If you have been involved in a lane change accident in North Carolina, determining fault is crucial to the success of any personal injury claim you may pursue. While there are many factors that can contribute to a lane change accident, understanding the relevant North Carolina laws can help you determine who is at fault and what legal options are available to you, and consulting with an experienced car accident attorney licensed in North Carolina State, should be an important first step.
Lane Change Laws in North Carolina
When it comes to lane changes, North Carolina law requires drivers to signal their intention to change lanes for at least 100 feet before they make the maneuver. This gives other drivers on the road adequate time to react and adjust their own driving accordingly.
In addition, North Carolina law also requires drivers to make sure it is safe before changing lanes. This means checking blind spots and mirrors, as well as using turn signals, before changing lanes.
Determining Fault in a Lane Change Accident
When it comes to determining fault in a lane change accident, there are a few key factors that will be taken into account. These include:
- Turn signal usage: If a driver fails to use their turn signal before changing lanes, they may be considered at fault for the accident.
- Blind spot checks: If a driver fails to check their blind spot before changing lanes and collides with another vehicle, they may be considered at fault.
- Negligence: If a driver is found to be driving recklessly, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, they may be considered at fault regardless of whether they were changing lanes.
- Lane markings: If a driver crosses a solid line to change lanes, they may be considered at fault.
It is important to note that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that if a driver is found to be even 1% at fault for an accident, they may not be able to recover any damages from the other driver. This can make it difficult to pursue a personal injury claim if fault is not clear-cut.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Lane Change Accident
If you are involved in a lane change accident in North Carolina, there are a few steps you should take to protect your legal rights:
- Call the police: Even if the accident seems minor, it is important to call the police and have an accident report filed. This can help establish fault and document any injuries or damages.
- Exchange information: Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver involved in the accident. This can help facilitate the claims process later on.
- Document the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle or the other driver’s vehicle. This can also help establish fault and document damages.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine after the accident, it is important to seek medical attention to make sure you do not have any hidden injuries. Some injuries, like whiplash or concussions, may not manifest symptoms until days or even weeks after the accident.
- Contact a car accident lawyer: If you have been injured in a lane change accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Determining fault in a lane change accident in North Carolina can be a complex process. Understanding North Carolina’s lane change laws and working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that your legal rights are protected.