Who Is at Fault for a U-Turn Accident?

cars on highway making u-turn

Were you injured when another vehicle made a U-turn while driving in Houston? Did you suffer severe injuries and incur costly medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, and other losses due to the crash? 

If you were injured in a U-turn accident in Texas, you might be wondering who is liable for compensating you. The Houston car accident lawyers at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, are ready to evaluate your case and help you understand your rights and legal options.

Contact us now for a free claim review.

What Makes U-Turns Dangerous?

A U-turn can be a particularly dangerous maneuver for drivers, especially in areas with heavy traffic. To complete a U-turn in a non-designated area, motorists must stop in their lane and turn in the direction of oncoming traffic. 

U-turns are typically legal in Texas unless traffic signs indicate otherwise. That gives motorists broad discretion over U-turns. Unfortunately, some motorists choose to make U-turns in areas where it is not safe. Even if they are legally able to make a U-turn like in an intersection with a protected green light, collisions can occur if other motorists aren’t paying attention or if the driver making the U-turn fails to keep their vehicle in their assigned lane. 

Who Is at Fault for a U-Turn Accident?

In many cases, the driver making the U-turn is liable for the accident. Even though U-turns are generally not illegal, drivers who are negligent when making a U-turn can be held responsible if they cause a collision. 

However, other motorists could potentially be responsible in some situations. For instance, if the driver is making a legal U-turn at an intersection with a green arrow and an oncoming vehicle collides with the turning vehicle because they ran a red light, the driver of the oncoming vehicle could be liable. 

Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents

Some of the most common causes of U-turn accidents in Houston include: 

  • Making a U-turn when traffic signs prohibit them
  • Making a U-turn at the crest of a hill or in a no-passing zone where other motorists may not be able to see the turning vehicle
  • Attempting a U-turn from the middle lane of a roadway
  • Making a U-turn when leaving a parallel parking spot
  • Making a U-turn when oncoming traffic is approaching an intersection or when a pedestrian is crossing at a crosswalk
  • Making a right turn at an intersection while another driver attempts a U-turn
  • Speeding through an intersection when the U-turning driver has a protected green light

Types of U-Turn Accidents

Some frequent types of U-turn accidents include: 

  • T-bone collisions, also called side-impact collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents, when one vehicle “swipes” the side of another
  • Head-on collisions, when two cars traveling in opposite directions collide
  • Rear-end collisions, when a vehicle is hit from behind
  • Pedestrian accidents, when a U-turning driver collides with a crossing pedestrian
  • Bicycle collisions, when a turning motorist crashes into a cyclist

Liability When a U-Turn Crash Happens

To bring a successful claim, you’ll need to prove that the other motorist was negligent. To establish negligence, your attorney must demonstrate that the other motorist owed you a duty to protect you from harm and that they failed to fulfill that duty through negligence.

You’ll also have to show that they caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. You must provide evidence of losses you suffered as a direct result. 

What Does State Law Say About U-Turns?

There are no Texas laws explicitly prohibiting U-turns. As long as no signage forbids motorists from making a U-turn, they can generally perform a U-turn legally.

When making a U-turn at an unprotected green light, motorists must wait for oncoming traffic to pass through the intersection first. All drivers are required to make U-turns from the far-left lane. Making a U-turn from the middle lanes is illegal and unsafe. When making designated U-turns across a median, drivers must yield to approaching cars before turning onto the highway. 

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys About a U-Turn Accident

Contact the Houston U-turn accident lawyers at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, to find out how our team can help you seek compensation from the at-fault party. 

About the Author

Eric Pines
For more than 25 years, attorney Eric L. Pines has been a trusted advocate for individuals who have seen their lives turned upside down by devastating personal injuries and difficult employment/labor law matters. As a founding partner at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, he is committed to providing a strong voice for people who are at risk of being taken advantage of by large insurance companies. He knows the aggressive tactics that insurance companies use to minimize or even deny personal injury claims. Eric won’t let his clients be bullied. He takes a tough stand to demand the maximum compensation his clients need to move forward with their lives after serious accidents.