27 Aug 2021

By Boris Tadchiev

In car accident

Although U-turn accidents typically occur at lower speeds than many other kinds of motor vehicle accidents, these crashes can lead to serious injuries for accident victims, especially pedestrians and cyclists.

If you have been injured in a U-turn accident in Queens or elsewhere in New York City, you may wonder whether the driver making the U-turn can be held liable for the crash. You’ll turn first to your own no-fault insurance to cover your initial medical expenses. If your injuries are serious, you may also be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

Why Are U-Turns So Dangerous?

U-turns often involve stopping in an active traffic lane and turning in the opposite direction in front of oncoming vehicles.

U-turns are prohibited in business districts and school zones in New York City and where NO U-TURN signs are posted. They are prohibited at many intersections with two-way traffic.

Even where legal, U-turns require a driver to check for oncoming traffic going in the opposite direction, right-turning traffic coming from the perpendicular direction, and pedestrians or cyclists in the crosswalk.

Missing any of these potential obstructions can lead to a serious accident.

Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents

Frequent causes of U-turn accidents in Queens, NY include:

  • Making an illegal U-turn
  • Attempting a U-turn near the top of a hill or curve where approaching drivers cannot see your vehicle
  • Attempting a U-turn from street parking
  • Attempting a U-turn from a middle turning lane
  • Failing to observe oncoming traffic or pedestrians in the intersection
  • Failing to yield to oncoming traffic with the right of way
  • Making a U-turn with obstructed views

Six Common U-Turn Accident Types

The six most common kinds of U-turn accident types include:

  • T-bone accidents, where the side of the vehicle making the U-turn is struck by an oncoming vehicle proceeding
  • Sideswipe accidents, where the vehicle making the U-turn cannot or does not keep the turn tight, swiping the side of another vehicle in an adjacent lane while completing the turn
  • Rear-end accidents, which may occur when the driver making the U-turn immediately stops after completing the turn and is hit by a vehicle coming up from behind
  • Head-on collisions, which happen when a driver making a U-turn pulls out in front of oncoming traffic
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents, which happen when a driver fails to spot the pedestrian or cyclist before starting their turn.

Who Is at Fault in a U-Turn Collision?

In most cases, the driver making the U-turn will be found responsible for the accident. A driver making a U-turn on a limited-access expressway that causes an accident will be at fault because U-turns are prohibited on N.Y. expressways.

However, other circumstances may affect the allocation of fault in some collisions.

For example, if the driver making the U-turn was doing so in a lawful place and with a green arrow left turn sign, another driver making a right turn from the perpendicular street against a red light may be found mostly or entirely at fault for the crash.

Contact a New York City Car Accident Attorney About a U-Turn Accident

If you have been seriously injured in a U-turn accident in NYC, your no-fault insurance may not cover your medical bills and other losses. Call The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. today to discuss whether a personal injury claim is in order. Call for a free consultation with a New York City car accident attorney. Learn about your legal options for pursuing a financial recovery from the driver responsible for your injuries. Call us or get in touch with us online.