Experienced drivers often think they can predict other drivers’ moves. A turn signal means that a driver will be moving into another lane, for example. If a driver slows down a bit, it must mean he or she is getting ready to turn. The car approaching the intersection will stop, since the light has turned yellow.
However, these assumptions are dangerous. There are a number of reasons why drivers take certain actions. A driver may use a turn signal to move over into another lane, only to realize that he should stay in the current lane because his exit is quickly approaching. A driver slowing down may simply realize he was going a few miles an hour over the speed limit. The driver approaching the intersection may not stop for the yellow light, because the law does not require it.
Drivers must exercise caution while they are traveling on roadways, and they have a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. Acting on assumptions while driving is not acting reasonably under the circumstances. A prudent driver will always make sure that a driver is stopping, turning, or taking some other action before making his next move. Otherwise, the driver may cause an accident
Liability for false assumptions
The duty to act reasonably under the circumstances while driving is breached when a driver makes a false assumption and causes a car accident. When this breach is the proximate cause of a victim’s injuries, the victim may be able to recover for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other damages that result.
The victim in the accident carries the burden of proof. This means that the allegations that the at-fault driver caused the accident by making a false assumption must be supported by objective evidence. Bystanders and vehicle passengers may make statements to the police that may be used in the case. Accident reports may explain how the accident occurred. Skilled personal injury attorneys are able to piece these items together and determine not only how the accident occurred, but also how a false assumption was the root of the accident.
Avoiding accidents caused by false assumptions
First, always wait to see what another driver is going to do before taking action. Simply holding off a few seconds before stopping, making a turn, or accelerating will save you months of headache if an accident occurs—even if it is not your fault.
Drive defensively. You must always try to anticipate a driver’s next move—what would you do if the car in front of you slammed on brakes? Always be on alert.
Call our experienced personal injury attorneys to discuss your claim
If you were injured due to the negligence of another driver, let the skilled personal injury attorneys at Stein & Shulman help. With over forty years of experience, our attorneys know how to support your claim so that you maximize your recovery. Call 312-422-0500 to schedule your free consultation.