Fault for U-turn accident?

by Will
(Los Angeles, CA)

I was parked to the side of an intersection that had two lanes going each way, with the center divider obstructed by a cement walk. I looked to see if any car was coming towards me, and saw that they were at a stop light.

I got on the road and turned to the far left lane (first lane from left to right) and came to an area where the center side walk was not obstructing the center of the road (clearly visible that, there was no sign stating that a u-turn could not be made).

I came to a complete stop with my left blinker on, and waited for oncoming traffic to pass, during which the traffic behind me caught up, and the car directly behind me came to a complete stop too. Once traffic passed (approximately 2 seconds later), I started making a u-turn. I heard a loud noise and saw that the car behind me had gotten rear ended.

Now I know when it comes to a car making a u-turn, its 99.9% always the person making a u-turn's fault. But in this instance, is it the fault of the person who rear ended the car behind fault? Do I have any liability? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fault for U-turn accident?":

Will (Los Angeles, CA):

You are correct. In almost all cases, the driver behind is liable when he or she crashes into the car in front. From the facts you present, you don't appear to have been negligent. As a result, you shouldn't have incurred any liability.

As long as there wasn't a sign prohibiting u-turns at the intersection, you shouldn't have much to worry about.

Be sure to secure a copy of the police accident report. Doing so will let you know if the police investigation included their opinion as to whether or not you had some fault in the accident. That appears unlikely.

As long as you haven't been contacted by one or more drivers accusing you of contributing to the accident, and no contact was made with your car, you really don't need to contact your own insurance company. But if someone accuses you of negligence, or your car was damaged, you must immediately contact your insurance company.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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