Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Illegal or reckless lane changes and right of way issues are common in motorcycle accident cases. A motorcycle, being much smaller and more vulnerable than a passenger car, is at a serious disadvantage when they collide. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to assist people in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding cities who have been injured or lost loved ones due to the careless lane changes of the drivers around them.Bringing a Negligence Claim against a Careless Driver
A motorcycle accident victim may be able to file a negligence lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. There are four steps to proving a negligence case resulting from an unsafe lane change accident. The defendant must have owed the rider a duty, the defendant must have breached that duty, the rider must have been hurt as a result, and reasonably quantifiable damages must have stemmed from the crash. Each of these elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it is more likely than not to be true. At its core, negligence simply means that someone failed to act in a reasonable manner, thereby causing harm to another person.
Some of the ways that drivers may act negligently when changing lanes include:
- Not paying attention to traffic and “losing” the motorcycle in his or her blind spot;
- Speeding, aggressive driving, impaired driving, or distracted driving;
- Incorrectly estimating the cyclist’s speed, distance, or braking ability; or
- Simply forcing the rider out of his or her lane without warning.
In each of these instances, a motorcycle rider who is hurt may be entitled to damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, the costs of future treatment, and property damage. In cases in which a cyclist is killed, his or her family may be able to assert a claim for wrongful death, seeking damages such as funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and lost net earnings to the estate.
It is important to contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible after a fatal or serious accident. There are several reasons for this, including the possibility that spoliation of evidence will occur in the absence of an advocate for the victim. Moreover, the statute of limitations restricts the period within which most personal injury or wrongful death claims may be filed. There may also be other issues of timeliness, such as notice requirements if a claim is to be made against a city, county, or other governmental entity.
Having an attorney involved in your case from the outset also can help you prepare for the potential defenses that the motorist may raise, including a claim of comparative fault. Under this doctrine, a driver who can successfully cast part of the blame for a crash onto an injured rider may be entitled to a proportionate reduction in the amount of damages owed.Enlist a Pembroke Pines Attorney for Your Motorcycle Accident Case
If you or a loved one have been struck by a careless driver in the Pembroke Pines area, you should not hesitate to consult the motor vehicle collision lawyers at Cohn & Smith. Call 954-431-8100 or contact us online and ask for a free consultation. We accept most cases on a contingency fee basis so that no legal fees are owed unless and until the case is concluded in your favor. We can represent victims and their families throughout South Florida, including in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Coral Springs, and Aventura.