Improper Lane Change Accidents
It is a well-established principle that motorists should not change lanes without first activating their turn signals and checking their blind spots. However, drivers throughout Cape Cod frequently drive in an unsafe manner and, in many instances, this driving leads to improper lane change accidents. Crashes caused by drivers recklessly leaving their lane of travel can cause painful injuries and significant property damage. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a reckless driver, you have the right to pursue claims and should meet with a lawyer. The assertive Cape Cod car accident attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, help injured people in the pursuit of compensation, and we will fight zealously on your behalf. We have over one hundred and fifty years of collective experience advocating for our clients in civil lawsuits, and our assertive representation has enabled our clients to recover numerous multi-million dollar damages awards.Massachusetts Law Regarding Lane Changes
Pursuant to Massachusetts law, if a roadway has been divided into more than one lane of traffic, drivers must stay entirely within one lane and cannot move into another lane until they have determined that they can do so safely. While the law does not explicitly describe what actions drivers must take to avoid improper lane changes, certain actions are commonly accepted as necessary. For example, drivers must determine whether there are any approaching vehicles in the intended lane, which includes checking any blind spots. If there are, drivers should refrain from switching lanes unless the vehicle is far enough away to avoid improper lane change accidents. Additionally, drivers should activate their turn signals to alert any nearby motorists that they intend to change lanes.Demonstrating Liability for Improper Lane Change Accidents
Improper lane change accidents caused by unsafe lane departures often cause significant physical and economic damages, and people injured in such accidents will often pursue claims against the driver that caused the accident in a civil lawsuit. Generally, a plaintiff in a lawsuit arising out of a car crash will allege that the defendant should be deemed liable under a theory of negligence. In Massachusetts, to prove negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, but that the defendant breached the duty, and that the breach caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm.
In most instances, the duty owed is the duty to act with reasonable care under the circumstances, but in cases in which a statute such as a traffic law establishes a duty, evidence that the defendant breached the statute can be used to support the plaintiff’s position that the defendant acted negligently. As such, if a driver received a traffic citation for making an improper lane change following an accident, it provides strong support for the argument that the defendant should be deemed liable.
Frequently, though, a defendant will argue that the plaintiff actually caused the collision, and therefore, the plaintiff should not be awarded damages. Under Massachusetts law, however, a plaintiff that is partially responsible for causing a harmful incident can still recover compensation, as long as his or her fault does not exceed the fault of the defendant. Any damages awarded will merely be reduced proportionately to the plaintiff’s negligence.
A plaintiff that successfully demonstrates liability for an improper lane change accident may recover the costs of any past or future medical treatment, including prescriptions, physical therapy, and adaptive devices, and compensation for wages lost due to an inability to work because of the accident. Usually, a plaintiff will be awarded compensation for the suffering, mental distress, and pain caused by the accident as well.Discuss Your Accident with a Lawyer on Cape Cod
Improper lane change accidents can cause lasting physical and emotional trauma, as well as significant economic losses. If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver’s careless lane change, the seasoned attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, can develop effective arguments on your behalf to assist you in pursuing any damages you may be owed. We proudly maintain a record of favorable outcomes, including many verdicts and settlements that exceed one million dollars. We represent people in vehicle accident cases on Cape Cod and are available to meet for conferences in Plymouth and Hyannis. You can contact us through our form online or at 888-262-6664 to set up a meeting. Nós Falamos Português.