been hurt in a lane-change accident. Learn more!

When switching lanes, who is at fault if an accident occurs?

A lane change by the motorist

In the event of an accident on a surface street or highway, the at-fault driver may be the one who merged into the other lane without using a turn signal, collided with the back of another car, or failed to provide adequate space between their vehicle and the vehicles in front of and behind them.

Distracted driving by someone else

An accident may be caused by a driver who is texting, fidgeting with the radio, applying makeup, conversing with passengers, or otherwise not paying attention as another vehicle enters their lane.

Drunk driving

If a careless driver causes an accident under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is quite likely that the drunk driver was at least partially responsible for the accident, whether they were changing lanes or riding in another vehicle.

Both of the drivers

When two or more drivers are at fault for an accident because they were both reckless or disobeyed the rules of the road, the responsibility for the crash may be split between them. Several drivers may share responsibility for an accident that occurs when they switch lanes because of Kentucky’s “pure comparative fault” statute, KRS 411.182.

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