Right-of-Way in Roundabouts: Why You May Not Have an Accident Case


If you were recently involved in an accident with a semi, you may want to seek out legal advice from an auto accident attorney. However, if you were involved in an accident with a semi in a roundabout, you may actually not have a case at all. Here is why.

Semi Trucks Have the Right-of-Way in Roundabouts

There is this little-known law that gives semis the right-of-way in round-abouts. Since round-abouts are relatively new to the U.S., educating and adopting laws regarding their use still creates a lot of confusion for drivers. (Round-abouts are quite common in Europe, where drivers already know how to navigate the perils of these circular roads.)

Essentially, every time a semi truck enters a round-about, everyone else should yield to the truck driver because semi-trucks are not made to turn in perfect circles. Vehicles on the left hand side of these trucks are often the ones that end up in accidents because the trucks are trying to turn their massive vehicles and trailers around the innermost part of the roundabout in order to get to another straight lane. Meanwhile, the vehicles attempting to merge on the right hand side are rear-ended or side-swiped by the big trucks because those vehicles failed to yield.

What That Means for Your Accident Case

There are some exceptions to getting into an accident with a semi in a round-about. If you were ahead of the semi in the roundabout and the driver sped up and smacked into you or was driving inattentively/ under the influence, you may still have a case. If the police deem that it was just a case of you failing to yield to the big truck as you were supposed to (regardless of not knowing this particular law), then you have no case at all. Other factors, such as landscaping and statuary in the center of the round-about which may have contributed to the accident, also need to be taken into account. These other factors may bring about other avenues to pursue in court, especially if the statuary blocked the views of both you and the truck driver.

Talk to an attorney like those at the Law Offices of Burton J. Hass who can look at the police records, your statements, the truck driver's statements and determine if you are off the hook for the accident and should pursue it. If you somehow manage to have a case, then by all means you should pursue it. Your lawyer can sue for damages to your vehicle, injuries you needed medical attention for, and any days of lost wages. 

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