Unsafe Lane Changes
Dedicated Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Serving Massachusetts Riders
There are many different ways that a motorcycle accident can take place, whether in a bustling city or out on the open road. In one common scenario, motorcyclists may be injured due to another motorist’s unsafe lane change.
These collisions are often dramatic, and sudden, and can happen at high speed, leaving the victim with severe injuries and expenses, or even causing death. It can be hard to know why another driver engaged in an unsafe lane change. One of the services that we provide to our clients is gathering evidence and speaking with witnesses to obtain as much information as possible about the collision.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know about the topic:
- Unsafe lane changes by other motorists can lead to dramatic and sudden motorcycle accidents, often resulting in severe injuries or even death.
- Unsafe lane changes can be caused by distracted driving, poor weather conditions, reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated.
- Massachusetts law requires drivers to make lane changes safely and use turn signals.
- Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable in unsafe lane change accidents due to their smaller stature and limited physical protection.
- Following an unsafe lane change accident, it’s important to ensure safety, contact law enforcement, seek medical attention, exchange information with other drivers, document the scene, gather witness information, report to your insurance company, and preserve evidence.
- Shared liability and comparative fault regulations in Massachusetts can affect compensation for lane change accident victims.
- Massachusetts has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, and missing the deadline can impact your ability to seek compensation.
- Seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and pain and suffering in motorcycle accident cases.
A skilled Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorney at our firm can also negotiate with insurance companies and enlist expert witnesses in the process of fighting for your rights and seeking the compensation you may be owed.
What are Unsafe Lane Changes?
An unsafe lane change happens when a driver makes a lane change in a dangerous way or in violation of traffic safety laws that put other motorists at risk. They are incredibly common on the highway or when drivers are traveling at high speeds because everything takes place so quickly that it can be difficult for drivers to react to a sudden lane change in a safe manner.
Some of the primary reasons that drivers make unsafe lane changes include distracted driving activities like talking on the phone, surfing social media, eating, or adjusting the radio. Sometimes drivers make sudden lane changes because they are following a GPS service or navigation system and do not know where they are going.
Unsafe lane changes can happen as a result of poor driving conditions like winter storms and rain, which are incredibly common in Massachusetts. Although everyone is at risk of suffering injuries from an unsafe lane change, motorcyclists face more serious dangers because motorcycles can be more difficult to see in intersections as well as on the highway due to their smaller stature, and offer their passengers less physical protection in the event of a collision.
Some drivers cause unsafe lane changes due to reckless or aggressive driving maneuvers like speeding or tailgating, or because they are driving while intoxicated. It is also fairly common for unsafe lane change accidents to cause multi-vehicle accidents, as one driver may swerve into another lane in an attempt to avoid colliding with the driver making the unsafe lane change.
What is Massachusetts Law Regarding Lane Changes?
Massachusetts law requires drivers to stay in one lane on multi-lane roads. They must switch lanes only if it’s safe. Certain procedures are often required to prevent erroneous lane changes, even though the legislation doesn’t specify them.
For instance, drivers must scan blind areas and the lane they plan to transfer to for approaching vehicles. Drivers should avoid changing lanes near vehicles unless there’s enough spacing to avoid dangerous lane changes. Turn signals should also alert other drivers about lane changes.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Unsafe Lane Change Accidents?
Accidents caused by unsafe lane changes frequently happen when vehicles are traveling fast. This can lead to motor vehicles veering unpredictably and losing control, resulting in them overturning, colliding with other vehicles, crossing medians, or hitting objects. As a result, these accidents can lead to serious injuries.
- Head injuries cause trauma to the brain
- Injuries affecting the spinal cord
- Harm to internal organs
- Fractured limbs
- Loss of movement and sensation
- Injuries to the back and neck
- Loss of life
What to Do Following an Unsafe Lane Change Accident in Massachusetts?
Unsafe lane change accidents can be confusing and frustrating. To defend your rights, maintain safety, and ease the resolution, you must know what to do thereafter, whether you’re the perpetrator or the victim.
In Massachusetts, a structured approach following such an incident can make a significant difference in how the situation unfolds.
Ensure Safety First
Safety and well-being are the first priorities after an accident. Move vehicles to the side of the road if it is safe and feasible to avoid accidents and traffic congestion. And call 911 for police assistance and ambulatory purposes.
