Hit while making an illegal U-turn?

by Don
(San Jose, CA, USA)

My wife made an illegal u-turn on a two-lane road near where she works. No vehicles were coming from the oncoming direction, and she was going very slow, looking for parking. The posted speed limit was 25mph.

There was a car following her when she made the turn. She was well through the u-turn when she was struck broadside by the car that was following her. At that point, both vehicles were on the wrong side of the double yellow line. Damage to my wife's car was extreme, both doors on the drivers side were caved in.

How might liability be assigned or divided? Both drivers were doing illegal maneuvers. This is in CA. Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hit while making an illegal U-turn?":

Don (San Jose, CA, USA):

The State of California follows the Comparative Fault Rule. The Comparative Fault Rule allows a liable party to recover even if he or she is 99% at fault, although the recovery is reduced by the liable party’s degree of fault.

A determination of liability will be decided by the insurance companies. Of course, your wife’s insurance company will argue your wife was minimally at fault, while the other driver's insurance company will argue the same. In the end, if the insurance companies are unable to come to an agreement, the matter may end up in court.

At that time, your wife will be supplied with an attorney employed by her insurance company. Your wife will not have to pay any legal fees. The other driver’s insurance company will do the same.

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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