Visitor Question

Is driving onto the shoulder to get around a turning vehicle illegal?

Submitted By: Lionel (Harlingen, Texas, USA)

I was turning left across a two lane road while another car on the opposite side was turning to my right (doing the same thing I was doing but on the opposite side of the road). I was already making my left turn when a car coming from behind the other vehicle drove around him onto the shoulder lane and clipped me on the rear passenger side of my car.

Who is at fault in this accident? I thought it was technically illegal for a car to swerve onto the shoulder to get around another car making a turn on a single lane road? Thanks for any info you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Lionel,

From the facts you present the impatient driver of the vehicle which swerved around the vehicle in front of it was the at-fault driver. As long as you were turning properly with the light you should not suffer any fault. The driver of the first vehicle to turn may also be liable if his actions contributed to the collision.

Hopefully a police report was made. If so the report will probably indicate that one or both of the other drivers were at fault to your exclusion.

Whether the police were dispatched to the scene or not, try to get witness statements from anyone you can find who witnessed the collision. Get their names and contact information. Be sure to take plenty of photographs of your car, and if possible the other cars.

Also go back to the scene and take photographs. Look for skid marks or a tire mark on the shoulder of the road where the last car ran over it.

Put together a file so you can easily access the information when dealing with the insurance company. Then file a claim and pursue it through to compensation for the accident.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 20, 2012

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