We often come across roundabouts while driving on the road. These are built to smooth traffic movement. However, failure to understand driving regulations increases the risk of a collision. Determining liability for roundabout accidents can be complicated. This blog will discuss all you need to know about roundabout crashes: driving rules, factors determining negligence, and filing claims for compensation using an auto accident attorney.
Understanding roundabout driving rules
Roundabouts aren’t usually controlled by traffic signals. Many times, drivers get into situations where they’re unsure about who has the right of way. This confusion often results in accidents. Drivers must be aware of these rules in a roundabout to reduce the possibility of a crash. These rules are:
- Slow down before entering the roundabout
- Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout before entering
- Drive in the correct lane of a multi-lane roundabout
- Don’t switch lanes in the roundabout
- Don’t stop in the roundabout
- Watch for bicyclists and pedestrians as you approach the intersection or exit the roundabout
Who’s liable for crashes in roundabouts?
Liability for a roundabout collision is determined by who had the right of way. Usually, the driver who’s already in the roundabout has the right of way. If you fail to yield to traffic while entering the traffic circle, or miscalculate the distance needed to safely enter, you’re most likely at fault in case of a crash. Yielding to those who don’t have the right of way—say other vehicles trying to enter the roundabout—may also make you at-fault in a collision.
Things may be a bit complicated if the crash involves a pedestrian or a cyclist. Drivers have a greater duty of care, and therefore are required to yield to them while entering and leaving a roundabout. However, pedestrians and cyclists may bear partial responsibility if they’re negligent, such as they crossed the road while it was unsafe to do so.
There are some roundabouts that have two lanes, an inner lane used by a driver not using the next roundabout exit, and an outer lane that’s used by those taking the next exit. Switching lanes and violating rules in such traffic circles could make you liable in a crash. Then, factors such as impaired driving, speeding, and distracted driving can also be contributory factors in establishing the liability in a collision.
Roundabout crash victims should always take pictures of the damage and gather as many witnesses as possible before leaving. Evidence is key to proving your case to the insurer, and filing a lawsuit if your insurance claim is denied. Consult a medical professional in case of injuries, and keep a record of all the medical records to furnish as evidence and to calculate the due compensation for all the costs incurred.
What about when it’s a poorly designed roundabout?
Sometimes, crashes happen due to poor road design. There may be improper display of a yield sign or speed limits. The design or placement of the roundabout can also be an issue. For instance, a pedestrian crosswalk is designed on a roundabout exit. In such cases, you may hold the government entity liable for the damages incurred in an accident and claim for compensation.
Speak to an auto accident attorney to discuss legal options
Proving negligence in a roundabout accident could be challenging, making it difficult to successfully file auto accident injury claims. If you were injured by a negligent driver or if it was due to faulty roundabout design, connect with an auto accident attorney to understand your legal rights.
They’ll thoroughly investigate to determine negligence and arrange for evidence to strengthen your case. They’ll help you seek rightful compensation for damages and negotiate a fair settlement with the defendant and insurance companies.
If you’re searching for an “auto accident attorney near me,” reach out to LegalASAP now. With our team of auto accident attorneys, we’ll match you with the right legal representation to seek the compensation you deserve for all your economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. You can also get your free auto accident evaluation to see if you may qualify.