Who Is at Fault for a Changing Lanes Car Accident?

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With millions of drivers on the road each day, the rules of the road are extremely important. What happens when an accident occurs while someone is changing lanes? Who is at fault? Our Illinois car accident lawyers explain.

Who has fault for a changing lanes car accident in Illinois?

The party at fault for a changing lanes car accident is usually the party changing lanes at the time of the crash. Illinois law says that a driver may change lanes only when they have the space to do so safely. In addition, a driver must signal to notify other drivers of their intent to make a lane change.

Laws for changing lanes in Illinois

There are several laws that apply to lane changes on the roads in Illinois. A person who breaks a law may be at fault for a car accident.

  • Room to Change Lanes – A driver must drive entirely within a single lane as much as they can. They may not change lanes until they can do so safely (625 ILCS 5/11-709)
  • Signaling – A driver must signal before changing lanes (625 ILCS 5/11-804(b))
  • Right of Way Laws – Right of way laws determine who has the right to be in a lane or in an intersection. A driver who causes an accident by failing to yield may be legally liable (625 ILCS 5/11-901 et. all)
  • Sudden stopping – Drivers may not suddenly stop or brake without signaling to the driver in the back when they are able to do so (625 ILCS 5/11-804(C))
  • Following too closely – A driver may not follow too closely to a vehicle in front of them. (625 ILCS 5/11-710)

For the most part, the Illinois rules of the road require a driver to make sure that that they have room to execute a lane change before doing it. They must have the right to enter the lane, signal before moving and make sure they can avoid hitting others.

There are some circumstances where the driver in the lane may be at fault. One circumstance is if they are speeding. Also, they may not suddenly slam on their brakes unless they are evading a hazard. In addition, multiple drivers may be trying to make an improper lane change at the same, in which case fault may be shared.

How to determine fault for lane change accidents in Illinois?

To determine fault for lane change accidents in Illinois, damage on the vehicles can be telling. Witness testimony may also be key to showing what each driver was doing at the time leading up to the crash. Illinois law allows for shared fault, which apportions legal liability among the parties if there is more than one person responsible for an accident.

How can an attorney help me?

Have you been in a lane-change accident? Do you need help to determine legal liability? Are you wondering how to get the compensation that you deserve?

Our car accident lawyers help people like you every day. Let us help you investigate, evaluate the law and make a claim on your behalf. We help individuals make claims, use their legal rights and receive the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today.

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