Contact Law Enforcement
In Massachusetts, it’s important to contact the police to report the accident. Law enforcement will arrive at the scene to assess the situation and create an accident report. This report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel severely injured, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. Some injuries might not be immediately apparent and can worsen over time. A medical evaluation can also provide documentation of injuries sustained due to the accident.
Share contact and insurance information with other accident drivers. Get names, addresses, phone numbers, license numbers, and insurance. Note the other vehicles’ makes, models, and license plates.
While interacting with the other driver and authorities, avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Stick to factual descriptions of the events and avoid speculation or assumptions.
Document the Scene
Document the accident if it is safe. Photograph car damage, placement, road conditions, signage, and skid marks. These visual records can support insurance claims and lawsuits.
Gather Witness Information
Collect accident witnesses’ contact information. Witnesses’ impartial accounts can help determine fault or liability.
Report to Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company about the accident promptly. Provide accurate and complete details about the incident. This will initiate the claims process.
Keep copies of medical records, repair estimates, and insurance correspondence relating to the accident. This documentation might help you get compensation for injuries and damages.
Consult Legal Advice
If the accident involves injuries, disputes over fault, significant property damage, or complex legal issues, consider consulting our trusted unsafe lane change attorney in MA. We can provide guidance on your rights, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Massachusetts DMV Reporting
Massachusetts law requires reporting to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 5 days if the accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. The DMV provides specific forms and guidelines for reporting these incidents.
Do Drivers Share Fault for an Unsafe Lane Change Accident in Massachusetts?
Lane change accidents can be simple or complicated, especially with several parties. In such circumstances, blame and joint liability might greatly affect your compensation. Understand shared liability if you’ve been in a Massachusetts lane change collision.
Unraveling Shared Liability
Some lane change accidents have apparent fault lines, others are more complicated. Multiple parties may share the blame for your injuries.
Complex Scenarios and Liability
Massachusetts victims may be indirectly involved in lane change accidents, making it difficult to determine fault. Imagine a driver recklessly changing lanes without signaling. Imagine a drunk motorist collides with the first during a lane change.
This accident causes a chain reaction that injures you. Complexities like this might make compensation for victims difficult. If your lane change accident involves several participants and complicated circumstances, see a lawyer immediately.
Modified Comparative Fault in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a modified comparative fault state, thus victims who share some fault may have their damages reduced accordingly. This legal framework can greatly impact accident victims, especially those merging lanes with a reckless driver.
If you’re unfamiliar with Massachusetts’ comparative fault laws, defendants may take advantage. Legal remedies are also limited if victims are more than 51% at fault for their injuries.
Seeking Legal Support for a Smooth Path Forward
Sharing liability and comparative blame regulations can be confusing, especially following a lane change accident. By receiving counsel quickly, you can protect yourself from legal maneuvers that could weaken your claim.
Our experienced lawyers can advise you, defend your rights, and assist you through the legal system to get a fair result.
What is Massachusetts’ Statute of Limitations for Unsafe Lane Change Accident Injury Claims?
If you’ve been wounded in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, you may want to file a Massachusetts personal injury claim. In this circumstance, knowing the state’s personal injury time limit is vital.
The personal injury time limit in Massachusetts is established in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 2A. According to this law, you have a span of three years to initiate a personal injury lawsuit after your accident.
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence or intent, you must submit a legal complaint within three years of the accident. This period starts ticking like a clock from the accident date.
What Will Happen If I Miss the Statute of Limitations?
The defendant may seek the court’s dismissal of your personal injury case if you file a complaint three years or more after the incident. They’ll argue that you missed the filing deadline.
The judge will likely abandon your case unless there’s a special situation. This means your case will be “time-barred,” and you can’t sue for your injuries, no matter how bad.
What Are the Exceptions to This Statute of Limitations?
In some instances, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 7 can increase the time restriction. The time limit countdown clock may stop or pause in some cases.
Minors and Mental Incapacity
Minors and mentally incapacitated people have a longer time limit. Instead, it begins when the minor turns 18 or the handicapped person’s mental state improves.
This implies that minors who sustain injuries at the hands of others have until their 21st birthday to file a personal injury lawsuit. Similarly, an incapacitated person will have three years after they are mentally restored to file a claim.
Defendant Living Outside Massachusetts
If the person you’re suing lives outside of Massachusetts, there’s another exception under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 9. If they leave the state for a period of time, that time they’re away won’t count towards the time limit.
So, if they move to another state for, say, six months after the accident and then return, those six months won’t be part of the time you have to file.
Concealed Actions or Fraud
Lastly, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 12 allows you to sue someone who intentionally hides their conduct or deceives you. These situations start the time limit when you detect their dishonesty. If they’ve been lying to you, your case won’t commence until you discover it.
How Can I Establish Negligence in My Unsafe Lane Change Accident Injury Claim?
You must prove that the other driver’s actions caused your injuries and financial difficulties. Our unsafe lane change attorney can prove their negligence caused the accident and build a solid case. We’ll build a personal injury case that:
Duty of Care
Each person driving a vehicle on the roads today has a duty to drive carefully. When they don’t fulfill this duty, they can be held financially responsible for any losses that result from their actions.
Breach of Duty
Our goal is to show that the party responsible for the accident didn’t meet their duty to be careful. For example, if another driver moves into your lane without using their signals, this goes against their duty to be careful.
We’ll show that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident that wounded you.
Lastly, our Massachusetts unsafe lane change attorney will say the incident caused financial issues. Medical bills, lost income, and repair receipts might show how the event affected you financially.
Why Do I Need an Unsafe Lane Change Attorney in Massachusetts?
Being involved in an unsafe lane change accident can quickly turn your life upside down. Navigating the aftermath, dealing with injuries, and seeking compensation can be complex and overwhelming.
Hiring our trusted unsafe lane change attorney in MA can provide crucial support and advantages during this challenging time. Here’s why you need one:
- Legal Experience. Unsafe lane change cases involve intricate laws and regulations. Our legal team understands the legal nuances, ensuring you don’t miss out on your rights due to lack of knowledge.
- Proving Fault. Determining who was at fault in a lane change accident can be tricky. Our personal injury attorney has the skills to analyze evidence, reconstruct the accident, and establish liability, making a compelling case on your behalf.
- Maximizing Compensation. Unsafe lane change accidents often lead to substantial medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. We know how to assess the full scope of your losses and negotiate for fair compensation.
- Insurance Negotiations. Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when they try to minimize payouts. Our Peabody unsafe lane change attorney can handle negotiations, ensuring you’re not taken advantage of and receive the compensation you deserve.
- Navigating Complex Cases. Some accidents involve multiple parties or complex circumstances. Our unsafe lane change attorney in MA can unravel intricate scenarios, identify responsible parties, and ensure you’re not left facing the aftermath alone.
- Litigation Experience. If negotiations fail, you might need to go to court. We can represent you effectively, presenting evidence and arguing your case persuasively.
- Statute of Limitations. Massachusetts has a statute of limitations for filing lawsuits after an accident. Missing this deadline could impact your ability to seek compensation. Our attorney ensures you meet these time limits.
- Reducing Stress. Dealing with injuries and legal matters simultaneously can be stressful. Having us allow you to focus on recovery while they handle legal procedures and negotiations.
Seeking Compensation After an Unsafe Lane Change Accident
In any type of motor vehicle accident, including motorcycle accidents, a plaintiff seeking compensation must show that the other driver owed him or her a duty of care and failed to drive his or her vehicle according to that duty. In general, motorists owe one another a duty to operate their vehicles with the same reasonable care that a prudent driver would use when faced with a similar situation.
This typically includes not engaging in distracted driving activities and following basic traffic laws. Most drivers would also use their turn signals and ensure that the path is clear before engaging in a lane change. Once you have proven that the other driver failed to drive with the appropriate level of care, you must show that you would not have been injured but for the defendant’s negligence.
The defendant can also provide evidence of your negligent conduct, such as your failure to abide by traffic laws. If the jury concludes that you are contributorily negligent, your recovery may be reduced or even barred altogether. The final phase of the lawsuit involves establishing the amount of damages that you are entitled to receive from the defendant.
Common types of damages that a plaintiff can seek include past and future estimated medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Because motorcyclists often face more serious and catastrophic damages, it is incredibly important for them to secure enough compensation to help them cover their future and ongoing medical care costs.
A diligent personal injury lawyer can help you ensure that you seek the full amount of compensation that you are owed.
Meet With a Diligent Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Massachusetts
If you were injured as the result of another driver’s unsafe lane change, a broadside collision, or another type of motorcycle accident, you probably have substantial expenses and injuries impacting your life.
At the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C., we have provided legal counsel to individuals in a wide variety of motorcycle accidents and are ready to assist you in seeking the case outcome that you deserve.
An experienced and compassionate lawyer at our firm is available to serve clients throughout Massachusetts, including in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Waltham, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Somerville, Brookline, and Peabody.