There are different causes of motor vehicle accidents in Atlanta. From drunk driving to road rage, auto accidents happen no matter how careful you are. In Atlanta, improper lane change is one of the common causes of road accidents. It happens because of recklessness, and the consequences are either injuries, death, or property damage.
Georgia law allows a victim to get compensation from the fault party in an accident. But first, you need to establish fault in an improper lane change accident. Our Atlanta auto accident lawyers examine how to prove liability in this article. If you need legal help after a car accident, we offer expert legal advice and representation.
What Is an Improper Lane Change?
Under Georgia Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Section 40-6-123 (a), no person shall:
- Turn a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway;
- Enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course; or
- Move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.
Additionally, the section provides that “no person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate and timely signal.” Every road divided into two or more lanes requires every vehicle to use a single lane. Also, drivers must look around to ensure they leave enough room in between vehicles.
Georgia law prohibits lane changes in construction zones and when passing a school bus. It is also unlawful to change lanes in “no-passing zones.” When drivers change lanes in these areas, it is an improper lane change, and the erring motorist will be liable for any accident.
Where Do Improper Lane Changes Happen the Most?
Improper lane change occurs mostly on roads with two or more lanes, but they are more common on highways. This is because most motorists fail to pay attention to their blind spots. Also, driving at high speed gives drivers less reaction time to avoid an accident.
Other known places where illegal lane change occurs are:
- Hills and curves
- Work zones
- Multi-lane roads during inclement
How Do You Prove Fault in an Improper Lane Change Case?
The process of proving fault in an improper lane change accident depends on the negligent act the fault driver engaged in at the time. It means that illegally changing lanes may not be enough to cause an accident. Thus, you have to prove that the driver was engaged in another act like texting when the accident happened.
Additionally, you might need to prove the presence of these factors to show fault for improper lane change:
- Failure to use turn signals to warn about a lane change
- Improper speed depending on the road, speed limits, and weather conditions
- Broken or malfunctioning signal or light
- Failure to use or have rearview mirrors to check if the lane was clear
- Erratic or aggressive driving
- Failure to obey road signals
- Violation of right of way rules or other traffic regulations
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver drowsiness
The role of determining fault is that of the investigating authority. The investigators will assess the crash site to see if improper lane change or any of the above factors caused the accident. Also, if another driver contributed to the crash, they will share the liability with the driver who wrongly changed lanes.
For instance, a vehicle made an improper lane change to avoid another vehicle merging on top of them. If an accident occurs, both drivers will share the liability for lack of safe driving. If they crash against a third vehicle, both drivers will be liable for the damages to the third driver.
What Should You Do Following an Improper Lane Change Accident?
If an improper lane change results in a road accident, do the following:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place
- Call the police and report the accident
- Document the scene by taking photos, speaking to witnesses, and getting video evidence, if any
- Exchange contact information with the other driver, including insurance coverage details
- Seek medical attention whether or not you sustained an injury
- Contact an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer
Get Help Today From The Weinstein Firm!
In any traffic collision, there is a fault party and a victim. If you are the victim of an improper lane change accident, our expert car accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm can help you. We will gather the required evidence to show the other driver’s fault and get you compensation for your damages. Contact us today for a free case review.