As a driver, you have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others on the road. Failure to do so by not properly checking your blind spots before changing lanes or turning can have serious consequences. A blind spot collision is one where a driver fails to see another vehicle in their blind spot and hits them, causing a crash. Determining fault in these accidents can be complicated, so contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer for help.
What Is a Blind Spot Car Accident?
A blind spot car accident occurs when a driver fails to detect another vehicle occupying their blind spot, resulting in a collision. Your blind spots refer to areas around your vehicle that are difficult to see with your mirrors alone. When changing lanes or merging, these spots can obstruct your view of surrounding traffic, leading to an accident.
To avoid a blind spot collision, drivers should practice safe driving habits. Before changing lanes, utilize your mirrors and look over your shoulder to check for vehicles in adjacent lanes. Be wary of lingering in another driver's blind spot, as they may not see you before merging into your lane. When passing another vehicle, do so quickly and decisively to minimize time spent in their blind spot.
All parties involved share some fault in a blind spot accident. The driver changing lanes holds primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of the maneuver before doing so. However, the other driver should also remain alert to vehicles merging around them. Defensive driving techniques like maintaining a safe distance from other cars and continuous scanning of your mirrors and the road ahead can help prevent blind spot collisions for all motorists sharing the road.
In the aftermath of a blind spot accident, consult with a personal injury attorney to determine liability and the merits of your potential claim. They can advise you on recovering damages from the at-fault party to pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses resulting from the collision. With careful driving and the advice of legal counsel, we can work to reduce the frequency and impact of blind spot car accidents.
Common Causes of Blind Spot Accidents
Common causes of blind spot accidents typically include failure to properly check blind spots, unsafe lane changes, and improper vehicle positioning.
Drivers have a duty to check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning to identify any vehicles occupying those areas. Failure to do so can easily lead to a collision when the driver changes course into the path of another vehicle. Proper adjustment of mirrors and frequent blind spot checks must be performed to avoid this oversight and ensure safety for all vehicles sharing the roadway.
Unsafe or sudden lane changes also contribute to many blind spot accidents. When drivers abruptly change lanes without signaling their intention to do so, vehicles traveling in the same direction may be unable to avoid a collision, especially if they are located in the changing vehicle’s blind spot. For the safety of all motorists, lane changes should only be made when safe to do so while properly signaling your intention.
Finally, improper vehicle positioning plays a role in some blind spot accidents. When following too closely or driving alongside other vehicles, it becomes difficult for drivers to adequately view their blind spots. Maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and avoiding prolonged driving directly next to other cars helps ensure blind spots can be properly monitored, preventing potential collisions.
In summary, the common causes of blind spot accidents are typically failure to check blind spots, unsafe lane changes, and improper vehicle positioning. Exercising caution, signaling properly, and maintaining safe distances and positioning can help reduce the occurrence of these collisions.
Determining Liability in a Blind Spot Crash
Determining liability in a blind spot collision can be complicated. As the driver of the vehicle with the blind spot, you have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid colliding with other vehicles or pedestrians around you. Failure to do so could expose you to liability for damages.
Checking Blind Spots
It is incumbent upon drivers to check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning. Failing to check surrounding areas where your view is obstructed can constitute negligence. As the driver of the vehicle with the blind spot, you must turn your head to view adjacent lanes and your side mirrors to ensure no vehicles or pedestrians are in or approaching your blind spot. If a crash occurs after failing to check properly, you may face liability for resulting injuries and damages.
Use of Turn Signals
Once you have checked your blind spots and surrounding area, you must activate your turn signal to alert other drivers of your intention to change lanes or turn. Turn signals notify vehicles and pedestrians around you that you plan to maneuver your vehicle into an adjacent lane or turn onto another roadway. Failure to signal your intention before changing directions could also expose you to liability in a blind spot collision, as the other driver had no warning of your impending lane change or turn.
While other drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care, you should practice defensive driving techniques like maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, monitoring the speed and position of surrounding traffic, and anticipating potential hazards. Defensive driving requires constant vigilance and caution to avoid collisions from any direction, even in blind spots. Exercising prudent defensive driving methods can help prevent liability for damages in the event of a blind spot crash.
The key factors in determining liability in a blind spot collision are fulfilling your responsibilities as a driver to check blind spots, signal your intentions, and exercise caution to avoid potential hazards around your vehicle. Failure to do so could expose you to liability for resulting damages. By taking all reasonable steps to prevent a blind spot crash, you demonstrate the requisite level of care and minimize the likelihood of liability.
How a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A Houston car accident lawyer can help in several ways if you have been involved in a blind spot collision in Houston, Texas.
Investigating the Accident
An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into your collision to determine liability and who is at fault. They will collect evidence from the accident scene, review the police report, and interview any witnesses. Your lawyer will also examine the other driver’s actions and determine if they failed to properly check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning.
