Many reasons exist why you must merge on a Georgia freeway, whether changing lanes or getting onto the highway. These actions lead to severe injuries and devastation for victims. To recover compensation, you must establish the other driver’s legal responsibility for your injuries and losses.
Proving liability is complex in an Atlanta freeway merge accident because these accidents happen quickly and at high speeds making fault challenging. The driver who merges into a lane is typically at fault, but you must speak to an Atlanta freeway merge accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates.
How Does a Merging Driver Cause an Accident?
Many driver actions can cause a freeway merge accident, and depending on what they are, your injuries will be devastating and catastrophic. Merging freeway drivers cause accidents when they:
- Fail to check the side and rear-view mirror
- Fail to check blind spots
- Fail to signal when merging
- Using their cell phone or other distractions
- Not matching their speed to surrounding vehicles on the freeway
A general disregard for traffic rules is another reason these and other vehicle collisions happen. Even if the reason for the accident seems obvious, you need substantial evidence and an Atlanta freeway merge accident attorney.
Get the strong arm
Who Is at Fault During a Sideswipe Accident?
Fault is the critical element in a lane-change freeway accident, and the at-fault driver is the person who owes you a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner to prevent injuries. All drivers owe each other this duty, so establishing it is typically easy.
The merging driver is almost always at fault. They owe other drivers a responsibility to check their mirrors and blind spots before merging or moving into traffic. Examining evidence is vital to identifying the at-fault party and making them pay for your losses.
Is The Driver Who Changes Lanes Always at Fault?
Drivers can merge onto the freeway, but they will also merge into other lanes on the freeway, and the driver switching lanes is usually at fault. However, when determining fault, the authorities and insurance companies will consider the actions of both drivers and can blame you for contributing to the collision. There are some instances where the driver not merging is at fault, like when:
- They are slow to block the merging driver
- Speeding to prevent the merging driver
- Brake checking the merging driver
- Tailgating to avoid a merge
- Failing to adjust their speed
If you are merging on the freeway and the driver in the lane you are merging onto causes a collision, they are at fault. Conversely, if a merging driver strikes you, they can use these examples to shift partial blame to you.
How Do You Determine Fault?
Determining fault involves collecting evidence of the collision, starting with statements from both drivers. However, the insurance company will consider these statements but will not take your word for it. They want concrete evidence of what you are alleging.
Our Atlanta freeway merge accident lawyers will collect and review evidence like:
- Police accident reports
- Medical records
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photos and videos
- Dashcam footage
- Forensic accident reconstruction reports
After reviewing the evidence, we will argue your claim and get fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Partial fault does not prevent you from collecting payment so long as the partial responsibility is less than 50%.
What if the Insurance Company Blames You?
Since these accidents are complex, the insurance company will take advantage and blame you fully or partially. The insurance company is spreading the blame so they don’t have to pay you for your damages or can lower them as much as possible. If they can partially blame you, then they can pay you less.
You can prevent these actions by speaking with an Atlanta freeway merge accident lawyer who will present evidence contrary to what the insurance company alleges and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How Does the Insurance Process Work?
Many of our clients will file an insurance claim and expect the insurance company to provide compensation covering vehicle repairs and medical expenses immediately. Unfortunately, what you will encounter is significant pushback from the insurance company. They will swiftly negotiate a low settlement and convince you that your injuries will heal in a few weeks.
You are working with the at-fault drivers’ insurance company, not yours, which will make the process challenging. Instead, you should file your insurance claim with an Atlanta car accident lawyer who will negotiate a fair settlement and handle the pushback from the insurance company.
Are There Damages Available for a Freeway Merge Accident?
As the victim of a collision, you can demand fair compensation for your losses in a freeway merge accident. Every loss you suffer, no matter how minuscule you believe it is, the insurance company must reimburse you for it when their insured causes you injuries. The insurance company will try to stick to providing compensation for medical bills and property damage, but you can recover payment for emotional and physical damages.
Compensatory damages are losses you have stemming from the collision, and your Atlanta freeway merge accident lawyer will calculate these. Non-economic damages are different because there is no set monetary value for emotional distress and chronic pain. In cases of egregious negligence, you can also seek punitive damages.
Discuss your options with John Foy & Associates.
When Should I Call a Freeway Merge Accident Attorney?
Many Atlanta drivers avoid calling personal injury attorneys because they believe the insurance company will handle the entire process. The insurance company should treat victims with compassion and care, but they do not. They only look for dollar signs.
If you’re wondering if it is the right time to call an Atlanta freeway merge accident attorney, ask yourself if someone else is responsible, and review the severity of your injuries and how they will impact your future. If you determine your injuries and losses significantly impact your future, it is time to call the Strong Arm at John Foy & Associates for an initial consultation.