Improper Lane Change Accidents
Florida drivers generally understand that they should take certain steps before changing lanes, but not all people abide by the law. While some people evade the rules without consequences, many motorists who make improper lane changes cause collisions. Crashes that arise out of careless lane changes can cause significant physical and economic harm, and victims of these accidents are often owed substantial damages. If you were hurt in an improper lane change accident, the Boca Raton car accident lawyers at The Grife Law Firm can provide you with strong arguments to help you pursue any compensation that you may be able to recover. We regularly represent people hurt in car accidents and possess the skills and experience needed to obtain favorable results.Florida Laws Regarding Lane Changes
Florida Statute 316.089 codifies the procedures that drivers should employ prior to changing lanes. Specifically, it states that motorists must stay within a single lane of travel on any road that is divided into two or more lanes, and they cannot move into another lane unless they have determined that they can do so safely. It also dictates that drivers must obey any traffic control device that prohibits lane changes on certain sections of the road. Similarly, Florida Statute 316.085 bars drivers from moving into another lane unless a driver is confident that no cars are approaching in either direction and that the move can be safely made without interfering with any other driver. Finally, Florida Statute 316.55 states that a motorist must activate a vehicle’s turn signal for at least 100 feet prior to changing lanes.Liability for Crashes Caused by Improper Lane Changes
People who suffer injuries or losses in a car crash can seek damages from the at-fault party in a civil lawsuit. Before recovering compensation, though, a plaintiff must prove a defendant’s liability. In cases arising out of improper lane change accidents, this is typically done by demonstrating that the defendant acted negligently.
In Florida, a plaintiff arguing that a defendant should be held accountable under a negligence theory must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. In many instances, the obligations imposed on the defendant will arise out of a statute, such as those that dictate the safety measures that drivers should take when changing lanes. The plaintiff then must prove that the defendant’s behavior constituted a failure to uphold the obligations imposed. For example, if a driver changes lanes without using a turn signal, it may constitute a violation of Florida Statute 316.55.
The plaintiff must not only prove that the defendant breached a duty owed to the plaintiff but also prove that the breach led to the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, the plaintiff must show that they suffered injuries or other quantifiable losses due to the defendant’s inadequate care.
Even if the cause of an accident is clear, a defendant will often argue that a plaintiff was at least partly at fault and therefore should receive reduced compensation. Under Florida’s comparative fault law, codified at Florida Statute 768.81, plaintiffs who were partly at fault may still be awarded damages. Any compensation awarded will merely be diminished in proportion to the percentage of the plaintiff’s liability.Speak With a Skillful Boca Raton Attorney
Florida drivers must abide by traffic laws, but many collisions are caused by drivers carelessly disregarding their responsibilities when changing lanes. If you were hurt in an improper lane change accident, you might be owed damages from the driver who caused the accident. At The Grife Law Firm, our car accident lawyers are well-versed in what it takes to prove liability in lawsuits against negligent drivers. If we represent you, our attorneys will work vigorously to help you seek a favorable result. Our office is located in Boca Raton, and you can reach us via our form online or by calling us at 855-998-0770. We regularly assist people in car accident cases in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.