Changing lanes incorrectly is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Florida. Right-of-way violations in Florida accounted for approximately 73,000 citations in the past year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 9 percent of accidents are caused by improper lane changes. These hazards include changing lanes without signaling, waiting to signal until after the change has already begun, driving between lanes for an extended period of time, and changing lanes on roads where lanes are separated by solid instead of dashed lines. If you suffered serious injuries, or if a family member passed away in an unsafe lane change accident, contacting an experienced Southwest Florida injury lawyer will allow you and your family to be fairly compensated by the responsible driver.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Law
F.S. 768.81 provides that any and all parties involved can be assigned a percentage of fault based on the circumstances. Even if the other driver changed lanes improperly, the injured individual could still be considered partially at fault for causing the accident. Oftentimes drivers in improper lane change cases blame each other for the accident. If such a case goes to trial, a jury can apportion fault among multiple drivers. For example, if another driver changed lanes improperly, but you were speeding, a jury could elect to assign you 20 percent fault for the accident. In this scenario, your jury verdict would be reduced by 20 percent.
Who is Typically At-Fault in a Lane Change Accident?
F.S. 316.085 details the rules of overtaking, passing, and changing lanes.
A driver is not allowed to drive left of center while overtaking and passing unless otherwise authorized by law (namely that the left side is clearly visible and unobstructed by oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to allow the overtaking to be completed without interfering with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction). Also, a driver of a motor vehicle should not move from a direct course in any lane on a highway until he/she has determined that no other vehicle is approaching or overtaking the vehicle in the lane or on the side to which the driver intends to move (and that the move can be performed safely).
Help is at Hand with GTS
If you were involved in an accident caused by the negligence of another, learn how our Southwest Florida accident lawyers can help you and your family recover fair compensation for your personal injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Our experienced and compassionate team at Goldman, Tiseo, and Sturges, P.A. will provide you with a FREE consultation, and only receives payment for services if they win your case. Please call us at (941) 625-6666 or send us a message through our contact us box available on our website. Whether you are a resident of Florida or were injured while visiting from out of state, our Florida personal injury lawyers can assist.