Center Line Accidents
The center lines painted onto roadways are intended to keep drivers at a safe distance from one another and to provide visual indicators of how close you may be to the car next to you. If a driver fails to stay within his or her lane and crosses over the center line, a devastating crash can result. There are many reasons that a driver may cross the center line, including distracted driving and intoxication. At the Law Office of Matt Uhrig, our Columbia car accident lawyer has represented numerous individuals in car accident disputes. We have seen firsthand just how devastating these crashes can be, particularly if they occur at high speeds on the highway. You should not hesitate to speak to an experienced car accident attorney, since time may be running out on your claim.Holding a Careless Driver Accountable for a Center Line Accident
Missouri laws make it clear that motorists must stay on their side of the center line and that they must navigate their vehicles within a designated lane unless they are changing lanes while using an appropriate signal or making a left turn. As a result of this clear rule, drivers who cross the center line in non-approved situations can be held liable for any accidents that result. If you were injured in a center line accident, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who harmed you.
In this lawsuit, you must establish that the defendant did not operate his or her vehicle with due care at the time of the crash. Each driver has a general obligation to operate his or her vehicle with the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent driver would use in a similar situation. Since prudent drivers obey traffic laws, a driver who crossed the center line unlawfully probably breached this standard of care. Common examples of reasons why drivers might cross the center line include driving under the influence, distracted driving, fatigued driving, road rage, and speeding. One of the best ways to help bolster your lawsuit is to obtain a copy of any police reports prepared regarding the accident. These reports may contain information regarding any traffic violations that the defendant committed, including driving under the influence of alcohol or failing to signal a turn.
Once you have established that the defendant failed to drive with reasonable care, you must show a causal connection between this failure and the injuries that you experienced. In other words, your injury lawyer must prove that you would probably not have been injured but for the defendant’s failure to drive with due care and crossing of the center line. The defendant may try to refute causation in a number of ways, such as pointing to evidence suggesting that some other factor was the cause of your harm. This can include evidence that you were also negligent and that your negligence contributed to the crash. A jury can consider evidence of a plaintiff’s negligence and attribute a percentage of fault to the plaintiff, which can reduce or negate any damages award in his or her favor.
After establishing causation, you will be asked to provide documentation supporting your claim for compensation. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and future estimated costs associated with your injuries. In the tragic event that a victim loses his or her life as a result of a fatal crash, the victim’s family members can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. Speaking with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you ensure that you request the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to obtain.Retain a Diligent Car Crash Lawyer in Columbia or the Surrounding Areas
Knowing what to do first after a car accident is stressful and confusing, especially if you are also dealing with debilitating injuries. With clients in Columbia, Jefferson City, Ashland, and other Missouri cities, our seasoned team can assist you with all phases of your lawsuit, including investigation, identifying witnesses, and negotiating with insurance companies. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, call us now at 573-657-2050 or contact us online to get started.