Who is at Fault in a Blind Spot Accident?
When learning to drive for the first time, one of the first lessons we hear is to “check your blind spots.” Driving a car is a dangerous and risky activity by definition. And if you’re not aware of your blind zones, your chances of being involved in a car accident skyrocket.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 840,000 blind spot incidents occur in the United States each year, with around 300 people killed. So if you or your loved ones have been in an accident, don’t delay and instantly hire a car accident lawyer in Macon.
Blind Spot Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
These collisions frequently involve huge vehicles. Due to the sheer size of their vehicle, truck drivers have a difficult time regulating their blind areas. One of the most prevalent causes of blind spot accidents is a truck’s blind spot, often known as the “No-Zone.”
But it’s not just big trucks that can be involved in these types of collisions; any vehicle can be involved if the driver isn’t careful or simply unfortunate. Blindspot collisions are common. Sideswipes, rollovers, rear-end collisions, and other accidents are all possible as a consequence.
What Is a Blind Spot?
Blind spots are regions that drivers cannot see when using their mirrors in any vehicle. For example, huge tractor-trailers have extensive blind areas, and colliding with smaller passenger sedans can result in catastrophic damage.
It might be difficult to ascertain who is to blame for a car accident caused by a blind area. However, before plaintiffs can bring personal injury lawsuits, the vehicle collision may necessitate a fault investigation. Therefore, hiring an auto accident attorney in Macon is the right step.
Blind Spots: What Role Do They Play in Accidents?
At the wrong time and in the wrong place, a blind spot can be fatal. When making a turn, backing up, or changing lanes, for example, a motorist’s inability to observe adjacent vehicles could result in an accident with another driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Blind spots exist in all cars.
Blind spots are more extensive in longer vehicles, such as pickup trucks and semis than compact cars. In Dallas, blind spots can cause car accidents in a variety of ways.
- Accidents That Occur When Reversing: Safely reversing a vehicle necessitates the ability to see obstructions, pedestrians, and children in the driver’s mirrors. Blind spots, however, can prohibit a motorist from seeing items right behind the vehicle. While reversing, this can result in devastating crashes.
- Merge Mishaps: Before merging into a freeway or road, double-check that the path is clear. While other drivers should be courteous and allow the merging vehicle to merge, the merging driver must relinquish the right-of-way and merge only when it is safe to do so. This type of merging could be hampered by a blind spot.
- Lane Shifts That Aren’t Safe: Lane-change collisions are among the most prevalent car collisions in Texas. Blind spots that obstruct the driver’s vision of the destination lane cause many of these collisions. A vehicle hovering close to the driver, for example, could be hidden in a blind spot, leading to a severe lane-change collision.
Avoiding a Blind Spot
A driver’s ability to prevent blind spot incidents is typically underestimated. To begin, the driver should do everything possible to avoid blind areas. To see more of the road, this includes appropriately adjusting side and rear-view mirrors.
In the mirrors, a motorist should be able to see both sides of the road as well as the back. When making turns or merging, the motorist should be mindful of any potential blind spots. Instead of depending solely on mirrors to identify dangers hidden in a blind spot, a motorist should look over his or her shoulder.
What Makes Your Blind Spot So Dangerous?
The majority of motorists have blind spots. It is your legal responsibility as a driver to drive safely despite these blind areas. Prior to executing a maneuver, you must take steps to reduce your blind spots and assure the maneuver’s safety. Because there’s a chance you’ll hit a bicyclist or pedestrian in your blind spot; it’s very risky.
A blind spot could cause you to merge, hit, or turn on top of an oncoming bicyclist or pedestrian. In regions with vulnerable road users, pay careful attention to turn signal lights, bicycle lanes, and your blind spots.
Liability in the Event of a Blind Spot Collision
In most circumstances, any car accident lawyer in Macon, GA, would say that the driver who had the blind spot bears responsibility for the accident. A blind area is usually not a good defense for crash culpability since the victim could argue that another reasonable and prudent driver could have avoided the accident by working around the blind spot. However, determining liability when two vehicles merge at the same time and collision might be more complicated.
An investigation may be required in this case to identify which motorist was at fault. In most circumstances, the at-fault driver will be the one who did not have the right-of-way. However, depending on the circumstances, both drivers may be held liable for a blind spot accident. If you’ve been in an accident and need legal help, contact an injury lawyer.
Blind Spots on a Truck
On trucks, the blind spots are as follows:
- Immediately in front of the truck’s cab, which stretches for around 20 feet in front of the vehicle
- Behind and below the driver’s window
- Located on the right side of the vehicle, which spans across many lanes
- Directly behind the trailer and about 30 feet long
Due to their physical proportions, commercial trucks have these blind zones. The fact that the driver sits so high off the ground, a blind spot comes into effect directly in front of the vehicle. Because of the trailer’s length, there are blind spots on both sides and at the back. Extended mirrors can assist reduce the blind spot, but only if the truck is equipped with them.
Because motorists in these areas are unseen to truck drivers, they are referred to as “blind zones.” When driving, changing lanes, or backing up, truck drivers do everything they can to avoid collisions. Unfortunately, when someone is in the blind zone, even the most cautious driver can end up in a terrible accident.
