Liability When an Unsafe U-Turn Resulting in a Queens Car Accident Seriously Injures an Innocent Person
There are many dangerous maneuvers that a motorists could make in a motor vehicle. Some of the most dangerous maneuvers involve those when a vehicle crosses over or through another lane of traffic. This is why intersections are typically the most dangerous places on the roadway. However, vehicles making a U-turn effectively create an intersection when none exists. Making any type of U-turn is a huge increase in risk and danger for a serious motor vehicle collision. This is why an unsafe U-turn resulting in a Queens car accident could result in liability against a defendant.
Here at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , our experienced Queens car accident lawyer knows that an unsafe U-turn could result in catastrophic personal injuries. Victims who broadside a motor vehicle making an improper U-turn are effectively hitting a brick wall head-on. The damages are almost always serious and devastating, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, broken bones, and many other debilitating and often permanent injuries. In addition, passengers in a vehicle making an improper U-turn could also be catastrophically injured or wrongfully killed by a vehicle broadsiding them. This means that passengers could have a claim against the driver of the car they are riding in if the driver is making an unsafe U-turn. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an unsafe U-turn resulting in a Queens car accident, ask our personal injury lawyers for a FREE consultation to learn what your rights to compensation may be.
Liability for an Unsafe U-Turn
All U-turns are dangerous, even if the roadway is particularly quiet or you are in a parking lot. This is because the maneuver itself is just dangerous because a vehicle is rotating 180 degrees which exposes it to a side impact and creates blindspots around the turn. At nighttime a U-turn is extremely dangerous because a motorist cannot necessarily see where he or she is turning unless the area is lit.
This is why New York Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits U-turns in certain areas. This is under New York VTL section 1161, which provides under subsection (a) that “[n]o motor vehicle shall make a U turn upon any curve, or upon the approach to, or near the crest of a grade, where such motor vehicle cannot be seen by the driver or any other motor vehicle approaching from either direction within five hundred feet.” In addition, subsection (b) provides that “[n]o motor vehicle shall make a U turn within a school zone.”
Therefore, if a motorist makes a U-turn in an area where another motorist cannot see that vehicle for over 500 feet—which is more than five basketball courts or one and a half baseball fields or football fields—than that motorist has likely made an illegal U-turn. This is particularly true on curves or in city blogs, narrow roads in Queens, and other areas nearby where far too many drivers make unlawful U-turns and risk serious injury to us and them.
Negligence Per Se: How Victims Can Use an Unsafe U-Turn Statute to Win a Case
Under New York law, when a statute is violated it could result in an automatic finding of negligence against the violator. This is a doctrine known as negligence per se. In order for a victim to use this doctrine, he or she must:
- Be within the class of persons protected by the statute
- Suffer a harm within the class of harms the statute sought to prevent, and
- Defendant’s violation of the statute caused the specific harm to the victim.
If these elements are met, it can help a victim prove liability and automatically focus on damages. This is important because it is one less thing for a defendant to try to attack your claim.
Injured in an Unsafe U-Turn? Call Our Queens Car Accident Lawyers
Victims of an unsafe U-turn resulting in a Queens car accident should ask our lawyers at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. for help how to defend their rights to compensation. New York statutory law is clear on what types of U-turns are not allowed, however far too many motorists still take unnecessary risks and make U-turns in dangerous areas. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident occurring in NYC, Queens, Long Island, or anywhere in New York, ask our personal injury lawyers how we can help you by calling 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.