Improper Merging Accidents
Car Crash Lawyers Guiding Victims in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Merging cautiously is a vital part of being a safe driver. If drivers fail to follow the rules for merging properly, they can cause serious or even fatal accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an improper merging accident, you need to discuss what happened with a Wheaton or Schaumburg car accident attorney. At Therman Law Offices, we have more than 35 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of people who have been injured in crashes across Illinois, and we can help you as well.
Causes and Consequences of Improper Merging Accidents
Improper merging accidents are more common than people often think. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 533,000 crashes, or 9 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, are caused by improper lane changing and merging. In addition, about 200 of these accidents result in death. Drivers merging onto busy highways or entering traffic from a parking space must be vigilant of their surroundings and proceed with caution. With drivers often traveling at extremely high speeds, lane-changing accidents can have catastrophic results. Improper merging accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Moving quickly from a parking space into traffic;
- Merging too slowly to accommodate other traffic;
- Failing to keep a lookout properly before merging;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Distracted driving (i.e., failing to check for surroundings);
- Failing to signal when attempting to merge; or
- Low visibility due to adverse weather conditions.
While improper merging can cause serious accidents with other vehicles, these accidents can also lead to injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians. If you or someone close to you was involved in a collision caused by improper merging, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses through a negligence claim. Negligence occurs when a person causes injuries or death by failing to use due care behind the wheel. Due care refers to the level of care that a prudent or sensible person would have used in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a prudent or sensible driver would perform a visual check before changing lanes. Thus, if a driver causes an accident and resulting injuries because he or she failed to scan the road and check blind spots before merging, that driver would likely be liable.
In order to establish negligence, the plaintiff and their attorney must demonstrate that the defendant failed to act reasonably or safely by executing an improper merging maneuver and that the improper merging caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. The burden of proof in every auto accident case in Illinois is on the plaintiff, but the standard is only the preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Once negligence is established, a plaintiff will be able to seek a variety of damages, such as medical costs, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, costs of future care, property damage, and any other losses associated with the injuries. Of course, the exact amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will vary depending on the nature and extent of the harm suffered in the crash.
Contact a Knowledgeable Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer in Wheaton or Schaumburg
Car accidents can have a number of causes, but many of them stem from a driver merging improperly. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident because of another driver’s merging error, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Therman Law Offices, our attorneys understand how to protect your rights in an auto accident case. You can rest assured that we work tirelessly in settlement negotiations and can advocate for your rights in the courtroom as well. We represent people in cities such as Schaumburg, Wheaton, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Mt. Prospect, and Arlington Heights. To discuss your rights, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.