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Who's at fault in a merging accident?

Vista, CA |

My husband got into an accident on a three lane street, the middle lane used for turning. He had just passed the yellow line to get into the middle lane to turn left when he hit a car behind him that had gone into that lane a second after he checked his mirrors.

I'm just confused that our insurance company is saying we are at fault even though the other driver crossed the yellow line, which isn't safe driving. They said we hit them because they "owned the lane." So in the future I should hold up traffic and let the drivers behind me go into the turn lane first?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Your husband would have had an obligation to not cut in front of a vehicle that was in lane. I think that that is what your insurance is saying. Much of this depends the very specific facts of when your husband started into the lane and where the other vehicle was when he started into the lane.

  2. Sounds like a case of disputed liability. Let your insurance carrier sort it out.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.

  3. Hire a lawyer ASAP and do not give any statements until you do. This could be a comparative negligence situation where you and the other driver are both partially at fault. It's complicated so get a lawyer.

  4. I agree with Pittman. You may want to consult with a traffic attorney to review your case and receive professional legal counsel.

  5. There is no way to determine fault from a short Avvo posting, but have a local car accident lawyer review. Also, insurance companies try to get out of paying whenever they can, so never listen to an insurance company.

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