Liability When Improper Lane Changes Cause Truck Accidents

by Staff Blogger | February 7th, 2024

According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22107, drivers must confirm that moving from one lane to another is safe and warn nearby road users sufficiently. The at-fault party may be liable for property damages and other injuries if an accident occurs.

Occasionally, it may be challenging to identify the at-fault party. At first glance, the driver changing lanes is the most likely culprit. However, it is possible that both drivers were merging into the same lane simultaneously. In these cases, blind spots or wide turns can cause an accident rather than a lane change.

Whatever the situation, if someone you know gets injured in an improper lane change accident involving a truck, they may be able to recover damages with the help of an attorney. If you live in the Modesto area or anywhere in Northern California, a Modesto personal injury lawyer from our team can help.

In this article, we’ll provide information that may help victims understand improper lane changes, what causes them, and how to pursue compensation.

What Is an Improper Lane Change in California?

The law referenced above governs unsafe movements by vehicles between lanes. Under the law, each driver is responsible for ensuring that any steering or merging maneuvers they perform do not endanger other drivers or pedestrians.

Simply put, it is illegal in California to change lanes without taking necessary precautions.

Motorists can receive tickets for this traffic violation and may have to pay fines and court fees if convicted. Even worse, if the driver caused harm to another person, they may have to compensate the victim for their injuries.

What Constitutes Improper Lane Change in California? 

Although every motorist should know the law and the dangers of unsafe road practices, what factors might cause them to change lanes improperly?

  • Not Signaling Before Leaving Their Lanes
    Failure to signal before turning puts other drivers at risk since they’ll have no way of adjusting their driving to accommodate them as they change lanes.
  • Not Warning Other Motorists Before Merging Left or Right
    Signaling is not enough to adequately warn other motorists before changing lanes. Motorists need ample time to react to potential hazards. It may take up to a second or more for another driver to register the movement and apply their brakes. Truck drivers must allow adequate time for others to notice them and their intentions before executing the lane change.
  • Failing To Check That They Have Enough Room Before Changing Lanes
    Depending on the vehicle’s size, the driver may need a little or a lot of space to change lanes.
  • Abruptly Slowing Down After Entering a New Lane
    Other drivers may not anticipate that you plan to slow down after changing lanes. They may maintain their current speed and end up crashing into you.
  • Making Accidental Lane Changes Due to Distraction or Exhaustion
    Drivers may unwittingly drift into nearby lanes because they are too tired or distracted to concentrate on their steering.
  • Signaling Too Late
    It makes no sense for a truck driver to signal when the other car is already ahead of their taillights. Thus, the other driver will not see the warning.
  • Swerving Between Lanes or Lane Hopping
    As a rule, drivers should stay in one lane as much as possible. If drivers constantly hop from one lane to another, their risk of causing an accident increases.

How Do Lane Changes Affect Truck Accident Liability?

Insurance adjusters will consider improper lane changes and other traffic offenses when determining whether to approve or deny a claim. For example, if a driver was driving under the influence, they can still claim damages if another driver improperly merged into their lane.

A capable, experienced truck accident lawyer is the best person to handle these complex accident analyses. Rather than denying that Driver A was under the influence, an attorney’s goal in such a case would be to prove that the second driver was still to blame for the accident.

It is also possible for both drivers to share the blame, and both claim damages in California.

Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer for My Claim?

Victims sometimes avoid securing legal representation due to the misconception that hiring a lawyer is too costly. However, that is not true at Berg Injury Lawyers. Victims get a free consultation and do not pay any attorney fees unless they win.

Another advantage of having our lawyers on your side is that you’ll leave the stress of the negotiations to us. You won’t have to spend time mastering any legal jargon or worry about the other party preying on your lack of legal experience.

Our lawyers fight hard for their clients. Remember, we do not get paid unless you win. We work hard to maximize the highest possible compensation for our clients’ damages in every case we build.

Liability can change significantly in truck accidents when improper lane changes are involved. Building a solid case to ensure the best possible outcome is essential, and Berg Injury Lawyers has the knowledge, experience, and skill to take on the big trucking companies.

By hiring capable injury attorney, victims can rest assured that their case is in good hands and focus on their recovery. Contact us for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for compensation.