Who Is Liable if You Get into a Merging Accident?

If you have been hurt in a car accident in Delaware, the right lawyer can make a difference. Call Silverman, McDonald & Friedman to schedule a free consultation at once of our offices in Wilmington, Seaford, or Newark today.

It can be quite challenging to merge safely onto congested highways and freeways. Drivers must pay attention to the road without distraction and use common sense in order to merge safely. However, this does not always happen, and disastrous merging accidents occur, resulting in serious injuries.

Reasons for merging accidents

Merging accidents occur for various reasons. Sometimes drivers fail to properly judge the distance between their vehicle and another vehicle in the vicinity of the merge zone. Often, the driver is attempting to perform a merging maneuver from an acceleration lane into a standard highway traffic lane. Some common causes for accidents in this scenario include:

  • Making a lane change quickly without using a signal
  • Merging without sufficient speed (too slowly) from the acceleration on-ramp onto the highway
  • Attempting to cross over multiple lanes of traffic in one maneuver
  • Suddenly cutting off one or more other vehicles

The injuries that can result from these car accidents include broken bones, neck injuries, facial injuries, bruising, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, other fractures, and damage to organs. In some cases, they may prove fatal.

Determining liability

In Delaware, drivers transitioning onto a highway from a ramp or other lane must yield right-of-way to other vehicles already present on the highway. In this type of scenario, often the driver who was attempting to merge is found liable for the accident.

However, there are some scenarios in which the merging driver may not bear legal responsibility for the accident. These include:

  • When another driver enters the path of the merging driver before he or she executes a merge.
  • When the merging driver contacts of vehicle that was breaking the speed limit on the highway. In this scenario, the speeding vehicle makes it more difficult for the merging driver to estimate the amount of time required to complete a safe merge.
  • When the merging driver in the inside lane travels to the middle lane impacts another driver transitioning from the outer lane to the middle lane.
  • When the driver already traveling on the highway is distracted, driving aggressively, or violating traffic laws when the accident occurs with the merging driver.

How to avoid merging accidents

Some of the ways to minimize the risk of a merging accident and the serious injuries that often result include:

  • Always use a turn signal when performing a merging maneuver. This puts other drivers on notice of your intentions and makes you more visible.
  • Avoid tailgating the vehicle front. This will minimize the potential for a rear-end collision when any vehicle ahead slows down or suddenly stops.
  • Perform gradual merging maneuvers. Avoid sudden merges that make it difficult for other drivers to adjust safely.

If you have sustained an injury in a car crash in Delaware that was the fault of another party, whether during merging or another scenario, your medical costs and other financial losses can mount quickly. Our car crash attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, give us a call today at 302-888-2900 or use our contact form. We offer legal support to clients in Wilmington, Newcastle, Seaford, and the surrounding areas.