Liability for Blind-Spot Crashes: What You Should Know
June 16, 2022
Blind spots are a common road risk every driver experiences. Knowing where these reduced visibility zones are on your vehicle and on larger, commercial vehicles may help you to avoid a serious collision. Learn more about blind-spot crashes, including why proving liability is challenging and how a qualified attorney may benefit your case.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we help victims of all types of traffic accidents, including blind-spot crashes. Our team of legal professionals is deeply dedicated to helping victims who get injured by someone else’s negligence. We understand the law, fight hard to protect your interests, and charge no upfront costs or fees while we work on your case. We only get paid if we win for you.
Find out more about your potential legal options in a free, no-risk case review. Call our firm to set up a time that works best for you. We are available to take your call 24/7.
What Are Blind Spot Crashes and Why Are They So Dangerous?
Every vehicle has specific areas or zones, called blind spots, where a driver is unable to see. These areas exist on both sides of a vehicle. Drivers also have reduced visibility in front of and behind their vehicles. Commercial vehicles have the biggest blind spots, which can pose a serious risk for other vehicles sharing the road.
Vehicles with larger blind spots include:
- Utility vehicles
- Garbage trucks
- Tractor trailers
- Dump trucks
- Big rigs
- Recreational vehicles
- Delivery trucks
- And more
Drivers have two main responsibilities regarding blind spot zones. The first is to know where your blind spots are and remain alert for other vehicles or pedestrians in those zones. The second is to be mindful of the blind spots of other vehicles, including trucks, and to avoid driving in those zones.
Who Could Be Liable for a Blind Spot Crash?
Often the driver moving into his or her own blind spot will be liable. When you merge, change lanes or back up, you do not have the right of way.
Like many types of traffic accidents, however, liability for a blind-spot crash may not always be straightforward. Depending on events leading up to the crash, more than one party could share fault.
For instance, if a driver tried to change lanes after checking that traffic was clear, but a driver in that destination lane deliberately sped up. If a crash occurred, the driver in the destination lane could be at least partially liable for causing the crash.
An investigator will try to determine who may be liable by examining the crash scene and all related evidence, such as:
- Statements from you and the other driver
- The police or accident report
- Photos of the crash scene and vehicle damage
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records detailing your injuries and prognosis
- Credible witness statements
- Dash cam or traffic cam footage, if available
- And more
Negligence Must Be Established
If you have an attorney, which we strongly recommend, he or she will need to determine whether:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care
- That duty was breached
- The breach caused a car crash and your injuries
- You suffered damages, such as medical costs, as a result
These four elements of negligence must be established for there to be a viable case. Sometimes, liability may be harder to determine. For instance, if a vehicle simultaneously enters the same lane as you. In this situation, an attorney may need to hire an expert, such as an accident reconstruction specialist, to help determine liability.
How Do Blind-Spot Crashes Happen?
Blind-spot crashes often occur when drivers are fatigued, distracted or impaired. Just one second of zoning out and you could drive into a vehicle that is in your blind spot.
According to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 840,000 blind spot crashes happen each year. Even if you always check both your side and rear-view mirrors, you still have reduced visibility in your blind spots.
Some common driving situations that may lead to a blind-spot crash include when drivers do not take necessary precautions while:
- Merging into another lane: When drivers are entering a highway and merging from an on-ramp, they do not have the right of way. Merging drivers must check and yield to oncoming traffic before entering the lane or highway.
- Changing lanes: Drivers need to check before changing lanes to ensure no vehicles are in their blind spots. The drivers of the vehicles already in that lane have the right of way. This means, if you fail to yield and cause a crash, you could be held liable for damages.
- Backing up: Whether backing out of a parking spot, driveway or trying to turn a vehicle around, drivers must be sure the coast is clear. This means checking for other vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians.
It is especially difficult for truck drivers. Their blind spots are considerably larger than for any passenger vehicle.
How Can You Avoid Being in a Blind-Spot Crash?
Many newer vehicles have blind-spot monitoring to help alert drivers when there may be a vehicle or pedestrian in their blind spot. However, this alert system is not foolproof and should never replace a driver’s duty of care.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also provided their “rules of the road” to help you avoid many various accidents, including a blind-spot crash.
These rules of the road are as follows:
- Stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles or trucks
- Pass with caution, yielding to vehicles with the right of way
- Be diligent to maintain a safe following distance, including during bad weather
- Avoid tailgating or driving too close to the other vehicle
- Remain alert and focus on the road at all times while driving
- Anticipate that trucks and larger commercial vehicles make wide turns
- Wear your seatbelt and insist all passengers also buckle up
- Do not engage in behavior that could distract you, such as texting, eating or taking selfies
- Do not drive while fatigued or otherwise impaired, such as by alcohol or drugs
Contact Our Trusted Firm Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
At Bernstein & Poisson, we have been representing injured victims for decades, recovering millions on their behalf.
If you were injured in a blind-spot crash because of another’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses.
Contact our firm today to arrange for your free, no-risk consultation. Our car crash attorneys in Las Vegas have extensive experience. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front.
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