If you or a loved one in Rutherfordton have recently been involved in a car accident caused by an opposing driver’s decision to change lanes unsafely, there may be many damages, or losses, at stake.
For instance, victims of a car accident through no fault of their own may be faced with medical costs, lost wages, property damages, and much more. These damages can potentially raise a steep financial toll on victims, which is where a personal injury claim can help.
A personal injury claim for damages from a car accident may help claimants earn compensation from the at-fault party to cover their damages. Whether during a settlement or in court, plaintiffs may be required to prove that the opposing driver was negligent and thus liable for their unsafe lane change car accident.
At our law firm, a Rutherfordton unsafe lane change accident lawyer may be able to pursue financial compensation on your behalf following a car accident caused by an opposing driver’s negligence. Additionally, our Rutherfordton car accident lawyers may also help claimants communicate with the opposing driver’s insurance company and file a potential personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitation requirements in North Carolina.
To learn more about working with a Rutherfordton unsafe lane change accident lawyer, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866.
Leading Causes of Fatal Accidents Include Failure to Keep in Proper Lane
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 16.7% of driver behaviors reported for motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2018 included speeding. When drivers are involved in lane change accidents, the at-fault driver may be speeding during the time of the accident in order to change lanes.
The second leading driver behavior for fatal accidents reported by the Insurance Information Institute in 2018 was driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication at 10.1%. Thus, such conditions could potentially cause a driver to change lanes unsafely and cause an accident.
The third leading behavior was from a “failure to keep in proper lane,” which was connected to 7.2% of driver behaviors.
These forms of negligence could lead a plaintiff to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Another common type of negligence behind car accidents is distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 2,841 lives were lost in 2018 due to distracted driving.
Furthermore, the NHTSA estimated that 400,000 Americans were injured in 2018 due to distracted driving. As defined by the NHTSA, “distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
North Carolina Law Limits Your Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When car accident victims look to file a claim for a car accident, they may begin by negotiating with the opposing party’s insurance provider out of court in order to reach a settlement, according to Consumer Notice.
As negotiations take place, you may decide to continue pursuing a settlement with the opposing driver’s insurance company if it is in your best interest. However, in some instances, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court in order to fight for compensation from the at-fault party.
In order to file a lawsuit, you must consider the statute of limitations, which govern the timeframe a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit following their accident or injury.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is within three years of the accident, according to North Carolina General Statutes § 1-52.
When plaintiffs fail to submit their lawsuit before the statute of limitations is reached, they may be forfeiting their legal rights. This is because the defendant may point out this discrepancy and inform the court, which would then likely dismiss the plaintiff’s case. However, there are several instances in which a plaintiff may be granted more time to file a claim, such as when the defendant leaves the state following the accident, according to North Carolina General Statutes § 1-21.
Another exception is when the plaintiff is either a minor under the age of 18 or is considered “incompetent” under North Carolina law, according to North Carolina General Statutes § 1-17.
If you were injured in a car accident due to an unsafe lane change in Rutherfordton recently, call the personal injury lawyers of Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866 to potentially file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Proving Negligence in Accident Causing Unsafe Lane Changes
When car accident claimants file their claim under the basis of negligence, they must consider proving the four elements of negligence. According to Cornell Law School, negligence is when someone fails to provide a “level of care that someone of ordinary prudence” would have provided under the same situation.
Cornell Law School also identifies the four elements of negligence. When pursuing a claim based upon negligence, you may have to work to prove these four elements of negligence, whether you are seeking a settlement or taking your claim to court.
As explained by Cornell Law School, the four elements of negligence are:
- Existence of a legal duty of care from the defendant owed to plaintiff
- Proof that the defendant breached that duty of care
- The plaintiff suffered damages or losses
- Proof that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s damages
If you were severely injured in an improper turn accident, our car accident lawyers can help you prove negligence to access financial recovery. You could receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Call the Office of an Unsafe Lane Change Accident Attorney for Help Today
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, a Rutherfordton unsafe lane change accident lawyer may be able to pursue financial compensation on your behalf. Additionally, we can potentially help you investigate your claim, gather evidence, and file a lawsuit in North Carolina within the statute of limitations.