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Blind-Spot Crashes and Who Can Be Liable

Blind spot crashes and liabilityWere you struck by a vehicle that was out of your line of sight? If so, you are not alone. There are about 840,000 blind-spot crashes each year in the U.S. The most serious of these incidents involve commercial trucks, which may result in severe or fatal injuries. Like most traffic accidents, blind-spot crashes are often preventable.

At Jay Trucks, we work hard to protect the interests of victims injured in these and other crashes. We have a history of proven results, recovering millions on behalf of our clients.

If you are the victim of a blind-spot crash, learn what legal options, in addition to your Michigan no-fault benefits claim, may help you to recover your losses. Our staff can take your call anytime, night or day. The initial consultation with one of our qualified attorneys is completely free and carries no obligation to hire our firm.

Schedule your FREE Case review today. 989-244-0356

What Exactly is a Blind-Spot Crash?

As a driver, a blind spot is a specific area that you cannot see behind you on both sides of your vehicle. You also have reduced visibility in zones to the front and back of your vehicle. Even if you check your mirrors, you will not be able to see well in these zones. No matter the type or size of your vehicle, you have multiple blind spots. Truck drivers, especially those driving larger commercial vehicles, have the biggest blind spots. All drivers should know where these zones are to reduce the risk of being in or causing a crash.

Who May Be Liable for a Blind-Spot Crash?

Typically, the liable party for a blind-spot crash is the driver of the vehicle with the blind spot. One common way this happens is when a driver merges into another lane of traffic. That merging driver does not have the right-of-way. He or she owes a duty to make sure traffic is clear and there are no vehicles in his or her blind spot before changing lanes. In that situation, odds are the driver changing lanes would be liable if a crash occurs.

In other cases, determining liability is not straightforward and may be a lot harder to determine. Some examples of when liability may be unclear or even shared include:

  • Two vehicles merging into the same lane at the same time
  • A merging vehicle that checks for traffic but hits a speeding vehicle
  • Motorcycles, bicycles or smaller vehicles struck while riding in a vehicle’s blind spot

If a commercial truck hits your vehicle, the driver’s employer or company could also share liability for your losses.

The Burden of Proof is on the Injured Victim

Like most car crash claims, the burden of proving fault falls on the injured victim seeking compensation. Even if the other driver struck you in his or her blind spot, gathering evidence can help strengthen your claim.

Evidence could include:

  • Your statement about the crash
  • The other driver’s statement
  • Photos of damage to all vehicles
  • Dash cam video footage
  • Other crash scene evidence
  • Credible witnesses who saw the crash
  • Your copy of the police report
  • And more

If you hire an attorney, he or she will know how to help you gather the evidence you need. However, this is just one reason to not wait too long to call an attorney. To avoid losing important evidence, it is best to try to gather what you need without delay.

Can Victims Be Partially to Blame?

Every crash is different. Investigators will examine all the evidence, including vehicle damage and statements from others, to determine fault. That said, there are times when an injured victim could be partially liable for a blind spot crash. This is especially true if the injured victim had time to move out of the way but did not make any effort to do so. For instance, if the victim did not see the truck or other vehicle changing lanes because he or she was texting.

When and How Do Blind-Spot Crashes Happen?

Blind-spot crashes happen often when drivers get distracted. It only takes a second to zone out and forget to check for traffic in your blind spot. Blind spot crashes also happen when drivers are:

  • Impaired by drugs, alcohol or other substances
  • Fatigued, drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel
  • Failed to properly check for traffic in blind spots
  • Inexperienced or improperly trained to drive
  • Failed to adjust mirrors to help reduce blind spot risks
  • Drove a commercial vehicle without the proper mirrors

Blind-spot crashes may happen during merges and lane changes. However, they can also occur when backing up or when there are smaller vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians in the road.

Are Blind-Spot Crashes More Likely to Involve a Truck?

Yes, since trucks have larger blind spots than smaller passenger vehicles, this type of crash is more common. The size and weight of larger trucks also increases the odds of suffering severe injuries in a crash. Many victims may need to seek excess damages outside of their no-fault benefits claim.

How Do Blind-Spot Zones Differ for Trucks?

On commercial trucks, blind-spot zones are larger and include:

  • As much as 20 feet to the front of a truck
  • Areas on the sides where you cannot see the truck’s mirrors
  • Up to 200 feet behind a tractor trailer or other truck

How to Reduce Your Risk of Being in a Blind-Spot Crash

Drivers should always remain aware of the blind spots of other vehicles around them. You can also reduce your risk of being involved in a blind-spot crash by:

  • Keeping your vehicle’s mirrors clean and make sure nothing in your car blocks your view
  • Adjust your rear-view mirror to make sure it fully frames your back window
  • Attach blind-spot mirrors to the factory installed side mirrors on your vehicle
  • Replace existing side-view mirrors with convex mirrors to increase your visibility
  • Check over your shoulder before changing lanes, even after checking your mirrors
  • Check your backup camera and look again behind you before backing up
  • Get out of others’ blind spots by slowing down, safely speeding up to pass or changing lanes

Call Our Law Firm After a Crash to Discuss Your Legal Options

Injured in a blind-spot crash caused by another driver’s negligence? Our qualified car accident lawyers in Flint are prepared to work tirelessly on your behalf.

At Jay Trucks, we have recovered more than $500 million for our clients, and we are ready to fight for maximum compensation for you.

There are no upfront costs to hire our firm or while we work your case. Contact our law offices to learn more about your legal options today.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. 989-244-0356