I got into an accident when I was changing lanes and the other person hit me. Am I completely at fault?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Orange, CA

I was driving in the middle lane, and the other party was in my left lane. I would say she was about 3 car lengths behind me. In front of us, the light had just turned green, so there were cars in front of us at a near stand still though starting to move slowly. I wanted to change lanes into the left lane, so I put my blinker on and, because there were cars moving slowly in front of me, I slowly merged into the lane at about 25 mph. However, the woman continued to keep driving straight, and collided with my car. She obviously wasn't paying attention to the road in front of her since she didn't notice that a car was merging into the lane slowly and she didn't even bother to slow down despite the fact that there were other cars at a stand still in front of that. I live in CA.

Additional information

There was no police report and she hit me on the side of my car, on the drivers car door.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Although the police report usually pins all the blame on one party, cases like yours highlight the fact that often, if not in most cases, fault is shared. You don't mention exactly where her car hit yours, but if she struck the rear end of your car she would probably be found to have some fault for failing to monitor what was going on in front of her. On the other hand if your cars contacted on their sides, it would be less likely that fault would be placed on her. Don't be shy about talking to your insurer and explaining your position.

  2. Pajman Jassim

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    7

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    Answered . If i were you i wouldn't post too much more on a public website that could be used against you in litigation. You should consult an attorney, our office provides fee consultations.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between Jassim & Associates or any of its attorneys.... more
  3. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds to me like you may have a case here. Were you injured? Was there damage to your car? Is there a police report and do you have it ? Most of the attorneys in California offer free consultations so you should give one of us a call so that you can dig further into this.

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-... more
  4. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you saw the woman driving and you merged in front of her thinking she might stop and she did not, then you may be at fault. She may also be partly at fault. It's time to turn this matter to your insurance company. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492.... more
  5. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . address this with your insurance carrier and they will take over and resolve any claims against you. You may also want to contact a personal injury attorney

  6. Ryan M. Finn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Always tough to evaluate in these situations because she will claim she was looking straight ahead and you swerved into her. But, assuming the facts proven show she could have avoided the accident, then certainly she could be partially at fault. Since you changed lanes it is almost impossible to think that you would be held faultless. In NY we have a comparative fault system that would allocate the relative degrees of fault.

    Ryan Finn * 518.213.0115 * Rfinn@hackermurphy.com * Referrals are the highest form of compliment
  7. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is hard to tell from the facts as to who is at fault. A careful review of the facts needs to occur. Contact a local attorney to consult with.

  8. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The car accident in which a person is rear-ended is called a "rear ender" by personal injury attorneys. This little nickname is a result of our desire for these kinds of cases as liability (meaning who is at fault) is almost always a slam dunk... the driver who plowed into the back of the care is almost always at fault. If the driver of the rear-ended car is physically harmed, then the case is probably not going to be about "winning" but how much will be "won."

    The victim of a rear-ender needs to do the following: First - immediately get medical attention. Second - hire a personal injury attorney. We personal injury type lawyers offer free consultations and take cases on a contingent (meaning our client does not pay unless he or she "wins" money).

    If the collision is almost a rear-ender, as in someone changing lanes, liability may not be as obvious, but liability is not determined by an insurance adjuster or even a police report... the Court will determine based on evidence presented by attorneys.

    No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.

    Since we offer free consultations, there really is nothing to fear in calling us.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  9. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no way to determine fault from a short Avvo posting, thus, call a local lawyer to discuss. You can call one of the above attorneys or use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

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