Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Lawyers Representing Injury Victims in Wheaton and Schaumburg
Drivers commonly change lanes while operating their vehicle in response to the flow of traffic on roads and highways. Motorists should use care and pay attention while maneuvering their vehicle between lanes, anticipating potential hazards in time to appropriately react. Illinois law mandates that drivers use a turn signal before changing lanes, obey lane markings, and yield when merging. Despite these rules, drivers continue to cause unsafe lane change accidents by failing to use their turn signals or not merging lanes in a safe manner. If you, or someone you love has been hurt by a negligent driver, the Schaumburg and Wheaton car accident attorneys at Therman Law Offices can help. We bring more than 35 years of combined experience to people throughout Illinois.
Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Drivers owe a general duty of care to others on the road. They must operate their vehicle in a safe manner, avoiding unnecessary harm to others. Additionally, with respect to lane changes, Illinois law directs drivers to execute a safe and proper lane change by using a turn signal before changing lanes and adjusting their speed and position to avoid a collision when merging in traffic. When drivers violate these duties and harm others, the at-fault driver may be held accountable.
A negligence claim often forms the basis of a personal injury case after a vehicle accident. When a person injures another by not using the level of care that a reasonable person would use, under similar circumstances, the judge or jury may find them negligent. In a vehicle accident, the plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the defendant breached this duty and the defendant directly caused their injuries and damages.
Evidence of a breached duty of care in unsafe lane change accidents takes different forms. For example, if the defendant cut off the victim’s vehicle by rapidly turning into their lane without yielding or using a turn signal, they may negligent because this conduct is unreasonable based on the circumstances. Failing to use due care can also be demonstrated by a violation of the vehicle code, which may be shown through evidence such as cell phone photographs or witness statements from the accident.
Demonstrating causation, which shows that the defendant directly caused harm, is essential to a successful negligence claim. A motorist is legally accountable only if their conduct directly led to a crash. Often, this is referred to as the “but for” element because the accident would not have occurred “but for” the actions of the defendant while driving.
Finally, the damages that may be recovered following an accident are intended to place the victim in the place they would be had the accident not occurred. Costs for medical care, rehabilitation, and emotional suffering are typically awarded. Lost wages from work, property damage, and future costs of medical care may also be obtained. In most cases, the more extensive the damage, the higher the damages award. In the event of a wrongful death, the damage award may include the costs of burial, medical expenses, and loss of earning capacity.
Illinois law follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. When both the plaintiff and defendant contributed to an accident, fault will be apportioned relatively. So, a plaintiff will recover an award reduced by their degree of fault. For example, if a plaintiff who was speeding at the time of the collision and was determined to be 25% at fault, the plaintiff still could recover 75% of the total award. However, the law holds that that persons, who are more than 50% responsible for a crash that caused their harm, will not recover any damages.
Seek an Experienced Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
Contact Therman Law Offices if you have suffered injuries in a vehicle collision involving a motorist who changed lanes in an unsafe manner. Our skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton attorneys will investigate and pursue a claim for relief, securing you the compensation you deserve. We can be reached by calling 773-545-8849 or contact us online for a free appointment. Our lawyers represent people in Norwood Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Edison Park, Harwood Heights, Park Ridge, Elmwood Park, as well as Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Rosemont, and Elk Grove Village.