Roundabouts have grown in popularity throughout the United States, and especially here in Georgia. They are generally considered to be safer than traditional intersections, although accidents can still occur. There are common sense rules for approaching these unique road features. However, it may not always be clear who is at fault in a traffic roundabout accident. If you’ve been injured in a roundabout, an experienced Smyrna, Georgia automobile accident attorney can help.
Many drivers are still unfamiliar with roundabouts, so there may sometimes be confusion as to how they work. Right-of-way rules still apply just as they do to driving elsewhere. That means you have to yield to other traffic before entering a roundabout. Before a driver merges, he or she should wait until a gap in traffic. The motorist should enter to the right, and then turn off to the right (while signaling) when exiting.
Accidents involving roundabouts still happen, and some of the most common ones are caused by:
Speeding. A speeding vehicle makes it more difficult for an oncoming driver to safely judge when to enter a roundabout.
Failure to judge distance. Conversely, an oncoming driver who fails to judge how close another vehicle is can cause a wreck when entering.
Failure to yield. Some drivers make the mistake of believing that traffic already in the roundabout must yield to them.
Not looking out for pedestrians. A pedestrian who crosses a roundabout may not follow a crosswalk signal, making it less safe.
Not being mindful of bicyclists. It’s easier to spot bicyclists when you’re driving straight and not having to watch for your exit from the roundabout.
Unsafe lane changes. In roundabouts with two or more lanes, it’s easy for drivers to unsafely change lanes when attempting to exit.
Sideswipe accidents. Drivers who don’t watch their lanes or who don’t pay attention to entering vehicles can sideswipe other motorists.
Rear-end accidents. These can still occur in a roundabout due to a driver not paying attention to his or her surroundings.
Although drivers who are entering a roundabout are expected to yield, the entering vehicle is not automatically at fault. A driver already in the roundabout who is speeding or driving unsafely could be liable instead. Georgia’s comparative negligence rules also mean that drivers may share responsibility for an accident. Your attorney will need to know as much information about the accident as possible to help defend your case.
Taking immediate action after an accident can help preserve your right to compensation. The first thing to do is obtain medical attention for anyone hurt, even if they believe their injuries are minor. Next, write down as many details as you can and give clear and accurate information to the police. Get a copy of the police report, as well as the identities of any witnesses to the accident. Take pictures or video of the accident scene as soon as you can.
You should also avoid speaking to any insurance companies. They will aggressively try to convince you to settle for less than your case is worth. An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident and demand fair compensation for these and other damages:
- Medical expenses, including for hospitalization and follow up treatments
- Prescription drug costs
- Lost time from work due to recovery
- Decreased ability to work because of injuries
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Wrongful death in the event an accident victim dies
Let Our Experienced Smyrna Attorneys Help With Your Traffic Roundabout Accident
Schneider Hammers is a law firm that handles personal injury cases. If you’ve been hurt, we can help. A knowledgeable attorney is important to getting the maximum compensation for your injuries. Put our experience to the test and give us a call today to schedule your consultation.