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Who is Liable in a Merging Accident?

Joining another flow of traffic, whether an adjacent lane, a highway, or local road, can be dangerous. Any merging traffic situation can be tricky and determining liability can be just as complex.

In New Jersey, typically the merging driver is liable because the driver must yield the right-of-way to vehicles. However, every merging accident has unique circumstances and determining liability will depend on certain factors, including the following:

  • Who initially caused the accident
  • Point of impact
  • Where the accident happened
  • Speed of both vehicles during the accident

It cannot automatically be assumed that the car attempting to merge is at fault. For instance, if the merging car is hit from behind by a car traveling above the speed limit, the merging driver will likely not be liable for the accident.

What are Common Causes of Merging Accidents?

Some common causes include:

  • Merging without turn signals
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Crossing multiple lanes while merging
  • Aggressive driving while merging or refusing to yield to merging vehicles
  • Distracted driving

Liability for a merging accident will depend on whether the drivers of the vehicles involved were traveling at proper speeds, using turn signals, and obeying rules of traffic, like those governing the use of cellphones.

What Injuries Result from Merging Accidents?

Intersections of moving traffic have tremendous potential for serious accidents when merges are unsuccessful, especially if the vehicles are large or trucks. Victims of merging accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries, such as damage to internal organs, spinal cord injuries, and even death. Injuries common in merging accidents include broken bones and fractures, head and neck injuries, back injuries, bruising, and facial injuries.

Injuries suffered in merging accidents can result in expensive hospital stays and rehabilitation to fully recover, lost wages from missing work, and loss of potential future earnings if the injuries are severe.

What Should I Do After a Merging Accident?

It is important to gather as much evidence as possible anytime someone has been in a car accident. Take photos of the scene of the accident, the damage of the car, injuries, and the other vehicle. Ask for the contact information of any eyewitnesses and ask them to write down their account of what happened. Exchange information with the other driver, including license plate, license number, and insurance information. Do not speak directly to the insurance company or admit fault at the scene of the accident. Consult with an experienced car accident lawyer for help determining liability for the merging accident.

Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Protect Those Injured in Merging Accidents

If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, speak to one of our experienced Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm. We will fight to hold the responsible party accountable and recover compensation for your injuries so you can make a full recovery. Call us at 609-926-3300 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.