Over a third of the motorcycle accident cases we handle at The Reinecke Law Firm involve a car making a U-turn or failing to yield at an intersection. As a motorcyclists, you and I know the feeling of riding down the street passing by parked cars and not seeing a driver waiting to leave a parallel parked spot, and wondering if the driver notices you or will yield. Drivers cut corners, get waived though by other motorists or pedestrians, or misjudges your speed and distance and possibly accelerate, thinking they have time to make the u-turn. Worse yet, they do it illegally and/or stops directly in your path causing you to crash into them.
Who is at Fault in a U- Turn Accident?
California Vehicle Code 21801 says “the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way until the turn can be made with reasonable safety.” Knowing the law, you may think, “I don’t need an attorney. It’s clear cut; she started a U-turn right in front of me.”
But even if your Traffic Collision Report says the other driver was at fault, you need to know early on that Traffic Collision Reports in California are considered hearsay and cannot be admitted into evidence to prove fault. The determination of fault in a Traffic Collision Report means nothing and does not need to be taken into consideration by an insurance company.
As such, the insurance companies and their defense attorneys will argue that you, the motorcyclist, (an innocent victim), were riding at an “unsafe speed” or were “inattentive.” Worse yet, if you tried to swerve or lay the bike down to avoid a collision, they might claim that you overreacted. They will even argue that their insured driver had “control of the intersection” and that you, the motorcyclist, even with the right of way, should have yielded to the approaching car! I recently had a case where the insurance company went so far as to argue that my client was partially at fault for not wearing “high-visibility clothing.”
Remember, insurance companies do not want to pay you any money and they will do or say almost anything to reduce their insured’s liability so they can pay you less.
What you need to know is that in almost every single motorcycle accident case, the insurance company will argue that you were completely or partially at fault. Proving liability is a battle and you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side to fight for your rights. At The Reinecke Law Firm, we have successfully handled hundreds of left turn and failure to yield collision and injury cases, and we can help you!
Free call and consultation: If you have been injured in a U-turn accident, call California motorcycle accident attorney Tom Reinecke at 800-275-8326 for an immediate, no-obligation lawyer consultation. Save $500 in attorney fees by filling out our simple form at the top right of this page.