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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who Is at Fault In a Car Accident While Merging in Indiana?

Drivers owe a duty of care when merging into traffic or changing lanes. When changing lanes, drivers who violate the law or behave negligently in any other way could be held accountable for any harm they cause. However, determining fault in these types of accidents isn't always simple. 

In Indiana, car accident victims are entitled to damages if they are injured in a merging collision caused by another vehicle. However, one has to prove fault by demonstrating that the other driver's carelessness or violation of the right-of-way laws caused the crash.

An Indianapolis car crash lawyer can assist in establishing who is at fault and pursuing fair compensation for any losses suffered by the at-fault party's insurance company. To find out more about merging accidents, who is at fault in them, and other crucial factors surrounding these collisions, keep reading. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also share insight on who is at fault in a low speed car accident in Indiana.

What Is a Merging Accident?

What Is a Merging Accident?

A merging accident happens when two or more cars switch lanes and run into each other.

These collisions can occur for a number of reasons, such as when a car changes lanes without the driver looking into their blind spot or when a car merges onto a highway from an on-ramp. Serious injuries can arise from merging incidents, particularly when one car strikes the other quickly.

Who Is at Fault In a Car Accident While Merging in Indiana?

When there is a merging collision, several criteria need to be considered to determine who is at fault. To establish what caused the collision and the other driver's degree of fault, a personal injury lawyer will consider a number of factors, such as:


When a driver merges at an unsafe speed, they could be partially or totally responsible for the collision. Furthermore, when a driver speeds, they have less time to respond and decide when to merge safely.

Failure to Yield

A driver may be held liable for an accident if they fail to cede the right-of-way when merging onto the roadway. Crashing when merging can be caused by improperly checking blind spots, ignoring traffic signs, or joining the lane when it's risky.

Failure to Signal

Drivers in Indiana must use turn signals when merging or changing lanes. Improper lane changes or failing to signal will result in the driver being at fault for the merging accident.

Impaired Driving

Any person under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another impairing substance will most likely be a fault for a lane change accident, especially if this affected their ability to operate the merging vehicle safely and the impairment contributed to the crash.

Distracted Driving

When driving, an individual is supposed to focus their full attention on the road. Talking on the phone, texting, or any other distracting behavior at the time of the incident is likely to contribute to that driver being at fault.

Indiana Right-of-way Laws for Merging

Right-of-way laws are put in place to ensure the efficient and safe flow of traffic, especially when merging onto a road with fast-moving traffic.

Some of Indiana's right-of-ways laws and other safety recommendations when merging onto lanes include:

Proper Signal Use

Drivers must use their turn signals to indicate that they intend to merge. By using signals, they can let other drivers on the road know what they plan to do and give them a warning of the merge.

Use Acceleration Lanes

Am acceleration or merging lane is a common feature of highway entrances, enabling merging cars to accelerate and keep up with traffic flow. This acceleration traffic lane is for drivers who are entering the highway; they should be used to gain enough speed to merge with traffic smoothly.

Yield to Existing Traffic

When driving onto a highway, one must usually give way to vehicles that are already using the road or the oncoming traffic. This implies that instead of assuming other vehicles will make room for them, the merging driver approaching the highway must wait for a safe gap in traffic before joining the road.

Adjust Position and Speed

When merging, drivers need to pay attention to the traffic flow on the highway and modify their speed and positioning accordingly. In order to find an appropriate gap for a safe merging, they could have to speed up or slow down.

Drivers should also be aware of where they are in the merging lane and adapt as needed to merge smoothly without obstructing other vehicles.

Maintain a Safe Speed

Maintaining a safe pace is essential for cars merging onto the interstate or highway. To ensure a seamless and safe merge, they should try to keep up with the pace of the vehicles on the highway, neither speeding up excessively nor slowing down too much.

Cooperative Merging

Cooperative merging is a good practice for highway drivers as well as merging drivers. Drivers on the highway should be aware of other vehicles and make appropriate modifications, including changing lanes as needed.

Can Both Drivers Be at Fault in a Merging Accident?

Can Both Drivers Be at Fault in a Merging Accident?

Indiana uses a modified comparative negligence system. This means as long as the driver was less than 51% responsible for the accident, they will still be able to claim damages from the other party. However, one needs to share less fault compared to the other driver in order to claim compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will explain who is at fault in a driver side car accident in Indiana as well.

Involved in a Merging Accident? Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

If a merging accident occurs, it's essential to get thorough legal representation. Anyone who has suffered injuries in a merging accident as a result of someone else's negligence deserves to be compensated. Victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, personal injuries, and more. Negotiating with insurance companies to receive fair compensation for a personal injury case can also be overwhelming. That's why it's crucial to hire a car accident attorney in Indianapolis to handle the legal process.

At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Indianapolis, Indiana, our team of legal experts is ready to go to war for clients to ensure they recover compensation for any severe injuries and other losses incurred as a result of the other driver. Contact us today for a free consultation!


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