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At Sargon Law Group, our Maricopa County personal injury lawyers see many liability cases after car accidents when a driver attempts to change lanes. Who is at fault in a lane change accident? It can be difficult to prove cause and effect when both cars are on the move. Learn more about these potentially devastating accidents that can affect the drivers, their passengers, and the surrounding vehicles on the roadway.

Why Is it Difficult To Determine Who Is at Fault in a Lane Change Accident?

lane change accident fault

A lane change is one of the most common moves a driver may make on the roadways of Arizona. However, switching from one part of the road to another also presents significant risks that most people don’t consider, particularly when one or both vehicles are moving at a higher rate of speed or hurrying to a destination.

Determining liability after a crash can be difficult due to a lack of clarity about who should take the blame. Often, these accidents quickly turn into lane change accident fault-finding, and without dashcam footage, everyone has a different story to prove their innocence. Unlike rear-end accidents, where it’s usually clear who caused the damage, liability for lane-changing accidents may not be as obvious.

Whose Fault Is an Accident While Changing Lanes?

Who takes the blame in a lane change accident? There are various ways that a driver in Arizona could be liable for a lane change accident: It could be a single driver’s driver’s fault, or the two drivers could have shared responsibility. Consider these examples to make sense of your situation.

The Accident Was One Driver’s Fault

Sometimes, a driver makes a mistake when changing lanes that puts them entirely at fault in a lane change accident. These actions could include the following:

  • Failing to activate turn signals before making the lane change
  • Not checking the mirrors or blind spots before changing lanes
  • Attempting to cross more than one lane of traffic at a time without pausing in each before a subsequent lane change

When it’s possible to prove that it’s solely one driver’s fault, you may assume the case becomes simpler. If a driver changes lanes and collides with a vehicle, the fault will almost always fall to the driver who initiated the lane change.

However, you can likely imagine how difficult it is to prove, without eyewitnesses and after the fact, that an accident occurred because one driver forgot to signal. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the case, whether you were the driver who caused the accident or the victim in the other car.

The Accident Was the Fault of Both Drivers

There are times when more than one driver is at fault in a lane change accident. Consider the following scenarios:

  • Two vehicles attempt to initiate a lane change into a middle lane from outside lanes. This type of incident is more common if three or more lanes of traffic flow in one direction.
  • The driver of a vehicle inside of the desired lane was operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs, while distracted, or when driving too fast for the road conditions.
  • A driver in the desired lane operated a vehicle with faulty brake lights or headlights.
  • One driver slams into the rear of another vehicle that just completed a lane change.

Which Arizona Laws Apply To Lane-Changing Accidents?

What are the laws regarding improper lane change accidents?

Several Arizona laws apply to these lane-change accidents. For example, drivers must remain in their lanes except when passing. According to the law, the driver must ascertain the safety of the situation before initiating the lane change. Another law involves staying out of a middle lane on a three-lane road to avoid unfortunate accidents where two cars try to pass through the center simultaneously.

Many situations aren’t this clear-cut. What happens, for example, if you were the driver who caused the accident but you can prove that the other driver sped up, got aggressive, or tried to prevent you from merging? Regardless of how your accident happened, it’s important to understand that there are legal terms and protections for these matters.

Contact Sargon Law Group To Learn Who Is at Fault in a Lane Change Accident

Knowing what to do and finding who is at fault in a lane change accident can be confusing, and it’s quite difficult to prove fault on your own. Get in touch with Sargon Law Group today to begin building your case with a team of compassionate attorneys who have extensive experience with car accident and lane change cases.