If another driver caused an accident that injured you, you deserve full compensation.
That means compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering, among other components of damages.
If you or the other driver was changing lanes during the accident, however, you have to prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault. And that could be challenging.
Lane Change Accidents and Fault: Alabama’s Draconian Contributory Negligence System
In many accidents, more than one party is at fault for the accident. How should a court apportion damages when both drivers are at fault?
In most other states, a court will divide damages between the parties depending on their relative fault (65% at fault vs. 35% at fault, for example).
In Alabama, however, a court won’t award you any compensation if you were even 1% at fault for the accident.
To win, you have to prove that the other driver was 100% at fault. This matters just as much in negotiations with the insurance company as it does in court.
The insurance isn’t likely to pay any claim that they could defeat in court. You may find 100% fault very difficult to prove without an attorney, especially with the other side examining the evidence to prove you were at least partially at fault.
Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident While Changing Lanes?
So who is at fault in a car accident caused by changing lanes? Typically (but not always), an accident is the fault of the driver who was changing lanes.
If the other driver caused your accident while changing lanes, you might prove that they had an obligation to yield but failed to do so.
This interpretation is particularly likely if the other driver caused the accident by trying to muscle into your lane during, say, merging.
A Car Hit Me While Changing Lanes. How Do I Prove It?
In law, you could say that nothing is true except what you can prove. The following evidence is frequently useful when trying to prove a car accident claim:
- Photos of damage to the vehicles, the scene of the accident, and road conditions—even the nature of the damage can tell you something about how the accident happened;
- Surveillance videos from nearby businesses that might have captured the accident on film;
- Eyewitness statements or party admissions on body cam;
- The police accident report (usually not admissible in court except for party admissions, but often useful in other ways);
- Black Box data from the involved vehicles;
- Forensic examination and data download of the other driver’s cell phone data to prove he or she was a distracted driver;
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.
Long experience has endowed our car accident attorneys with the knowledge of how to prove fault and build a strong case with the evidence that is available.
We’ve Got You Covered
If you have been injured in an Alabama car accident, you might not know where to turn. It’s not enough to be the victim of someone else’s negligence.
You have to be able to prove it with admissible evidence. And you deserve full compensation for all your losses, not just some of them.
That’s OK, because we’ve been doing this for over four decades now, and our clients are our mission. Contact Fob James Law Firm by calling 205-407-6009 or by contacting us online.