A common cause of a Middleton area car accident is when a driver carelessly attempts to merge into traffic or suddenly switches to another lane. Although merging accidents may only represent a small percentage of what causes car accidents, the results can often be devastating. Some of the more common scenarios include:
- Suddenly moving from parked position into traffic
- Making a lane change without signaling
- Crossing multiple lanes at once
- Drifting into the opposite lane of traffic
- Entering roadway from private driveway or road
- Merging too slowly from on ramp onto freeway into speeding traffic
- Suddenly cutting off drivers
- Executing an illegal turn
- Truck improperly merging onto roadway from shoulder area
There are many negligent drivers on the road who fail to use proper caution when changing lanes, signaling or when entering traffic from another roadway. At any time, an intoxicated motorist or a distracted driver using his or her cell phone can suddenly appear in your lane of traffic, causing you to take immediate evasive action if possible. As a cautious driver, always expect the unexpected and be on the lookout for motorists looking to enter your lane of traffic or merging into traffic.
Car Accident Disputed Liability Issues
When a merging accident occurs, liability may not always be so clear. Often, the other driver will claim that you were speeding or that you ran a red light, failed to stop at a stop sign or that your car tried to illegally merge. Sometimes there are no other witnesses to the accident and an investigating officer may conclude that fault cannot be determined or may assign equal liability or the wrong party as the one responsible.
Consulting with a car accident attorney is essential in disputed liability cases. Your attorney may retain an accident reconstruction expert in serious accident cases who can investigate the accident scene, check for skid marks, examine the damage to the vehicles and review the statements of the parties to determine liability. In Massachusetts, you may only collect compensation if you can prove that another party was at least 51% at fault, or you will not recover anything.
Also, your compensation will be reduced by your degree of culpability, if any. For example, if your damages are $100,000 but you are 40% at fault, you may recover only $60,000.
Compensatory Damages in a Merging Accident Case
Your attorney must demonstrate and prove your damages in any personal injury claim. An accident attorney does this by obtaining your medical records and bills, physician and therapist reports, economists, employment records, paystubs, affidavits from witnesses regarding your pain and suffering or how your injuries have affected your life, and school records if you were delayed in obtaining your degree.
Once the liability of another party is established to be at least 51%, you are entitled to the following damages:
- Lost earnings
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Possible punitive damages if the other party was grossly negligent
- Loss of consortium by your spouse
Even in cases of clear liability, trying to handle and settle your own injury case can cost you thousands in compensation that you could have obtained if you had retained an experienced car accident lawyer. Studies consistently show that injured claimants who retain personal injury lawyers recover far more in compensation with an attorney representing them, even accounting for legal fees.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Tim Houten is a Boston area car accident lawyer who has been handling motor vehicle accident cases for over 30 years. Trust your auto accident claim to an experienced personal injury lawyer who has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients over the years. Call Tim Houten today if you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident for a free, confidential assessment of your injury claim.