What are Georgia’s Laws on U-Turns and Accident Liability?
Many drivers in Georgia struggle when it comes to making U-turns. They have no idea when the maneuver is legal or illegal. It’s safe to say that, more often than not, they simply guess. Unfortunately, when they do so, they can put themselves and others in danger and cause serious accidents.
Here, we provide an overview of Georgia’s U-turn laws. We also look at many situations in which drivers making U-turns can be held liable for causing car accidents. You may be surprised at how often these crashes occur in Norcross and throughout the greater Atlanta area.
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a U-turn accident, you should contact Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, to discuss the specific facts of your case in a free consultation. You may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and more. Call or reach us online today.
What Are Georgia’s Laws on U-Turns?
Under Georgia law – specifically O.C.G.A. § 40-6-121 – drivers can legally make a U-turn on any road. However, a few exceptions apply to this rule. It is illegal to make a U-turn where:
- There is a curve in the road.
- You are going uphill and cannot see approaching cars.
- You can’t make the turn safely and without interrupting the flow of traffic.
If you are involved in a crash with a driver who was making an illegal U-turn in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-121, you can establish that driver’s negligence as a matter of law, or negligence per se. This is why it is important to understand Georgia’s U-turn laws and the role they can play in your ability to recover full and fair compensation for the injuries and losses that you suffer as the result of a car accident.
What Are Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents in Georgia?
U-turn accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. In most cases, they result from drivers’ careless or reckless decisions. For example, they commonly occur when drivers:
- Make a U-turn in the wrong location – In addition to curves and hills, many other locations are simply unsafe for U-turns. For instance, it can be highly dangerous to attempt a U-turn in a tight parking lot or double turn lane.
- Disregard bad weather conditions – A safe, reasonable driver adjusts to weather conditions. Accidents often occur when drivers ignore the fact that conditions such as heavy rain, thick fog or bright sun limit their ability to see oncoming traffic, and they try to force a U-turn.
- Fail to yield the right of way – Even though no sign is present that prohibits a U-turn, a driver still must yield to oncoming traffic before making the turn. Unfortunately, some drivers are in too much of a rush, and as a result, they take risks when they make U-turns. Their reckless decisions can lead to a head-on collision.
- Operate their cars under the influence of alcohol or drugs – An intoxicated driver simply lacks the mental and physical faculties to operate a vehicle safely. Many U-turn crashes result from the poor decisions of drunk or drugged drivers.
In some situations, both drivers involved in a U-turn accident may be at fault. For instance, one driver may make an illegal U-turn. However, at the same time, the other driver may have been able to avoid the collision if he or she had not been speeding or driving while distracted by texting or talking on a cell phone.
It is important to know that you may still be eligible to recover damages in a car accident lawsuit in Georgia even if you were partially at fault for the crash. Your damages would be reduced according to the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you suffer $100,000 in damages, but you are 25 percent at fault, then your recovery would be reduced to $75,000. If you are 50 percent or more at fault, you would be barred from recovering any damages.
How Do You Establish Liability in a U-Turn Accident?
To establish liability in a U-turn accident, you will need to work with a law firm that knows how to conduct a thorough investigations of crashes. For instance, at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, we typically gather and analyze evidence in crashes such as:
- Accident scene photos
- Surveillance camera footage
- Witness statements
- Black box data
- Cell phone records
- Chemical test results
- Police accident report.
We also go to the crash site and inspect every aspect of it, including tire marks, lane markings and nearby traffic signs and lights. Additionally, we often consult with experts in areas such as accident reconstruction. These professionals can examine all of the evidence and determine why an accident occurred. They can also help us to determine who was at fault for the crash.
In most cases, the driver who caused the U-turn accident is the only party who faces liability. However, in some cases, other parties may be liable as well. For instance, if the driver who caused a U-turn crash was working when it happened, the driver’s employer could be liable for the negligence of its employee. Under some circumstances, a vendor or social host who provided alcohol to a drunk driver who caused an accident may be held accountable.
Our Norcross Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If you have been hurt in a car accident, and it involved a driver making a U-turn, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, we can bring more than 40 years of combined legal experience to your case and a record that includes more than $150 million in verdicts and settlements that we have secured on behalf of clients throughout Georgia. We will provide the one-on-one attention and aggressive legal representation that you deserve. You can count on us to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for you. To learn more about how we can help you, call or reach us online today and receive a free consultation through our conveniently located Norcross office.
Alan is a Gwinnett County native who proudly serves his community and provides skilled representation to injury victims and their families as a founding partner of the personal injury law firm of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. Alan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to graduate, summa cum laude, from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. He is also a graduate of Gerry Spence’s renowned Trial Lawyers College (TLC) in Wyoming. In his free time, Alan frequently speaks at continuing legal education seminars. He also volunteers as a youth baseball coach and assists his local high school’s moot court competition team.