Merging Accident in Texas: Who is at Fault?

The moment you are merging onto highways and freeways, who has the so-called right of the way? And which driver should yield? In case you get into an accident, who should be held responsible?

Generally, merging onto a busy highway requires the attention and skill of the vehicle driver. It also calls for all drivers merging and the other drivers already on the road to exercise caution and utilize common sense. On highways during peak traffic sessions, merging in or out of traffic can be challenging, and sometimes result in auto accidents.

Relevant laws

As a driver, you were always taught to be cautious and very attentive when driving in heavy traffic situations. The Texas State law (section 541.061) requires you to yield to the freeway traffic prior to merging if you are entering traffic on an on-ramp.
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But if you are on the freeway and driving recklessly and causes a crash with a vehicle that is actively merging, then, it is not the merging driver’s fault for the ‘failure to yield.’

According to this law, if you are on a roadway with more than three lanes that are going in the same direction, you must yield to traffic on your left when entering from the right side. Further, Section 545.058 allows the drivers to drive on the shoulder of the road in some conditions such as when preparing to merge into heavy traffic even if there isn’t yield sign present.

By closely evaluating these laws and your specific case details, your Austin personal injury lawyer can help determine if you were at fault for the merging auto accident.

Damages associated with merging accidents

In case failure to yield was the primary cause of the auto accident, you can successfully recover various types of damages resulting from the crash. These damages include property damages and personal injury. Note that compensation can cover both short term and long term care, medical bills, lost income, vocational rehabilitation, household expenses, and pain and suffering depending on the extent and nature of your injuries.

What to do after a merging crash

The moment you realize that you have been involved in a crash while merging onto a highway or freeway, you must stop if it is safe to do so. Turn on your hazard lights and then look for the driver who hit your vehicle. Both you and the at-fault driver should stop at a safe place and then exchange the right details such as name, address, phone numbers, insurers’ details, and more. In case the at-fault driver doesn’t want to stop, don’t try to chase after him or her. Instead, stop at a safe place and contact the police.

Filing a claim

It recommended seeking medical attention immediately after an auto accident. That way, a medical expert will determine whether or not you are alright health-wise and if you were injured, he or she will document your injuries. These documents are an important piece of evidence when filing a personal injury claim.

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