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Failure to Maintain Lane Accidents

Syracuse Lawyers for Victims of Vehicle Collisions

If you were seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages. Generally, you’ll need to show fault, but sometimes it can be tricky or confusing to figure out who was to blame for an accident. Drivers are supposed to maintain their lane, except when it’s safe to move between lanes. Failure to maintain lane accidents can result in serious injury. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our compassionate Syracuse car accident attorneys may be able to assist you in a lawsuit for damages if you were hurt in a collision caused by another driver.

Failure to Maintain Lane

After an accident, an at-fault driver who failed to stay in her lane may not admit she was at fault. She may try to point the finger back at you, even if you were seriously injured. However, a driver’s failure to maintain their lane is a violation of law. Under New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1128, when a road has been divided into at least two clearly marked traffic lanes, a driver must operate their vehicle completely inside one lane as much as possible. The vehicle shouldn’t be driven out of that lane until the driver has first figured out that changing lanes can be done safely.

Under the same code section, when there are three lanes and there is two-way traffic, a car shouldn’t be driven in the center lane, except to overtake another car going the same way, to prepare to make a left turn, or where the center lane is officially allocated to traffic moving the same direction as the driver. If there are official marks to show that parts of the road would be dangerous to cross, no driver is allowed to drive across those markings. If official devices are used to direct slower cars to use a particular lane, drivers must obey these signs, markings, or signals.

Liability for a Car Accident

In addition to facing a traffic ticket for violating any aspect of Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1128, a driver who causes injuries based on a failure to maintain their lane may be held liable in a civil suit. To hold a driver accountable for injuries arising out of their failure to maintain their lane, you’ll likely need to establish they were negligent. You’ll need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A knowledgeable accident lawyer can review the facts of your case to determine whether you may be successful in fulfilling the elements of a negligence claim.

A failure to maintain lane may be a breach of the duty to use reasonable care. If another’s failure to maintain lane inflicts injuries on you, you may be able to recover damages. It is easier to establish another driver’s failure to maintain their lane if the police issued a traffic ticket to that driver after the accident.

In her defense, the other driver may argue that you were comparatively negligent. When comparative negligence is raised, the jury will look at your actions as well as the other driver’s actions. The jury will not only determine damages, but also assign a percentage of fault to you and the other driver. Your damages will be reduced by your proportion of fault for the accident.


If you can establish liability for a failure to maintain lane accident, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are economic and noneconomic damages intended to return you to the place you would have been in had the accident not occurred. Damages may include amounts for medical bills, lost wages, loss of enjoyment, and pain and suffering.

Consult a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Syracuse

If you were injured as a result of a failure to maintain lane in Syracuse, you can discuss your situation with a dedicated car accident lawyer. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents accident victims in Rochester, Syracuse and everywhere in Upstate New York, including in Utica, Watertown, Oswego, Canandaigua, Lowville, Herkimer, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Oneida, Ithaca, Wampsville, Auburn, Lyons, and Elmira. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 833-200-2000 or contact us through our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY