It can be hard to determine who is at fault when there is a crash while at least one driver was making a U-turn. There are three factors that go into evaluating these wrecks.
First Factor: The Florida Statute on U-Turns
Florida law only allows U-turns if the situation satisfies all three of these requirements:
- The driver can execute the U-turn in safety,
- The U-turn will not interfere with other traffic, and
- Posted traffic control signs do not prohibit U-turns at that location.
Making a U-turn in violation of the law is a moving violation, but it is a non-criminal traffic infraction. If the driver who hit you broke the law that governs legal U-turns, he is at fault.
Second Factor: Traffic Signals at the Intersection
In general, if you have a green light or green turn signal, you have the right of way over someone who has a red light. If you are making a legal U-turn with a green arrow, a driver on the cross street should wait until you complete your U-turn and clear the intersection before turning right on red.
Despite this general rule, there are busy intersections in Florida at which the traffic signals send drivers on a potential collision course. For example, a driver on one street has a green arrow at the same time that a driver turning right from a cross street has a green arrow. Signal timing errors can cause glitches like this. In these situations, it can be tricky to figure out who actually had the right of way.
Third Factor: Common Sense
In defensive driving courses, they teach you that you can be right, but do not be dead right. No matter who has the legal right-of-way, drive with your head with extreme awareness and expect other drivers to make mistakes.
The law requires all drivers to make every reasonable effort to avoid collisions, regardless of who has the right-of-way. Even if you made a mistake when you or someone else was executing a U-turn, the other driver might also be at fault.
What Happens If Two Drivers are At Fault in a U-Turn Wreck
You can still recover some of your damages, even if you were partly to blame for the accident, as long as another driver was also negligent. Florida follows the rule of comparative negligence. This law reduces your financial recovery in proportion to your percentage of the fault.
Let’s say that you were in a crash that involved someone making a U-turn. The judge said that you were 30 percent at fault and held the other driver 70 percent responsible. If your damages were $100,000, your negligence will reduce your recovery by $30,000, and you will get $70,000.
If you have suffered an injury because of a car accident that involved a U-turn, we will talk with you at no charge to determine if someone owes you compensation. Call the Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500, and we will arrange your free consultation. We do not charge legal fees until you get paid for your losses.