The driver who’s at fault in a U-turn accident in Michigan is almost always the driver who is negligently making the U-turn when it either was not safe to do so or when it is clearly illegal to do so. The driver will often be cited for making an illegal turn or for impeding traffic, in addition to causing an automobile crash. Many cities, townships, and villages have laws and local ordinances prohibiting or restricting U-turns.
Michigan state law does not specifically make U-turns illegal. That said, drivers should still try to avoid making U-turns because they are one of the most dangerous things a driver can do when operating a motor vehicle.
In Michigan, it is very common for a U-turn accident to occur because the turning driver failed to accurately estimate the time, distance and speed of oncoming traffic before making his or her turn.
Another reason why U-turns are so dangerous and cause so many automobile crashes is because the vehicles traveling in the same direction as the driver making the U-turn will not be expecting it. Often the vehicle behind the car making a U-turn is not able to safely reduce their speed to safely accommodate the U-turning driver.
Does Michigan law say who’s at fault for a U-turn accident?
If there is a sign prohibiting U-turns or if the city or township in which a crash occurs has outlawed U-turns, then the turning driver will be cited at fault for causing a U-turn accident. Michigan law provides that violation of the law is evidence of negligence.
Keep in mind that more than one party can be at-fault, however, and if the car that strikes the vehicle is speeding or otherwise not paying attention and driving carelessly, then another driver can also be found simultaneously at fault for a U-turn crash.
Can a moving violation determine who’s at fault for a U turn accident?
A driver who has committed a moving violation is likely the party who’s also at fault for a U turn accident because moving violations can be considered evidence of negligence under Michigan law. Additional moving violations when a driver is making a U-turn may include reckless or careless driving, impeding traffic, not turning safely and failure to yield the right of way.
Does Michigan law prohibit U-turns?
Michigan law does not specifically prohibit U-turns and, thus, they are technically legal – even though they are very dangerous. However, cities, villages and townships that have adopted Rule 434 of the Uniform Traffic Code may pass laws that prohibit or restrict drivers’ use of U-turns.
Can I recover compensation if I was injured in a U-Turn crash?
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident during a U-turn in Michigan, then you may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation from the driver who’s at fault. You may also be able to recover No-Fault benefits to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages.
Does Michigan law say who’s at fault for an illegal U-turn accident?
Generally, the person who’s at fault for an illegal U-turn accident is the driver who performed the U-turn: (1) unsafely; (2) while committing a moving violation under the Michigan Vehicle Code; and/or (3) while violating a city/township/village ordinance prohibiting or restricting U turns.
Does a pain and suffering compensation claim depend on who’s responsible for causing the U-turn crash?
Yes. You must always prove who caused the crash (i.e., who is negligent) in any lawsuit in Michigan or in any other state, and that certainly includes a U-turn crash. In Michigan, in order to be able to recover pain and suffering from the at-fault driver, you also must show that your injuries from the car crash have caused you to suffer a “serious impairment of body function.”
No-Fault benefits do not depend on who’s responsible for causing the automobile crash
Your legal rights to recover auto No-Fault insurance benefits, however, do not depend on who’s at fault for a U-turn accident. Michigan law ensures that auto accident victims receive No-Fault PIP benefits to cover medical bills and lost wages “without regard to fault.” (MCL 500.3105(2))
To protect your right to recover No-Fault benefits after an automobile crash, you must file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called a “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year after the crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
Generally, the insurance company that is responsible for paying your No-Fault benefits will be your insurer or the insurer of your spouse or a relative living in your home. If no coverage is available through those sources, then you will need to apply for No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
If you do not file your application on time, then the auto insurance company will use this to deny your No-Fault PIP claim and refuse to pay any and all of the No-Fault benefits you would have otherwise been entitled to.
Questions about who’s at fault after being injured in a U-turn accident? Call the auto accident attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you were injured in a U-turn automobile crash in Michigan and you have questions about who is responsible for causing the crash and your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced lawyer at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.