San Antonio Lane-Switching Accidents Lawyer
Skilled representation when passing, merging, and other lane shift accidents cause injuries or deaths
Truck drivers and drivers near trucks may enter other lanes of traffic because they want to pass a slower-moving vehicle, need to merge due to construction, need room to turn, or for other reasons. There are specific laws and common safe practices that govern when and how to switch lanes. At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, our San Antonio lane-switching accident lawyer has the experience and resources to show how a lane-switching accident occurred and who is responsible. We demand full compensation for your injuries or the tragic death of a loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the different ways lane-switching can cause a truck accident in San Antonio?
- Why do lane-switching accidents happen in San Antonio?
- Why are lane-switching accidents that involve trucks so dangerous?
- Who is responsible for a San Antonio lane-switching accident?
- Do you have a San Antonio lane-switching accident lawyer near me?
What are the different ways lane-switching can cause a truck accident in San Antonio?
Truck accidents that involve lane switching generally involve either the truck switching lanes or a car switching lanes next to a truck.
Accidents when trucks change lanes
San Antonio lane-shifting accidents may occur in the following ways:
- A vehicle in front of the truck is going too slowly.
- A truck driver needs room complete a turn at an intersection. Truck drivers need to be extra cautious because the vehicles in other lanes may not be ready for the truck to move into their lane. Trucks that don’t turn properly are known to cause wide-turn accidents.
- A truck driver needs to switch lanes if the driver is merging from one road onto another road. Generally, the burden is on the vehicle that is merging from a different road to complete the merge properly – by allowing vehicles already in the lane the truck wants to move into to pass the truck before merging.
- A truck driver is directed to switch lanes due to construction work. Often the lane nearest the workers is closed, requiring all vehicles in that lane to switch other lanes.
Accidents when cars change lanes
San Antonio lane-shifting accidents may also occur when cars change lanes to pass a truck, to merge where trucks are traveling, or because of construction zone work where trucks are present. Cars should be in the correct lane before they turn, make sure they have enough room to move into another lane, and make sure they can shift back to their original lane if necessary.
Our San Antonio lane-switching accident lawyer works with investigators, the police, and through the formal discovery (question and answer) process to show just how a vehicle switched lanes and why the switch caused an accident. In some cases, we may also work with traffic reconstruction experts who can show second-by-second how the truck accident happened.
Why do lane-switching accidents happen in San Antonio?
Lane-switching accidents typically happen in San Antonio because of negligence: by a truck driver, another driver, or a third party involved in the trucking company. Some of the common reasons include:
- Blind spots. All trucks have dangerous blind spots due to their length, width, and height – and because trucks don’t normally have side or rear windows. Truck drivers and truck companies need to take steps to ensure drivers can manage these blind spots – either through technology (such as additional cameras) or through being extra cautious when passing, merging, or turning.
- The dimensions of the truck. Cars that pass trucks need to be sure that they have room to pass the full length of the truck before starting to pass. In the same manner, trucks need to be sure that the full length of their truck can complete the pass.
- The ability to brake. Trucks need more time and distance to stop than cars. Truck drivers need to be sure they have enough time and distance to stop in case they need to brake before passing, merging, turning, or switching lanes for any other reason. Likewise, car drivers need to recognize that trucks need extra time and distance to stop.
- Cargo spills. Generally, truck cargo is more likely to spill when a truck shifts lanes or turns than when the truck is going in a straight line.
Other reasons why lane-switching accidents happen in San Antonio are:
- Drivers change lanes without looking all around their vehicle
- Distracted driving
- Changing lanes while speeding
- Changing lanes in a curve
- Failing to navigate a “zipper” merge
- Switching lanes too close to other vehicles, which can be especially dangerous with wide trucks
- Not signaling before turning
- Not adjusting speed properly before, during, and after the lane switch
- Driver fatigue
- Unsecured cargo
Lane-switching accidents can cause sideswipes, broadsides, head-on collisions, and rear-end collisions.
Are there any state statutes that govern lane-switching in Texas?
Yes. Texas does have different laws that regulate different types of lane switching.
- Passing or overtaking vehicles
- Driving on the right side of the road
- Driving on an improved shoulder
- Driving on multiple-lane roadways
- Passing a school bus
- Many other laws
For example, Section 545.053 titled “Passing to the Left; Return; Being Passed” provides that:
(a) An operator passing another vehicle:
(1) shall pass to the left of the other vehicle at a safe distance; and
(2) may not move back to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the passed vehicle.
(b) An operator being passed by another vehicle:
(1) shall, on audible signal, move or remain to the right in favor of the passing vehicle; and
(2) may not accelerate until completely passed by the passing vehicle.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply when passing to the right is permitted.
Who is responsible for a San Antonio lane-switching accident?
At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, we are skilled at showing how your accident happened and who is responsible. In most cases, the starting point is to file a claim against the other driver (which could be a truck or a car driver depending on what happened).
Other possible defendants may include:
- An employer
- The owner of the truck or car that caused the accident
- A trucking company that requested a shipment or arranged the shipment
- A repair or maintenance company
- A manufacturer of defective truck or car parts, such as defective brakes
- A seller of alcohol to someone who was visibly intoxicated or a minor
- The Texas Department of Transportation or other governmental agencies
Some of the factors that determine liability are:
- The number of lanes
- The reason for switching lanes
- Which lanes you and the other vehicles involved in the accident were traveling on
- Whether there were any traffic signs or yield signs
- Who had the right of way
- Whether there were any visibility issues – such as whether it was raining
Do you have a San Antonio lane-switching accident lawyer near me?
We meet clients at our office located at 239 E Commerce Street. Our office is in the center of Downtown San Antonio, TX. Our building is considered historic and we think it’s quite lovely. There’s accessible parking. We do meet clients at hospitals, by video, and by phone when necessary.
We’ve helped thousands of personal injury victims file their claims and obtain strong settlements and verdicts for their personal and financial damages including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, property damage, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of bodily function.
Speak with a respected San Antonio truck accident lawyer today
Accidents involving changing lanes are complex. You need an experienced team on your side who can show how the accident happened and why you were in the right and the other driver was in the wrong. At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, we’re respected by former clients, insurance companies, and defense attorneys for our thorough preparation and strong advocacy. To assert your right to compensation, call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a San Antonio lane-switching accident lawyer today. We’re ready to fight for you now.