Truck Collision on Right Shoulder While Passing - Who's at Fault?

by Leslie
(Texas)

Two days ago my family was coming home from out of town. We were on a 2 lane highway and each lane had its own shoulder. A truck in front of me put on his left blinker and slowed down, I decided to go around him on the right shoulder. I live in Texas and it is legal to pass on the right when the vehicle being passed is making or about to make a left hand turn.

I went into the right shoulder and was about to pass him when he all of a sudden made a last second decision and pulled onto the right shoulder too, and he hit my car. His back passenger corner hit my front driver's side corner (my head light, bumper, fender and hood are slightly smashed up).

The driver of the truck said the parking lot he was about to turn into had another truck coming out of it and he felt like he didn't have enough room to make it into the parking lot, so he was gonna get on the right shoulder and do a U-turn and let the truck leave the parking lot.

I saw the truck coming out of the parking lot and the other driver who hit me had more then enough room to turn, the entrance to the parking lot was very wide.

Do you know who is at fault for this accident? The Texas law states I can pass on the right when the vehicle being passed is turning or about to turn left. The guy clearly had his left blinker on and slowed down, so yes, he was about to turn left.

My insurance company is saying it's likely the other insurance company will say we're both 50% at fault. What's your thoughts on this?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Truck Collision on Right Shoulder While Passing - Who's at Fault?":

Leslie (Texas):

We confirmed the legality in Texas of passing on the right shoulder of the road. We found the information in the Texas Transportation Code - Section 545.058. “Driving On Improved Shoulder.”

The part of the statute which seems to apply to you is as follows:

--------------
(a) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of a roadway if that operation is necessary and may be done safely, but only:

(4) to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled, or preparing to make a left turn;
--------------

Your actions do not seem to indicate you were negligent. If the police were called and either of you were issued a citation such action would imply wrongdoing and would adversely affect a claim of no negligence.

Although we do not necessarily agree with your insurance company’s assessment of apportioned culpability, we do see a problem with arriving at a clear and convincing answer.

Regrettably, you will have little input in the investigation and resultant decision of your insurance company. They will investigate the facts and will determine themselves the apportionment of liability. All you can do is state your position and hope for the best.

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

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Semi-truck Accident Questions.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION