Improper Merging Accidents
Many people in Southern California spend a lot of time on the road, especially on the congested freeways. Although drivers are taught to drive defensively, the daily grind or simply being late to where they are going may cause them to forget the principles of safe driving. They may weave in and out of traffic because they are late for a meeting, or they may be aggressive when driving onto the freeway. Improper merging accidents may cause serious injuries. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys may be able to help victims of these crashes bring lawsuits for damages.Taking Legal Action After an Improper Merging Accident
Under California Vehicle Code section 22107, California drivers are not supposed to turn or change lanes to the right or left unless they can make these movements with reasonable safety, and they have given the appropriate signal. Improper merging is often a result of a failure to signal and a failure of a driver to look in their blind spot to make sure that there are no vehicles there. Simply failing to use a turn signal is not a violation of the California Vehicle Code, but not using the turn signal when others might be affected is.
Violations of section 22107 may be evidence of negligence or even negligence per se. In an ordinary negligence claim, it may be difficult to establish another driver's failure to use reasonable care. Sometimes the other driver may deny that they failed to signal, or they may claim that the accident victim sped up and that this was the cause of the accident. When there is a citation for a violation of section 22107, however, the other driver will have less leeway to argue that an accident was your fault. After an improper merging accident, it is important to wait for the police and to try to get other witnesses who know that there was a failure to signal to also give their accounts. If a failure to signal was not at issue, you will need to establish another negligent act that made the merging improper. For example, some drivers are too aggressive when they merge onto the freeway and fail to give proper deference to vehicles already moving at a particular speed in the far right-hand lane. A merging driver's aggressiveness may result in a collision.
When an at-fault driver is given a citation for a safety-related California Vehicle Code violation, negligence per se may apply. This is a doctrine that applies when a safety law was violated, the violation was the legal cause of an accident, and the law was designed to guard against the type of accident and injuries that resulted.
If you can establish liability for improper merging, you may recover compensatory damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills, lost income, household services, vocational rehabilitation, and any other losses that arise from the accident.Retain an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation if you were hurt as a result of an improper merging accident. You should contact us immediately after a crash and before speaking to an insurer for an at-fault driver. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Our firm also represents people in Riverside, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino, among other Southern California cities.