One of the most important questions after an accident, in addition to the health of the victims, is: who is legally liable for damages?
In some situations, it is easy to determine who is at fault. For example, if the driver was drunk and was cited for drunk driving by the officers at the scene, it would be hard for the insurance company to dispute the other driver is to blame.
However, there are a lot of other accidents where fault is a little more difficult to determine. For example, when two or more vehicles are merging it can be tough to determine who merged first and whose recklessness caused the crash. Both drivers could share some amount of fault for the accident.
If you change lanes and get into a crash, you are likely to be found at fault. As the driver changing lanes, you have a responsibility to make sure it is safe to do so. You need to be sure there is enough space for you to enter the other lane. This means checking your mirrors and any blind spots not visible in your mirrors, along with using your turn signal before beginning your maneuver.
However, the merging driver being at fault is just a general rule. Every accident is different, and the other driver could be found at fault, such as if he or she was speeding or not paying attention because he or she was distracted.
Drivers could also be found at fault for refusing to let other cars merge, tailgating the car in front of him or her, speeding up as cars attempt to merge, or slowing down as cars behind start to merge.