April 18, 2024

Who Is Liable for a Merging Car Accident?

Contact a Delaware County Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. After a Merging Crash

Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics show that roughly four percent of car accidents happen when one vehicle is trying to merge lanes. These crashes can be deadly at times, and they often result in serious injury because one car is traveling at full speed while the other is approaching that speed. The merging driver is usually the one to blame for the accident. Always contact a car accident lawyer when you have been injured in a crash.

What Are the Causes of Merging Car Accidents?

Merging is one of the most dangerous times for a car driver. The driver who is merging often attempts to enter a lane when traveling at full speed. At the same time, the driver already in the lane needs to contend with another motorist trying to enter. There are times when a driver may misjudge the distance, or they may simply be careless. In that case, there can be a merging car accident. Merging accidents are often sideswipe crashes that can cause one or both drivers to lose control of their car.

The common causes of merging accidents include:

  • Failure to signal an intention to turn
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Failure to see a yield sign
  • Cutting off another vehicle in traffic
  • Failure to speed up when merging into traffic

The driver who was attempting to merge into another lane or changing lanes would have the legal responsibility to yield to the other car. The general rule is that the driver who was already established in traffic would not be held liable for the car accident.

The Merging Driver May Not Always Be At Fault

However, there are times when the driver of the car that was struck could be entirely or partially to blame for the accident. The same legal principles that apply to any car accident would apply to a merging car accident. The driver who was already established in traffic could have been speeding, or they could have been driving aggressively. For example, if the struck driver was in a fit of road rage, they may have been speeding up and slowing down to intentionally keep the merging driver from entering their lane. The driver already in the lane may not have been paying attention, and they may have been drifting towards the side of their lane or even partially out of it. The driver who was struck could not have been wearing a seat belt, which made their injuries far worse. Like every car accident case, everything depends on the facts and circumstances of the situation.

Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

Even if liability is obvious in your car accident case, you may still need an experienced attorney. The insurance company may easily concede liability because their main battle with you will be over how much they need to pay you.  A car accident lawyer could quantify your damages and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. There could be a wide disparity in figures when trying to reach an agreement.

Contact a Delaware County Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. After a Merging Crash

A Delaware County car accident lawyer at the law firm of Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can help you after a merging crash. Call 267-861-7100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and we work with clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.