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Determining Liability for a Merging Accident

Merging onto the freeway or another busy road is a high-level driving technique that requires a driver to maintain the speed of traffic and pay close attention when approaching multiple lanes of traffic. Unfortunately, many drivers do not know how to merge in a safe manner and cause merging accidents that can result in serious injuries and substantial property damage.

If you were injured in a merging accident, you may need information about how liability in these accidents is determined and what damages you may be able to receive compensation for. Read on to learn more about merging accidents and do not hesitate to contact the Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at our firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your claim further.

Leading Causes of Merging Accidents

Merging accidents are not uncommon. These accidents are often the result of misjudging the distance between vehicles or the nearest vehicle to the merge entry point. As a result, a driver may hit another vehicle while attempting to merge. These accidents are typically caused when the driver in an acceleration lane hits a vehicle in another lane who has the right-of-way.

Some of the most common reasons for merging accidents include:

  • Merging too slowly from the on-ramp
  • Merging too quickly from the on-ramp
  • Changing lanes without using a turn signal
  • Cutting off other vehicles
  • Crossing multiple lanes of traffic at one time

These accidents may result in a variety of serious injuries, including:

  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations and cuts

Who Is Responsible for a Merging Accident?

In most circumstances, the driver of the merging vehicle is usually found at fault. This is because the merging driver is required to yield the right-of-way when completing this driving maneuver. If the merging driver fails to drive at the proper speed or runs into a vehicle that is already in the line of traffic, he or she can be found responsible for the accident.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, a driver may have been aggressive and intentionally hit the merging driver who he or she perceived as cutting him or her off. The driver might be switching lanes at the same time that the vehicle is merging may be found at fault. Another exception is if a driver crosses over into the lane of the merging driver and sideswipes the vehicle.

In some accidents the actions of two or more drivers may be to blame. This can occur when drivers engage in actions such as:

  • Speeding
  • Driving in a distracted state
  • Drinking and driving
  • Failing to signal

Because every vehicle collision is different, it is important to have your case evaluated by a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. He or she can evaluate where the vehicles were situated and where they made impact to determine the cause and liability associated with the accident.

Avoiding a Merging Accident

A merging accident can easily be avoided if all drivers obey the rules of the road and drive safely. Here are some tips to help avoid these accidents:

  • Maintain a safe distance – Avoid tailgating the vehicle in front of you and leave a few seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will create additional space where people can safely merge.
  • Switch lanes – If you have space, switch lanes to get out of the merging lane.
  • Use turn signals – Use turn signals to indicate your intent to merge or switch lanes and ensure you are more visible to other drivers.
  • Merge gradually – Try to merge gradually to avoid startling other drivers and causing them to overreact.

Contact a Skilled Attorney for Help


If you were injured when another vehicle was merging and are not certain on your next steps, contact a skilled attorney at Simien & Simien today. Our dedicated legal team can investigate your accident, determine who was most likely at fault and handle all communications with the insurance company to fight for fair compensation for your case.

If you are unsure of who is at fault or want more information on your claim, contact us today at (800) 374-8422 for a free case evaluation.