Handling Insurance Claims
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be complicated and frustrating. Your attorney will handle filing an insurance claim on your behalf and negotiating with the insurance adjusters to get you the maximum settlement possible. They are experienced in dealing with the tactics insurance companies use to reduce claim payouts.
Pursuing Legal Action if Necessary
If the insurance companies are not cooperative or do not offer you a fair settlement, your lawyer can initiate further legal action. They may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and vehicle repair or replacement costs. Lawyers also understand how to build a strong case to present in court with the goal of maximizing your compensation.
Advising You of Your Rights
You have certain rights after a car accident in Texas, and an attorney can advise you on the proper steps to take to protect those rights. This includes receiving medical attention promptly, reporting the accident to the police, not admitting fault, and retaining legal counsel. Your lawyer can also inform you about Texas’ statute of limitations for filing a claim, which is two years for most personal injury cases.
With an experienced Texas car accident lawyer handling your blind spot collision case, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while they work to determine liability, deal with insurance companies, and pursue the maximum compensation on your behalf. Their knowledge and experience significantly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.
Steps to Take After a Blind Spot Accident
After being involved in a blind spot accident, it is important to take the proper steps to protect yourself legally and financially.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety should be your top priority after any car accident. Seek medical care for any injuries right away. Not only will this ensure you get the treatment you need, but it will also provide official documentation of your injuries for insurance and legal purposes.
Call the Police
Contact the local police to report the blind spot collision. Explain the situation and have them dispatch officers to the scene. Request that an official police report be filed for the accident. Obtain the contact information for any witnesses as well.
Exchange your name, address, phone number, insurance details, vehicle information, and driver's license number with the other driver(s) involved. Take photos of their information as well.
Document the Scene
Use your phone or camera to take photos and videos of the vehicles involved, their positions after the crash, any traffic signs or signals, road conditions, and surround areas that could be relevant for determining fault. These will be important for insurance companies and if a lawsuit arises.
Contact Your Insurance
Promptly notify your auto insurance provider of the accident. Provide them the details of the collision including photos and videos. Cooperate fully with them as they investigate the incident and determine liability. Your insurance company can walk you through next steps for repairs or replacement of your vehicle.
Consider Legal Counsel
For a serious blind spot accident resulting in significant injuries and damages, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can conduct their own investigation, deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and determine if it is appropriate to pursue compensation through a legal claim. An attorney can advise you of your rights and options during this difficult time.
Blind Spot Car Accident FAQ
Blind spot accidents can be tricky to determine fault. Here are some common questions regarding blind spot car accidents:
Who is typically at fault in a blind spot collision?
The driver who fails to check their blind spot before changing lanes or turning is typically considered primarily at fault in a blind spot accident. However, other factors like reckless driving by the other driver or improper signaling can also contribute to fault. Fault is determined on a case by case basis.
What constitutes a driver's blind spot?
A driver's blind spot refers to the areas around a vehicle that are not visible in the driver's mirrors. Blind spots are located on both sides of the vehicle, typically just behind the driver in adjacent lanes. Drivers must physically turn their head to view blind spots before changing lanes.
What steps can drivers take to avoid blind spot collisions?
Drivers should take the following precautions to avoid blind spot accidents:
• Adjust mirrors for maximum visibility. Mirrors should be angled to minimize blind spots.
• Physically turn your head to check blind spots. Do not rely only on mirrors.
• Use turn signals before every lane change or turn.
• Be cautious around large vehicles like trucks and SUVs that have larger blind spots.
• Avoid lingering in another vehicle's blind spot. Either pass the other vehicle or hang back where you are more visible.
• Consider blind spot monitoring technology which alerts drivers if another vehicle is in their blind spot.
• Be vigilant for reckless driving behaviors like frequent, sudden lane changes which increase the risk of an accident.
• Leave a safe following distance and avoid tailgating other vehicles. This makes your own vehicle more visible and gives you more time to react in an emergency.
Following these responsible driving practices can help prevent blind spot collisions and make our roads safer for all. Drivers owe each other a duty of care to avoid reckless behaviors and prevent foreseeable accidents.
As you have seen, determining fault in a blind spot collision can be complicated with many factors to consider regarding each driver's actions and responsibility. The most important thing is that you speak with an experienced Houston car accident attorney to review the details of your specific crash. They can investigate the evidence, determine areas of fault, and advise you on the best steps to take to recover damages. While it may be tempting to accept an insurance settlement quickly, your long term well-being should be the priority. Don't let a careless driver's actions go without consequence or allow an insurance company to take advantage of the situation. Protect yourself, hold others accountable, and make sure your rights and needs are addressed so you can move on from this difficult time. The road to recovery starts with finding the right legal counsel for an injury in Houston. You owe that to yourself, call Fletcher Law today.