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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Question Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    My question involves an accident that occurred in the state of: GA

    First of all thank you for taking your time to look and possibly give your opinion on this.

    The other day I was involved in a fender bender and I would like to know if I was completely in the wrong. It's a rainy morning, still dark and very congested traffic conditions. I am behind 2 vehicles waiting to merge onto a 2 lane highway from an access road. The main traffic is coming to a stop as the light at the intersection was red. The 2 cars in front of me merge on the highway and now it's my turn to do so. At this point the main highway traffic is almost at a full stop right up to where I am. As I am yielding I see a 2 car length gap so I pull out close to the rear bumper of the car in front of me... at this point I see the driver to my left purposely speed up to close the gap and block me from merging even though the front half of my car is already in the lane... I try to pull out but he continues to roll right into my car damaging my driver's side door, front fender and all the way down to my headlight. The officer does not issue me a ticket yet in the report states that I am at fault for failing to yield (even though he did verbally mention to me that the driver seemed very distracted and I did see him on his phone). Am I at fault here because the other driver purposely obstructed me from merging by speeding up and was clearly distracted by his phone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    3,344

    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Sounds to me that it was his lane. To make it worse you knew he was speeding up and you continued anyway.

    P.S. You really can't have it both ways. Either he was distracted and didn't see you or he was purposely trying to block you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,739

    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Sounds to me that it was his lane. To make it worse you knew he was speeding up and you continued anyway.

    P.S. You really can't have it both ways. Either he was distracted and didn't see you or he was purposely trying to block you.
    That doesn't sound like the OP "continued anyway".

    I try to pull out but he continues to roll right into my car damaging my driver's side door, front fender and all the way down to my headlight.
    It sounds more like the OP realized that the other guy was closing the gap and tried to get out of the way, unsuccessfully. However, that probably doesn't make any real difference as to fault.

    OP, you should probably turn in the claim to your insurance company, get your car fixed, and let them determine fault.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,282

    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting silver8577
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    Am I at fault here because the other driver purposely obstructed me from merging by speeding up and was clearly distracted by his phone.
    Your story is that he sped up and hit you intentionally. Why anybody would damage their own car intentionally doesn't make sense. What does make more sense is that you failed to yield, abruptly cut in front of him too fast for him to avoid hitting you.

    That's called a "presumption" which is difficult to overcome without the testimony of impartial witnesses. If you don't have any then I predict that you will be deemed at fault by your insurance company (and his).

    If you don't like that outcome your option is to sue the other driver (on your own), prove him at fault, and get a judgment against him. If you don't want to do that then I am afraid you'll be stuck with your insurance company's decision, if it doesn't go your way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    326

    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    They way you tell it, you were already in the lane, i.e., in the intersection, and he then plowed the front of his bumper into your side. I'm not at all sure you're at fault. Did you let any cars driving on the main road in front of you before you attempted to merge, or did you follow immediately behind the cars that were in front of you on the access road?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Georgia
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    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting zeljo
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    They way you tell it, you were already in the lane, i.e., in the intersection, and he then plowed the front of his bumper into your side. I'm not at all sure you're at fault. Did you let any cars driving on the main road in front of you before you attempted to merge, or did you follow immediately behind the cars that were in front of you on the access road?
    Traffic was moving very very slow... I was initially stopped as I assessed the traffic, then I saw the 2 car gap coming up and put the front of my car in the lane but I was not able to get my entire car in because traffic was backed up to where I was merging... the guy ran into me even though he saw I was partially in the lane...I tried to pull out of his way but it was too late to really go anywhere

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    Sounds to me that it was his lane. To make it worse you knew he was speeding up and you continued anyway.

    P.S. You really can't have it both ways. Either he was distracted and didn't see you or he was purposely trying to block you.
    No what I did was I entered the lane with the front of my car... traffic was backed up to where i was merging so I could not go anywhere... as I pulled in the lane he saw me and tried to close the gap and not let me in then continued to plow into my side at like 1 mph ... I tried to move out of his way but it was too little too late...

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Your story is that he sped up and hit you intentionally. Why anybody would damage their own car intentionally doesn't make sense. What does make more sense is that you failed to yield, abruptly cut in front of him too fast for him to avoid hitting you.

    That's called a "presumption" which is difficult to overcome without the testimony of impartial witnesses. If you don't have any then I predict that you will be deemed at fault by your insurance company (and his).

