Who Is At Fault in a Merging Car Accident in Florida?
A merging car accident in Florida is quite common. If you have ever merged onto a highway at high speed, you know how stressful and dangerous it can be. There is almost an art form to merging onto busy highways. You need to drive fast enough to keep up with traffic yet go slowly enough to avoid hitting cars in front of you. Like any car accident, merging lanes can cause serious injury. But who is at fault? Many drivers believe the car merging is always at fault. Yet many drivers are forced to merge when they run out of room on the on-ramp, and the other drivers may not have time to safely adjust their speed or get out of the way. Are there exceptions? This article will detail who is most often at fault in the eyes of the law in Florida. We will also cover reasons why merging accidents occur, exceptions to the normal laws, and more.
Who Is at Fault in a Florida Merging Accident?
Usually, the driver merging is found at fault in the eyes of the law. The same is true when a driver changes lanes. Traffic laws state the merging driver must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. If the driver crashes into another car while merging, they will generally be blamed.
It may seem frustrating when you are trying to merge onto a busy highway. The drivers in the lane closest to you may be able to easily move over and let you in. While this is considered a courtesy to let merging drivers in, it’s not required.
Exceptions to Merging Laws
Although the driver who was merging is most often blamed, there are exceptions to the law. If your case involved any of the following exceptions, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any damages or injuries you suffered.
Sometimes, an overly aggressive driver may hit a merging driver on purpose. They may feel wronged, as though the merging driver was “cutting them off.” Aggressive drivers may be held accountable for such an accident, but it may be difficult to prove. Most police officers will assume you, as the merging driver, did not take the correct precautions.
Another possible exception occurs when a driver is changing lanes while you are merging. Drivers breaking the law may also be held accountable for merging accidents, even if they were not changing lanes at the time.
Some of these exceptions include:
- The other driver was speeding
- The other driver was texting or otherwise distracted
- The other driver was under the influence of alcohol or another substance
- The other driver drifted into you
In these cases, the other driver may be considered at fault because their behavior created a dangerous situation. A Florida car accident attorney may help you determine who was at fault in your merging accident. After reviewing your case, you may be eligible for financial compensation if the other driver was at fault.
Most Common Causes of Merging Accidents in Florida
Several factors can cause a merging car accidents. Some of the possible causes include:
The Vehicle Merged Too Slowly
Merging drivers should get their cars up to normal traffic speed before merging. If the driver is traveling below the posted speed limits, they may cause an accident by disrupting the regular flow of traffic.
Not Signaling While Merging
Some drivers think merging is obvious to other drivers, so signaling is unnecessary. You still need to signal to let other drivers know when you plan to merge. It may not be obvious to other drivers when traveling at high speeds.
This bears repeating. The other drivers are not legally required to let you in. As the merging driver, it is your responsibility to pick a safe time to merge. If you swing your car into the merging lane without regard for other drivers, you could be responsible for any accidents.
Cutting Across Multiple Lanes
When merging, stay safe and merge one lane at a time. Suddenly cutting across multiple lanes of traffic can put several drivers at risk of serious injury.
Start Your Free Florida Merging Car Accident Case Evaluation Today
Were you or a loved one injured in a merging car accident in Florida that you did not cause? Our Florida car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can examine the details of your case and help determine whether you have grounds for filing a claim or lawsuit against the other driver. We can determine who is at fault in the merging car accident.
If you suffered injuries because of your accident, you may be struggling to pay your medical bills. You may also be unable to work because of your injuries. If another negligent driver harmed you, you have a right to seek justice. Call Florida personal injury lawyer from our offices today at (954) 633-8270 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.