You take a deep breath, wait for the dust to settle and take a look around. What just happened? One minute you are changing lanes, the next minute you are spinning across the highway. You know that you checked your mirrors and the way was clear. Or was it? You just hit someone who was in your blind spot and caused an accident.
If you were changing lanes on the highway, chances are that you were traveling at a high rate of speed. This makes accidents even more serious. Now you are wondering who will be held at fault for the two-car accident that just occurred. If you changed lanes without turning your head to look in your blind spot, you could very well be found at fault. Here’s why.
Duty: As a driver, you automatically have a duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. Each time you get behind the wheel, you are making a promise that you will obey the rules of the road and drive appropriately for the conditions.
Breach: When you fail to meet your duty while behind the wheel, you are said to have breached that duty.
Causation: When you change lanes and cause an accident that results in injury, attorneys and insurance companies will work to determine causation. That is, were the injuries sustained as s direct result of the crash or were they present before the accident?
Damages: If there were damages as a result of the accident, you or your insurance company could be required to pay them. For example, if someone in the accident sustained an injury that required medical attention, you may be legally required to pay their medical bills or for other things like money for their pain & suffering or lost wages.
The person in the other vehicle may attempt to prove that you didn’t use a turn signal, that you changed lanes suddenly or that you violated some other traffic law. The police may cite you for the accident, potentially strengthening the case against you.
Of course you didn’t mean to cause an accident. The fact that you did nothing purposely has no bearing on the fact that you can be found legally liable when you change lanes and strike someone in your blind spot.
Avoiding These Accidents
No matter what technology your car is equipped with and no matter how fancy your side mirrors, you should always turn your head to physically look in your blind spots before you change lanes. This is one of the only ways, if not the only way, to fully avoid these types of accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Charlotte or anywhere else in North Carolina because another driver failed to check their blind spot or violated some other important rule of the road, you may have the legal right to damages for your injuries and more. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys is ready to review the details of your incident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your case evaluation.