If you find yourself involved in a car accident caused by unsafe lane changes in Aurora, Illinois, you have the option to take legal action against the party you believe to be responsible for your losses if you can prove their negligence caused your injuries and losses.
For a free consultation regarding your case with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, call (800) 223-5115.
Defining an Unsafe Lane Change
When you first took your driver’s test, you likely had to report back on what all manner of different road markings meant. No matter how long ago that initial test was, you likely remember that double lines on a road mean that you cannot pass, whereas dashed lines on the road allow you to do so without legal consequence.
Changing lanes unsafely violates the implicit laws set forth by those roadway patterns. Similarly, if you try to change lanes without signaling, or if you change lanes while too close to another driver, you have changed lanes unsafely.
Put another way, if another driver tries to pass you on the road and must cross a solid line to do so, then the driver can be ticketed for an unsafe lane change. Should that behavior result in an accident, you could pursue legal action against the party you believe to be liable for any losses you suffer in that accident.
Why, though, are unsafe lane changes considered offenses worthy of a ticket? Because when a driver tries to change lanes without considering the safety of drivers nearby, they violate another implicit roadway contract—that of drivers’ duty of care.
Duty of care in Illinois notes that when you get onto the road, you have a responsibility to provide the other drivers around you with an ordinary degree of care. At a minimum, this means you should not deliberately endanger those other drivers and any pedestrians you might come across while trying to reach your destination. Crossing a solid line or even failing to signal as you change lanes can be considered a violation of your duty of care, especially if such behavior causes an accident.
Unsafe Lane Changes and DUIs
Unsafe lane changes can be deliberate, but they can also be the result of a driver’s choice to take to the road while intoxicated. Drivers who get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated in Illinois can face legal consequences as set forth by 625 ILCS 5/11-501. This statute notes that drivers under the influence of either alcohol or drugs can face more complex consequences for their behaviors while on the road.
As such, a driver who engages in an unsafe lane change and proves to be driving under the influence at the scene of an accident – or, say, upon getting pulled over – could be held liable for any losses you suffer as a direct result of their behavior.
How an Unsafe Lane Change Differs from Improper Lane Usage
The terms “unsafe lane change” and “improper lane usage” are used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. As mentioned, unsafe lane changes involve a driver’s decision to:
- Fail to signal while changing lanes
- Violate roadway law by crossing over a solid line to pass another car
- Ignore roadway signage preventing passing or changing lanes while on a specific road
Again, improper lane usage can include all of the above instances. However, charges involving improper lane usage can also include instances wherein a driver chooses to drive on the wrong side of the road, either while intoxicated or sober.
You have the option to pursue legal action, whether an insurance company or attending legal representatives deems your accident to be due to an unsafe lane change or improper lane usage.
You can also discuss the differences between these driving behaviors with a Pintas & Mullins Law Firm representative to determine whether your case’s classification changes the avenues through which you may pursue compensation.
Responding to an Unsafe Lane Change Accident
As mentioned, an Aurora car accident caused by unsafe lane change accident lawyer can work with you after such an accident to help you determine what legal actions may suit you. Should the party you believe to be liable for your losses fail to approach you with a settlement, as touched on before, then you have legal paths you can take. These include:
Crafting a Demand Letter
If you want to try and come to a settlement arrangement without going to court, then you can draft a demand letter. In this letter, you can outline to the party you believe to be liable for your losses the evidence you have on hand establishing them as liable as well as calculations reflecting your preferred compensation, which would be based on the damages you endured during your accident.
Demand letters are only effective if the party you reach out to wishes to discuss the accident with you. However, should your demand letter receive a response, you can work with an Aurora car accident caused by unsafe lane change accident lawyer to negotiate for a settlement that meets your needs.
Filing a Complaint
If you do not receive a response to your demand letter, or if you find you cannot come to an agreement with the other party involved in your accident, then you might want to end negotiations and move to file a complaint with the civil court in your area.
Complaints work similarly to demand letters, as they allow you to identify the liable party to a judge and attending legal representatives. However, as implied, a complaint goes to those representatives, meaning that they, should they choose to bring your case forward, are responsible for summoning the party you believe to be liable for your losses forward to face legal consequences.
For a free legal consultation with a Unsafe Lane Change Accidents Lawyer serving Aurora, call (800) 223-5115
Working with an Aurora Car Accident Caused by Unsafe Lane Change Accident Lawyer
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can take the legal responsibilities of post-accident life off your shoulders, even as you choose to fight for compensation for your losses. We can manage your case from beginning to end and keep you updated on all developments.
If you are considering pursuing legal action in your accident, keep in mind you have two years to file a lawsuit under Illinois’ statute of limitations, which can be found at 735 ILCS 5/13-202. We will make sure your suit is filed with the court on time so that you will not miss your chance to pursue compensation.
To schedule a free case consultation today, call (800) 223-5115.