How to Determine Who is At Fault in a Roundabout Accident

How to Determine Who is At Fault in a Roundabout Accident

Abasi Major
February 23, 2023

Roundabouts were designed to improve traffic flow and safety. Because all vehicles move in the same direction and cars are obligated to yield at every intersection, studies have revealed that roundabouts reduce the likelihood of a car accident by 37%, and if any do occur, the severity is reduced by 75%.

However, that’s not to say that roundabouts are completely crash-free zones. Especially if a motorist is unfamiliar with the layout and doesn’t yield to unique traffic rules in a roundabout or traffic circle, they can potentially cause a car accident.

If you have recently been in a roundabout accident, get legal advice from experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers today. 

What is a Roundabout Accident?

Roundabout accidents refer to any type of car crash that occurs within or near a roundabout circle. These usually happen when the driver doesn’t know how to navigate the roundabout properly or does not pay attention to vehicles emerging from the different intersections. 

The most common causes of roundabout accidents are the following: 

  • When a driver enters the roundabout too quickly and is not able to make the curve 
  • When two vehicles enter the roundabout at the same time and collide 
  • When a driver in an intersection does not yield to the drivers already in the roundabout 
  • When a driver attempts to exit the roundabout and crashes with a vehicle already in the circle. 

Questions to Ask to Determine Fault in a Roundabout Accident 

There are three basic questions that need to be answered to determine who is at fault in a roundabout accident. 

Who Had the Right of Way?

The person who had the right of way is usually the innocent party in any car crash. When it comes to roundabouts, the driver who is already in the circle is the one who has the right of way. Hence, other drivers in the intersections are required to yield to those inside the roundabout. 

If a driver tries to cut into the traffic without waiting their turn and in doing so collides with a vehicle in the roundabout, they are likely at fault and will be liable for the accident. 

Was There a Rear-End Collision?

In rear-end collisions, the driver who hit the other vehicle from behind is usually presumed to be at fault. This is especially true in roundabouts, as the distance between cars is much shorter. Roundabouts are only safe if drivers maintain a steady speed and keep their distance from other vehicles. 

Rear-end collisions can also indicate that the driver who struck the other car tried to beat the other into exiting the roundabout. In this case, they are also at fault and liable. 

Was Someone Changing Lanes?

Roundabouts are confusing to navigate because drivers must know which lane to enter to get to their destination. If they enter in the wrong lane, they would have to switch lanes to make their exit – and this is a very common cause of roundabout accidents. 

If a vehicle changing lanes inside the circle causes a crash, they are at fault and liable for the accident. 

Work With a Car Accident Attorney 

Determining fault in a roundabout accident requires asking the questions above and assessing the events that led to the crash. Hence, if you are involved in a roundabout accident, make sure that you document the collision and gather as much evidence as you can to support your claim. 

A car accident attorney can help you build a solid defense and initiate your claim for damages. They can guide you through the process, from negotiating with your insurance company to going to trial, if needed, and ensure that you get the compensation that you are entitled to. Speak to our car accident lawyers today.

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