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Who is at Fault for a Merging Accident in Oregon?

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Dec 13, 2019 in Auto Accident

merge road signMerging into another lane on a busy highway is challenging under the best of circumstances. When drivers are careless in a merging situation, an accident can easily result.  

Not only can a merging accident cause significant damage to your vehicle, it can also result in serious injuries. If you suffered injuries from a merging accident, we encourage you to speak to an experienced Portland car accident lawyer about your potential claim.

How Fault Could be Assigned

In most instances, the merging driver will be assigned fault if he or she collides with another vehicle while moving into another lane. The reason for this is that the merging vehicle is always required to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. When a driver fails to yield it can lead to an accident.

However, may be certain exceptions to this rule, such as if the driver in the other lane was:

  • Speeding - a vehicle that is speeding makes it more difficult for the merging driver to determine how much time he or she needs to safely complete a merge
  • Driving too fast for the weather or road conditions
  • Texting / driving distracted
  • Driving impaired, such as driving drowsy or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Intentionally speeding up and slowing down to make it difficult for the other driver to merge

Fault could be shared for a merging accident if two vehicles – one from the left and one from the right – merge into the center lane simultaneously.

Every merging accident is different, so it is important to review yours with a licensed attorney to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.

Why do Merging Accidents Happen?

Merging accidents are some of the most common accidents in Oregon. They often happen because of the following:

  • Making a sudden lane change without using a turn signal
  • Traveling too slowly when merging onto the highway from the merge lane
  • Crossing multiple lanes at once
  • Cutting off other vehicles without notice
  • The merging driver misjudges the space available to merge

Merging accidents can cause serious harm, including:

  • Sprain and strain injuries
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash
  • Mild to severe concussions or other brain injuries
  • Fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Facial lacerations and bruising
  • Internal organ injuries
  • And more

Tips for Preventing an Accident When Merging

Merging accidents are common and can be life-altering, so it is a good idea to learn how you may avoid these types of accidents in Oregon. Some helpful tips include:

  • Match your speed to that of the traffic already on the highway
  • Do not stop unless it is absolutely necessary
  • Find a four-second gap in traffic to merge
  • Look for a vehicle to merge behind, not one in front of you that is passing the merging lane
  • Always check your blind spots for vehicles around you
  • Yield to oncoming traffic
  • Activate your turn signal anywhere from 100 to 300 feet prior to merging to alert other drivers
  • Do not merge prior to the end of a solid line
  • Only cross one lane of traffic at a time
  • Avoid passing a vehicle on the right, especially when near a merging lane

Injured in a Merging Accident? Contact an Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a merging accident, we encourage you to speak with one of our trusted attorneys as soon as possible. The legal team from Rizk Law is prepared to comprehensively investigate the circumstances of your accident, and if you have a case, we are prepared to help you pursue compensation for the damages you sustained.

Call now for a FREE case evaluation!