Who Is at Fault in Blind-Spot Accidents?

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Every motor vehicle has at least one blind spot. This is an area of the road that is invisible to a driver when he or she checks the rearview and side mirrors. If a driver fails to check his or her blind spots carefully before changing lanes or making a turn, the driver could collide with another vehicle. These accidents are not automatically the fault of the driver with the blind spot, however; determining fault can be challenging and require an in-depth investigation.

Who Is at Fault in Blind-Spot Accidents?

What Are a Driver’s Responsibilities With a Blind Spot?

A blind spot is a place around a motor vehicle that is not visible to the driver using his or her mirrors. Typically, the blind spots are located behind and to the side of the driver’s seat. Blind spots can vary depending on the size and shape of the vehicle. A commercial truck, for example, has large blind spots due to its long trailer. All drivers have a responsibility to be aware of their blind spots and check them before moving out of a lane or making a turn. They should do this by looking over their shoulders to view the blind spot rather than only using their mirrors. An Omaha truck accident attorney can help analyze your legal claim.

Determining Fault for a Blind-Spot Accident

After a blind-spot accident, a car insurance company may launch an investigation into the cause of the crash. It may send investigators back to the scene of the accident or to inspect the physical damage to both cars, as well as contact witnesses and those involved in the crash for more information. It may also use police accident reports, photographs and surveillance footage to piece together what happened. 

It is common for insurance companies to use accident reconstruction experts to recreate the crash. In general, the driver who was in the wrong at the time of the crash will be considered at fault. This could be the driver who violated a traffic law, made an unsafe lane change, or was someplace he or she should not have been due to the failure to check a blind spot. However, fault may be shared or shifted entirely to another driver in certain situations.

In a lane-change accident, for example, both drivers may share fault if they were changing lanes simultaneously when they collided. In this case, both drivers may have failed to check their blind spots before changing lanes. In an accident involving multiple vehicles, such as a pileup in an intersection, it can be even more difficult to determine fault. One driver may have failed to check a blind spot, but another driver may have triggered the chain reaction.

Is Nebraska a Fault or No-Fault State?

Nebraska is a fault state, meaning determining fault is necessary after a car accident due to the state’s tort-based car insurance law. This law means that the driver or party that caused the accident must pay. By contrast, in a no-fault state, both drivers file claims with their own insurers, regardless of fault. Before you can recover financial compensation for a blind-spot accident in Nebraska, fault must be determined. After you report the car accident to your own insurance company, a full investigation will be conducted to identify who is at fault.

Comparative Negligence Rule in Nebraska

Many blind-spot accidents result in fault going to multiple drivers. In Nebraska, the comparative negligence rule allows an accident victim to recover partial financial compensation even with a degree of fault for the accident. This rule states that as long as the victim is found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the car accident, he or she will still be eligible for compensation from the other driver. However, the financial award will be reduced by an amount that is equivalent to the victim’s percentage of fault. At more than 50 percent of fault, a victim’s recovery is barred entirely.If you get into a blind-spot accident in Nebraska, contact a car accident attorney in Omaha to help you protect your rights.