A large number of the car accidents that happen every year on Florida’s roads are caused by commercial trucks. When this happens, the people in the smaller car may be lucky to be able to walk away from the scene. Many of these accidents result in catastrophic injuries that could affect you not just physically, but mentally and economically as well.
One common source of these accidents is unsafe lane changes. These careless maneuvers are usually the result of negligent driving on the part of the trucker. As such, West Palm Beach truck accidents caused by unsafe lane changes can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by an unsafe lane change, a determined truck collision lawyer may be able to help. They could work on your behalf to investigate the claim, engage in settlement negotiations, and press insurance companies for every dollar of compensation to which you may be entitled.
When is a Lane Change Unsafe?
Any lane change that a driver makes without carefully checking for other vehicles is unsafe. This is especially true for drivers of commercial trucks or other large vehicles.
All vehicles have blind spots, typically located to the side and rear of the car. For passenger vehicles, mirrors largely mitigate these spots and allow a driver almost total awareness of their surroundings. Unfortunately, this is not the case for truck drivers. Even with the most well-aligned mirrors, a trucker cannot possibly see everything that surrounds them at any given time.
To make a proper lane change, a trucker should use their mirrors, manually look to where they wish to move or even slow down to gain a better view of their surroundings. Of course, they must also signal to give any nearby vehicles adequate warning of their intent to change lanes in order to avoid West Palm Beach truck accidents caused by unsafe lane changes.
The Legal Consequences of an Unsafe Lane Change
An unsafe lane change is a traffic violation under Florida law. Any person who changes a lane without signaling may receive a ticket—in fact, this is often a best-case scenario.
Unfortunately, unsafe lane changes can often result in collisions. Although accidental, this sort of driving is negligent and can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
To that end, if a trucker is involved in an accident and cited for an unsafe lane change by the responding police officer, an injured person may have a very strong case. This is because of the legal concept known as negligence per se. In short, this concept means that if a driver is cited for a traffic violation in direct relation to an accident they were involved in, the defendant driver is assumed by law to be legally liable for the accident.
While many of these cases can seem straightforward, all people should be aware that there is a strict time limit to file a claim. According to Florida Statute §95.11(3), any claim alleging negligence must be filed in court no more than four years from the date of the accident.
Truck Accidents Caused by Unsafe Lane Changes in West Palm Beach Can Change Someone’s Life
Truck accidents rarely end well for people in smaller passenger cars. Their vehicles are usually total losses, and they may be fortunate to avoid serious injuries. No matter the type or extent of their injuries, though, injured truck accident victims have the right to be compensated after truck accidents caused by unsafe lane changes.
An attorney that has experience with West Palm Beach truck accidents caused by unsafe lane changes may be able to help. They could help you gather the evidence in the case, engage in settlement negotiations, and even take the case to trial if that is what is necessary to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact a lawyer today to schedule a consultation and start discussing your options.