Georgia Laws on U-Turns and Accident Liability
To ensure the safety of motorists, the state of Georgia has stringent laws regarding making U-turns. These can affect accident liability if a driver is injured and decides to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Negligence may be established by demonstrating negligent behavior, as well as by establishing that the driver made an unsafe or prohibited U-turn. Be sure to report the accident so a police report may be made, which may indicate a citation if the other driver was in violation of traffic laws.
U-Turn Laws in Georgia
According to the Georgia Code §40-6-121, a driver is prohibited from making and completing a U-turn upon any curve or upon any stretch of road that approaches or is near the crest of a hill. In these cases, making a U-turn is dangerous because other vehicles around the curve or hill cannot see the turning vehicle.
According to Georgia laws, a driver may not make a U-turn if it cannot be made safely and/or without getting in the way of oncoming traffic. So if a right-turning vehicle has a green arrow and a driver attempts to make a U-turn in front of the right-turning vehicle, the driver making the U-turn can be found responsible for interfering with other traffic if an accident results.
A U-turn is also banned in Georgia on all stretches of roads and/or highways where a sign prohibiting the action is posted. Motorists not only should check for oncoming traffic, turning vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists to see if it is safe to make the turn, but also must obey any signs that prohibit the act.
It is accepted that of all the usual driving maneuvers that a motorist might execute, making a U-turn is among the more complex and can create a dangerous situation for the driver making the turn, as well as other motorists. It is imperative that motorists execute the maneuver with caution to avoid a dangerous accident.
Proving Accident Liability in a U-Turn Accident
Liability in a U-turn accident is mostly determined by invoking a legal principle known as negligence per se. According to this legal principle, certain actions of a motorist are readily regarded as negligent behavior simply because they violate a state law, such as that prohibiting U-turns in certain circumstances.
For instance, in the state of Georgia, making a U-turn is prohibited at all intersections where it is evident that the action cannot be completed safely. So if a driver has caused an accident while making a U-turn at such a place, he or she may hold accident liability under negligence per se because the driver was in violation of the law.
But providing supporting evidence to establish a motorist’s negligence – even if in violation of U-turn laws – could help if pursuing a personal injury claim. For instance, witness testimony or surveillance evidence of the accident could help victims and their attorneys establish fault.
Legal Help for U-Turn Accident Victims in Peachtree City
Although the instances of negligence per se in a U-turn accident in Georgia seem to indicate clearly the fault of the turning driver, it is not always easy to prove accident liability. That is why many plaintiffs enlist the help of an injury lawyer who can help with their U-turn accident case. An attorney can help gather the requisite pieces of evidence and prepare a case to help clients recover appropriate compensation for their damages.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. offers legal help to U-turn accident victims in Peachtree City. Reach us at (404) 474-0804 to set up a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case and accident liability.