Lane Change Truck Accidents: Who Is At Fault


Collisions involving large trucks and cars are extremely dangerous for the drivers and passengers in the smaller vehicles because the trucks are so much heavier. These accidents are often, but not always, the fault of the truck drivers. Sometimes this type of accident is the car driver’s fault. Other times, both the truck driver and the car driver acted carelessly, and both are at fault.

A common type of accident involving a truck and a smaller vehicle is one that occurs during or right after a lane change. To figure out who is at fault in a lane-change collision, you have to investigate the behavior of the drivers and the condition of the road at the time of the accident.

Knowing who is at fault is important if you or a loved one were involved in a collision with a large truck, and you want to pursue a claim against the truck driver. In most states, you can sue for compensation if either the other driver was completely at fault or if both drivers were partially at fault.

Types of Lane-Change Truck Accidents

A lane-change collision between a big rig and a car can be caused when the truck changes lanes or when the car changes lanes. This is one of the first facts that need to be established when figuring out who is at fault.

Another important basic fact is whether the collision happened when one vehicle sideswiped the other, or if one vehicle rear-ended the other.

How Do You Investigate a Lane-Change Truck Collision?

If you want to sue for compensation for your injuries, you or your Philadelphia Truck Accident Attorney will have to gather evidence that shows what happened during the collision. You will use this evidence to build a case that shows who was at fault.

The evidence will include documents and possibly statements from witnesses. Usually, this will include the police report. Sometimes you may need photographs of the accident scene, statements from any eyewitnesses who saw the accident, and anything else that could show what happened and the road conditions at the time. You will also need to gather medical records to show your expenses, the extent of your injuries, and how your injuries are likely to affect you in the future.

An experienced personal injury attorney knows what evidence is most effective and knows how to get it, and he or she will be very helpful in guiding you through this important part of the process.

When Is the Truck Driver at Fault for a Lane-Change Accident?

Truck drivers have to be especially careful when changing lanes because they have large blind spots. They can’t see all of the road in their mirrors. Commercial truck drivers are required to get training in how to drive safely. Part of that training is about the blind spots. However, drivers may ignore their training for various reasons. If you can show evidence that they caused an accident because they were negligent, that’s an important step in showing they were partially or fully at fault.

What Makes a Truck Driver Negligent?

When the drivers of tractor-trailers or other large trucks are careless when changing lanes, then they may be negligent. Common reasons for negligent lane changes include falling asleep at the wheel, being distracted by a phone or other device, being impaired by alcohol or drugs, and speeding to meet a delivery deadline.

What Are Some Signs That a Truck Driver Was Negligent?

A truck driver’s behavior at the time of the collision can provide evidence that the driver may have been negligent when making a lane change. Some examples of unsafe behavior include:

  • Truck driver changed lanes without using a turn signal.
  • Truck driver was weaving between lanes.
  • Truck driver changed lanes inside an intersection.
  • Truck driver was going too fast for the road conditions and did not slow down for rain or snow, wet or slick road surfaces, fog or other conditions creating poor visibility, or nighttime driving.

When Is a Car Driver at Fault in a Lane-Change Collision With a Truck?

Although truck drivers are at fault most of the time when there’s a collision involving a car, that’s not always the case. Car drivers can be negligent for many of the same reasons that truck drivers can be negligent. A car driver who is overly tired, distracted, drunk or under the influence, or speeding can make careless mistakes that endanger other drivers on the road.

When car drivers change lanes in front of a tractor-trailer or other large truck, they should be aware that large trucks need more space to slow down or stop than a car does. The car driver should allow enough room for the truck to brake. Car drivers making lane changes should also avoid driving in a truck’s blind spots.

An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help

Showing who was at fault in a truck lane-change collision is complicated. You can get help by consulting a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in truck accident matters. If you or a loved one were injured in a collision with a large truck, the experienced attorneys at the Raynes & Lawn Law firm would be glad to talk to you. We have outstanding attorneys who appear regularly in lists of the top lawyers in the city, state, and country. We are all passionate about getting our clients everything they are legally entitled to. Just fill out the contact form on our website, or call us at (800) 535-1797, and we will get in touch with you.

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