When an accident occurs due to a vehicle moving into another lane, it can lead to vehicle damage, bodily injury, and confusion. Those involved often wonder, who is at fault in a merging accident?
Arizona has fairly clear rules regarding who the guilty party is when one car merges into a lane. However, it is a bit harder to prove fault when two cars merge into a lane at the same time.
What Are the General Rules Regarding Merging Into a Lane?
In Arizona, if a crash occurs due to a vehicle merging, it is generally the fault of the driver changing lanes. It is this individual’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are safe to merge. A merging driver’s responsibilities include:
- Making sure there is enough space to merge
- Driving at an appropriate speed to match the other vehicles on the road
- Engaging the correct turn signal to indicate the move to a different lane
Arizona law states that a vehicle entering a freeway must yield to the other vehicles currently on the main roadway that enter the merging area.
Although the driver merging is often at fault, the other drivers on the road must also follow the rules. This means following traffic laws and driving responsibly. If other drivers are negligent, such as driving impaired or speeding, the fault may fall on them. Speaking with an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney can help you determine your legal rights after a merging car accident.
Whose Fault Is It When Two Cars Merge Into the Same Lane?
On a freeway with three or more lanes, the driver merging from the left generally has the right-of-way. Oftentimes, however, both drivers are partially at fault.
On a multilane highway, the very left lane is only for passing. Therefore, vehicles in this lane have the right-of-way to merge due to the fact they need to get out of the way of faster vehicles. This can be more difficult to prove, however, so insurance companies may place the blame on both parties. Fortunately, in Arizona, a driver can still receive compensation if they are at fault for an accident that resulted in injuries.
What Steps Should You Take After a Merging Accident?
If possible, move the vehicles out of the way of traffic to the side of the road. Assess for injuries. If you think you received serious injuries or are in a lot of pain, call 9-1-1 and stay in the vehicle if it is safe to do so.
If injuries are not serious, contact the police to file a report, and exchange identification and insurance information with the other parties involved. Contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident to begin the claim process.
Who Should You Contact if You Are in a Merging Accident?
If you are unsure who is at fault in a merging accident and there are associated damages, reach out to us at Sargon Law Group. In high-speed collisions, the injuries can be serious. Our specialized team of Phoenix personal injury lawyers will begin an investigation and come up with a strategy to fight for compensation.
Contact us right away so we can get started on your case.