When driving on a road that has more than one lane going in the same direction, it is common for cars to merge in and out of lanes while trying to arrive to their destination.
Unfortunately, at times, people misjudge the distance between cars or do not pay close enough attention and hit another car while merging. If you are hit by a car while merging, the accident can result in serious damage to your car as well as severe injuries.
Those injuries can cause you to miss work, resulting in lost wages. On top of that you will likely be in need of costly medical care. The lost wages combined with mounting medical bills can cause your financial situation to spiral quickly out of control.
Fortunately, there are some legal options for those who find themselves in such a situation. A personal injury lawyer is an invaluable resource for those looking for legal help and should consulted before filing a claim.
Your lawyer can help you determine what your claim will require and walk you through this complex procedure. You may want to speak with an attorney if you have been hit by a vehicle on a specific highway.
Who's at Fault When You Are Hit By a Car While Merging
Fault will play a major role in whether you'll be able to file a personal injury claim after you're hit while merging. The driver who acted negligently will be the one who is at fault for the crash. This means that either the driver who merged or the driver who was already on the highway could both be at fault for the crash.
For example, if you recklessly merged onto a highway without signaling or yielding to traffic, you would likely be at fault for the crash and unable to file a personal injury claim against the other driver. On the other hand, if you merged properly and the other driver was texting or sped up unnecessarily and rear ended you, it's possible he would be at fault for the merging crash.
You can speak with a personal injury attorney to get a better idea as to who was actually at fault when you are hit by a car while merging.
Types of Injuries That Can Occur When You Are Hit By a Car While Merging
When you are driving down a road and someone hits you while merging, there are a number of injuries that one could sustain. The severity of the injuries oftentimes depends on the rate of speed at which the cars were traveling when the accident occurred.
Common injuries in a merging accident, depending on the severity of the accident include:
- broken bones
- neck injuries
- back injuries
- facial injuries
In severe cases, an accident may result in brain and head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries. Psychological injuries are another type of injury that must be considered, even if they can’t be determined physically.
Does It Matter Who Was Merging?
If you are hit by a car when merging, you may question whether or not it matters if you were the one merging during the accident. While the merging car is often the one at fault, this is not always the case.
For example, if the car that you ran into was going well above the speed limit so you could not properly estimate the time to merge, then the collision would not be your fault.
If you were in a three-lane highway and the car you hit was merging into the middle lane from the outside lane while you were merging into the middle lane from the inside lane, you may not be at fault.
In addition, if the car sped up while you were merging, this may be another scenario where you were not at fault even though you were the one merging.
So while oftentimes the merging car is the at fault driver, this is not always the case and every accident must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
If you were the one merging when the collision occurred, you may want to consider legal representation to help prove your innocence.
Differences in Fault When Rear Ended or Side Swiped
When hit in a car while merging, there are differences in fault when you are rear ended or side swiped. If you are side swiped while merging, where you were on the road and where the cars made impact will determine who is at fault.
For example, if you were in your own lane and a car merged into your lane and hit you while you were doing the speed limit, then that driver would be at fault.
If, on the other hand, you were speeding and rear ended a driver who merged into your lane, you would likely be at fault.
This is why it is so important to determine fault at the scene of the accident when a collision during merging is involved. Fault can vary greatly depending on the collision happened, who was merging, and where the point of impact was.
Filing a PI Claim Against a Person Who Hit You While Merging
If you were not at fault and you need to file a claim against the person who hit you while driving, there are a few things you need to do:
- Gather the necessary documentation to prove fault. If you cannot prove fault, the insurance agency will likely not approve your claim.
- Contact the insurance agency to report the accident and file a claim.
- Prove your damages, such as damages to your car, medical bills, lost wages, etc.
It is important to remember it is not in the insurance agency’s interests to pay you as much as you are entitled to. They will likely try to pay you as little as possible within the confines of the law.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were hit by another car while merging and you are unsure of what next steps to take, you may wan to talk to a personal injury attorney today.
A personal injury attorney will file the claim properly, ensuring all evidence is supplied and that the insurance company assumes liability for the damage to your vehicle, your lost wages, your medical bills, and your pain and suffering.
The attorney will know what laws you are protected by and the full amount of damages you are actually entitled to.