Why Is Fault Important?
“Liability” is another phrase for fault. Simply put, a driver is accountable for an accident if their lack of care results in a collision. The fault is important in a car accident because our country still adheres to the “tort” theory of liability. According to this criterion, a driver who is at blame for an accident must compensate victims for their losses.
For example, a careless driver should be held liable for the following:
- Medical care,
- Lost wages,
- Property damage, and
- Pain and suffering
Even though several states have adopted a “no-fault” concept, Georgia has not. Because motorists might suffer catastrophic injuries in truck accidents, large quantities of money may be at stake. So hiring a personal injury attorney in Macon, GA, would be the smartest choice you can make.
Many of our customers have experienced spinal fractures, catastrophic brain injuries, or are paralyzed. Even mild collisions can result in many fractures, burns, and nerve injuries in drivers. Insurers may vigorously contest the notion that their insured was at fault in order to decrease the amount they pay or avoid making any payment at all.
What Is the Distinction Between No-Fault and At-Fault Accidents?
No-fault insurance means that drivers in car accidents are covered for their own injuries and losses. Therefore, regardless of who’s at fault, their insurance would not be obligated to pay out to another individual in the event of a collision. Georgia, like most other states in the US, is an at-fault state.
When a car accident occurs, the responding officer will nearly always issue a citation to one or both people involved. However, please keep in mind that Georgia law allows for percentages of fault to be allocated in a traffic accident through a process known as proportional comparative fault.
This is significant because there are occasions when both parties involved have made mistakes. There could be a number of possibilities:
- One motorist is entirely to blame
- Both drivers were similarly responsible
- One driver is responsible for 80% of the fault, while the other is responsible for 20% of the fault, or a combination of percentages
Blind Spot Accidents: What Causes Them?
Many of these collisions are caused by the driver’s inability to see a vehicle in his or her blind spot. After then, the trucker changes lanes or turns, colliding with a pedestrian or motorist. Motorists “hanging around” in a huge truck’s blind zones bypassing too slowly or following the truck too closely are two of the most typical causes of these incidents.
- A driver’s lack of awareness of the presence of blind zones
- Another vehicle is being pursued by a truck driver
- Failure of the truck driver to check his mirrors before changing lanes
- The truck driver was behaving erratically, cutting off another driver
However, there are some exceptions to the scenarios mentioned above. In some collisions, the smaller vehicle is not in a blind area at all, and the truck driver was not paying attention, which was commonly due to illegal cell phone usage or drug or alcohol impairment. Drivers who are distracted or impaired have the potential to injure other drivers badly.
Negligence in Comparison
Accidents involving trucks are rarely straightforward. Both the truck driver and the driver of a passenger sedan may have been negligent in some accidents, in which case they may both be at fault. This option is recognized under Georgia law. Previously, any fault on the driver of a passenger sedan’s part barred them from demanding compensation. Thankfully, over the years, the law has transformed into a fairer one.
The driver might now claim compensation if they were not at fault more than other parties. In effect, this means that the driver can be held 50 percent responsible—but only by an inch.
Insurance companies continuously look for facts to use against the driver of a passenger sedan because of the comparative fault rule. They even seek to get drivers to admit that they were not paying attention to their surroundings or that they were following a heavy vehicle too closely. They then utilize this evidence to claim that the driver of a passenger sedan is somewhat to blame and thus deserves less compensation–or none at all.
Georgia’s At-Fault Status Has Insurance Ramifications
If the other party was largely at blame, you could seek compensation for damages or injuries in Georgia’s at-fault state. This will necessitate you or your attorney to make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Bear in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will only pay up to the limits of their policy coverage. This may be as low as $25,000 in Georgia.
What If Your Costs for Damages or Injuries Exceed That Amount?
It’s possible that the at-fault driver has a separate liability insurance coverage that would kick in, but this isn’t very likely. If the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver is a business vehicle, the firm will almost certainly have supplemental insurance coverage. In most circumstances, you’ll be looking to use underinsured or uninsured motorist (UM) coverage from your own policy or from the policy of a family member who lives with you and is linked to you.
What to Do After an Accident?
Our lawyers are experts in gathering the facts needed to establish that the truck driver bears the brunt of the guilt for the collision. We can utilize a variety of facts to prove that the motorist made a mistake that caused the accident or that he failed to do what he should have done. We can, for example, put together the following:
Statements from witnesses on the events leading up to the accident: You are an eyewitness, but other passengers in your vehicle and other motorists on the road are other witnesses. Before colliding, they may have noticed the driver make a quick movement or fail to check their mirrors. Takedown the names of any witnesses who witnessed the accident.
- Proof in the form of physical evidence, such as damage to your vehicle
- Images from the scene of the accident
- Statements from the driver: The truck driver may speak up, perhaps admitting responsibility for the accident
- Proof of disability: You may have noticed sloppy speech from the driver, or you may have noticed alcohol bottles in the truck
We may use the findings of a roadside test given by the police. Every case is unique, and the most relevant evidence will vary. However, the sooner a personal injury lawyer in Macon, GA, starts looking into your situation, the better outcome you can expect. So, hire one now! Connect with us at 1-800-522-2277.