    If you don't like that outcome your option is to sue the other driver (on your own), prove him at fault, and get a judgment against him. If you don't want to do that then I am afraid you'll be stuck with your insurance company's decision, if it doesn't go your way.
    Believe me I don't get why he would do that either... the damage to his truck was a small scratch and the damage to my 2 door coupe was a huge scratch across half of my car (drivers door, fender, mirror and headlight)... point is there was no abrupt maneuver... traffic was literally backed up to where I was merging... i put the nose of my car in his lane when I saw he was 2 cars away thinking like any rational person that he would allow me to merge since no one was going anywhere... he intentionally ran into my car which i believe was due to him being on his phone

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    That doesn't sound like the OP "continued anyway".



    It sounds more like the OP realized that the other guy was closing the gap and tried to get out of the way, unsuccessfully. However, that probably doesn't make any real difference as to fault.

    OP, you should probably turn in the claim to your insurance company, get your car fixed, and let them determine fault.
    Thank you for the advice.... that is probably what I will do I just did not understand why the other driver should not have any fault in this whole thing when he purposely hit my car... there was no quick pulling out in front of him or anything... he saw I was trying to merge and decided not to let me then proceeded to run into me

  7. #7
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting silver8577
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    Traffic was moving very very slow... I was initially stopped as I assessed the traffic, then I saw the 2 car gap coming up and put the front of my car in the lane but I was not able to get my entire car in because traffic was backed up to where I was merging... the guy ran into me even though he saw I was partially in the lane...I tried to pull out of his way but it was too late to really go anywhere



    No what I did was I entered the lane with the front of my car... traffic was backed up to where i was merging so I could not go anywhere... as I pulled in the lane he saw me and tried to close the gap and not let me in then continued to plow into my side at like 1 mph ... I tried to move out of his way but it was too little too late...



    Believe me I don't get why he would do that either... the damage to his truck was a small scratch and the damage to my 2 door coupe was a huge scratch across half of my car (drivers door, fender, mirror and headlight)... point is there was no abrupt maneuver... traffic was literally backed up to where I was merging... i put the nose of my car in his lane when I saw he was 2 cars away thinking like any rational person that he would allow me to merge since no one was going anywhere... he intentionally ran into my car which i believe was due to him being on his phone



    Thank you for the advice.... that is probably what I will do I just did not understand why the other driver should not have any fault in this whole thing when he purposely hit my car... there was no quick pulling out in front of him or anything... he saw I was trying to merge and decided not to let me then proceeded to run into me
    No one has to 'let you merge'. That's a common mistake.
    Don't make me quote Monty Python at you.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Georgia
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    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting BooRennie
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    No one has to 'let you merge'. That's a common mistake.
    I agree there is no particular law stating that, however, it's that sort of mentality that causes unnecessary accidents... there are unwritten rules which have a lot to do with decency, etiquette and just overall respect for other people in traffic... drivers in all lanes of traffic are responsible for merging safely and maintaining overall safe conditions. I am not saying I don't have any fault in this story... i judged that I could safely merge when there was a 2 car gap between me and the guy (with traffic almost standing still)... his responsibility was to help create room for the merging vehicle which was 2 cars away and already half turned in the lane instead of speeding up to intentionally cause an accident. He just happened to be a complete a**hole who wanted to prove a point which in the end will cost everyone time and money. I guess I am starting to see your logic though... no one has to "be an a**hole" they just choose to be and it's a common mistake for decent people to assume otherwise.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,284

    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Sorry but you are still wrong. While etiquette would mandate that people allow mergers to enter, it is entirely the fault that the merger cuts into the lane without ascertaining that the other driver is yielding that causes the "unnecessary accidents." The other driver had ZERO responsibility to "make room for you." I might direct you to the subreddit r/AITA for the rest of your post.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Purposely Obstructing Merge. Who is at Fault

    Quote Quoting silver8577
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    i judged that I could safely merge when there was a 2 car gap between me and the guy (with traffic almost standing still)...
    And his story is that you cut in front of him and hit him.

    Everybody blames the other driver. That's why there are presumptions based on statutes. You were obligated by law to yield. You got hit which means you didn't yield. Had you yielded you wouldn't have been hit. In the absence of witnesses to the contrary, you're at fault.

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