Fault for a Collision That Occurs During a U-Turn

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on December 28, 2022

circular u-turn sign A U-turn is a traffic maneuver that can be incredibly dangerous, even when the driver making the maneuver is being cautious. Unfortunately, drivers are often not careful when they make U-turns. Drivers who are nearby may also fail to exercise caution, increasing the risk of a collision that could cause injuries.

Below, we discuss liability for a crash that occurs during a U-turn. If you were injured in such a crash, contact the experienced lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl today to learn more about how we may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. There are no upfront fees for our services and the initial consultation is free.

Millions recovered for injured victims. Call today: 410-401-9979.

Why do U-Turn Collisions Happen?

Drivers who make U-turns could crash into oncoming cars. Collisions could also involve cars to the left of the U-turning car that are making a right turn.

Sometimes the driver making a U-turn misjudges how much time and space there is to make the U-turn and avoid oncoming cars. Sometimes the U-turning driver or the driver who is turning right fail to notice each other.

There is often a lot of confusion when a driver is making a U-turn because people do not know who has the right of way. Even if drivers do know who has the right of way, they often do not follow the rules. Drivers often stop when they should go or go when they need to stop.

Sometimes drivers who are trailing the U-turning car cause rear-end crashes. Drivers of these vehicles get impatient waiting to make a left turn or a U-turn. They may also see the lead car begin to move and think the lead car is going to make the turn. If the trailing driver hits the gas based on this belief, a rear-end crash could happen.

Who Has the Right of Way During a U-Turn?

The rule for a making a U-turn in Maryland is simple: if you are making a U-turn, you must yield the right of way to any approaching vehicle that is so close it constitutes an immediate threat. That means you must yield to oncoming traffic, and you should yield to drivers to your left who are making a right turn.

One of the problems during a U-turn is that drivers who are turning right often wave at the U-turning driver to signal that the U-turning driver should proceed. Drivers may get used to this and start to think they should go first instead of the drivers who are turning right.

Some drivers who are turning right know they have the right of way. They may start to turn while another driver makes a U-turn. If a crash occurs, both drivers may legitimately believe they both have the right of way. The U-turning driver may say the other driver should have waited.

When Might Drivers Share Fault for a U-Turn Crash?

There are many crashes in which the drivers involved share fault. In other words, the crash could have been avoided if both drivers had been more careful.

In many other states, partial fault can limit the amount of compensation you may be able to recover for your damages. However, in Maryland, partial fault bars you from seeking any compensation for your damages.

It is important to understand that there are times when you might not bear any fault, even though the other driver and his or her insurance company may be leading you to believe otherwise. You should strongly consider talking about the crash with a licensed Maryland vehicle accident attorney. You may not be at fault in any way.

If you were yielding the right of way and were rear-ended by another driver, you are not at fault. The rear driver may claim you had a green arrow and you needed to get out of the way. However, the rear driver is probably saying this because he or she is angry and is in a rush to get somewhere. At-fault drivers tend to shift blame to others, even when there is no reason to do this.

If another driver waves at you to let you know you can proceed with your U-turn, but that driver starts to turn as well, it may be difficult to determine fault. Technically you did not have the right of way, but the other driver signaled to you. This is a situation in which it is important to contact an experienced lawyer. You do not want to assume things about fault without consulting a legal professional who has dealt with questions about fault.

If you crashed into a U-turning driver when you had a green light, but you were speeding, you may be partially to blame. If you were approaching the intersection and saw a driver making a U-turn but kept going and a collision occurred, you may bear partial fault.

Contact Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices Today

We are here to help those injured because of the negligence of others, including the negligence of other drivers.

If you were injured in a crash in Maryland that was caused by another driver, it is important to meet with an experienced lawyer to determine your legal options. You cannot rely on the insurance company to provide the compensation you need. They are committed to denying or underpaying claims, no matter how severe your injuries.

Free consultation with no upfront fees. Call 410-401-9979.