South Carolina Unsafe Lane Change Accident Lawyer
South Carolina drivers are taught the fundamentals of safe lane changing when they study for their driving test, but many motorists throw those rules out the window when they hit the open road. Neglecting to follow the rules of safe lane changing is a dangerous game, as it can lead to accidents, serious injury, and death.
Proper lane changing is one of the most important aspects of driving safely, especially in areas with heavy traffic. However, many people fail to change lanes properly due to laziness or a blatant disregard for their own safety and the safety of others.
What is an unsafe lane change?
An unsafe lane change is when a driver switches lanes in a way that puts themselves and other motorists at risk.
The state of South Carolina makes clear that every effort should be made to make safe lane changes, stating: “A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.”
Still, unsafe lane changes are common in South Carolina, and you probably see them happen every day.
Here are some examples of unsafe lane changes in South Carolina:
- Cutting off another driver when changing lanes
- Failing to check blind spots for other vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians before changing lanes
- Failing to check mirrors for other cars in the lane you intend to enter
- Failing to make a complete change (“straddling” lanes)
- Failing to match the speed of your vehicle to the speed of traffic in the lane you’re entering
- Failing to use your turn signal to indicate you’re about to change lanes
- Leaving insufficient distance from other cars
- Merging unsafely into traffic from a parked position
- Switching lanes in front of another driver and braking suddenly
- Talking on the phone or texting while attempting to change lanes
- Weaving between lanes
Unsafe lane changes can have major consequences
To many people, it may seem as though an improper lane change is “no big deal.” However, seemingly small actions – such as changing lanes without using a turn signal – can lead to big accidents and serious injuries.
Here are some injuries commonly seen in improper lane change accidents:
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What to do if you’re in an unsafe lane change car accident:
If you’re involved in an accident caused by an unsafe lane change, you must remember that your health and safety – as well as the health and safety of anyone else involved in the accident – is the top priority. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately. Everything else can wait.
However, if no one is seriously injured, move yourself (and your car, if possible) to a safe spot. South Carolina law states that drivers “shall make every reasonable effort to move any vehicle that is capable of being driven safely off the roadway…so as not to block the flow of traffic.”
You must also call the police and stay at the scene of the accident. Collect the following information while you wait for an officer to arrive:
- Names and addresses of other drivers and passengers
- Insurance details of other drivers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses
- Photos of the accident scene, including tire marks, damaged road signs, your injuries, and damage to your vehicle
Be sure to get a copy of the police report and keep it in a safe place. Write down all of the details of the accident so you will have that information if you find yourself in a dispute with the other parties or their insurance companies. Record as many details as you can remember while the memories are still fresh.
Some injuries aren’t immediately obvious, and some take days to become noticeable. This is often due to the fact that endorphins, particularly adrenaline, kick in to mask the pain in your body following an accident. This is the body’s way of helping you enter “survival mode” so you can make it through the crisis. Make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible if you develop pain or stiffness after an accident.
Here are some injuries that aren’t always noticeable immediately after an accident:
- Blood clots
- Brain injury
- Damaged ligaments
- Emotional trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress
- Problems hearing, seeing, or remembering
- Tissue damage
A qualified medical professional will give you a thorough exam to determine whether you sustained any injuries in the accident. The notes from this visit and any future visits will be extremely valuable if you need to file a personal injury claim, so be sure to answer all questions honestly and share all pertinent information with the physician.
If you were seriously injured in the accident, you will benefit from speaking to a South Carolina personal injury attorney. A qualified lawyer can listen to your story and advise you on your next steps.
Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s improper lane change, you may be entitled to compensation. McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has been representing South Carolina car accident victims for over four decades, and we fight hard for our clients to receive what they’re rightfully owed.
We understand the physical, financial, and emotional hardships that come with getting injured in a car accident, and we believe no one should be left drowning in a sea of debt from an accident they didn’t cause.
That’s why we have committed our professional lives to fight for South Carolina car accident victims. We do everything we can to ensure justice is served and our clients receive fair compensation. We fiercely negotiate with insurance companies who will try everything trick in the book to avoid paying out a fair sum, and we refuse to accept lowball settlement offers.
Every case is different, but our clients often receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost or diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
Going up against a powerful insurance company is an uphill battle and one that you shouldn’t fight alone. A South Carolina personal injury lawyer will do the hard work for you, collecting evidence to determine the reason behind the unsafe lane change and building the strongest case possible to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation. When you leave the legal legwork to the professionals, you can focus on what really matters – your recovery.
The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates also represent families who have lost loved ones due to car accidents caused by improper lane changes. We know that no amount of money can bring a loved one back, but we are dedicated to doing everything we can to help alleviate the financial burden experienced by the families of car accident victims.
McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has seven offices across the Midlands of South Carolina, in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter. We have an outstanding track record of securing compensation for car accident victims, and we would love to help you if we can.
Contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates at 888-353-5513 for a free case evaluation. There’s no obligation to hire us – but if you do, you won’t pay anything unless we help secure money for you.