Determining Who is At Fault in a Roundabout Accident in Las Vegas - car accident lawyer in las vegas

Roundabouts are meant to reduce vehicle accidents and improve the flow of traffic. Although they mostly succeed with these goals, roundabout accidents happen, especially because many drivers lack familiarity with their right-of-way rules. As with any collision, vehicle damage, observations by police, and witness statements are used to paint a picture of how the crash occurred and who is to blame. A car accident lawyer in Las Vegas can get to the bottom of what happened and explain your options for recovering damages.

Roundabout Right-of-Way Rules
You yield to enter a roundabout and have the right of way inside the circle. The way it works is that the vehicles inside the circle may move until they reach their desired exit. When exiting the circle, you have the right of way.

However, when entering the roundabout, you must yield to the traffic moving inside the circle. This is why you see a yield sign at each entry point or sometimes a traffic signal.

Problems can occur inside the circle when drivers are unsure which exit to use or if they must stop before exiting. Someone who does not yield when entering disrupts the whole system as well.
Large roundabouts can have two internal lanes in the circle, which adds to the confusion and can produce accidents when a driver switches lanes suddenly without looking for traffic.

Any driver found to have violated the right-of-way rules is most likely at fault for the crash.
Complicated situations, however, can arise that may make a driver look responsible for a crash but who was actually responding to another driver’s error. For example, a vehicle in the circle that should be moving stops suddenly or switches lanes. You hit your brakes or swerve but fail to avoid an accident. An investigation led by a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas could potentially document all of the pertinent facts and protect you from being unfairly determined at fault.

Most Common Roundabout Accidents

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Roundabouts are becoming increasingly prevalent due to their documented ability to reduce severe crashes. Their design forces vehicles to move at slower speeds. When collisions occur, they are at lower speeds for the most part and, therefore, less damaging. Compare this to a high-speed, T-bone accident when someone runs a red light, and you can imagine how this is an improvement.

Even so, accidents still happen in roundabouts, and injured people look to Las Vegas injury law to help them recover compensation.

Studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety identified the types of accidents that happen most often at roundabouts. They are:

  • Rear-end collision
  • Sideswipe
  • Run off the road

The majority of collisions occur when entering or exiting the circle. Single-lane roundabouts tend to produce entry collisions, whereas two-lane roundabouts have more accidents related to exiting.

Vehicle Damage Provides Clues to What Happened

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Examination of vehicle damage brings to light important clues about what happened at the moment of impact. Damage may provide supportive, if not definitive, evidence about how vehicles collided and who might have been at fault.

For this reason, personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas acquire photos of vehicle damage. These images may be shared with accident reconstruction specialists who can give educated opinions about the cause of accidents.

For example, side damage on one vehicle and front-end damage on the other vehicle generally indicates that one vehicle T-boned the other. Vehicles that both have side damage were likely involved in a lane-switching accident.

Two vehicles with front-end damage are consistent with what occurs during a head-on collision. Rear-end damage on your vehicle shows that someone hit you from behind.

Accident reconstruction specialists look for the original point of impact between vehicles, and this evidence may allow them to estimate vehicle speeds and direction at the moment of the accident. Their opinions may also identify the sequence of events in multiple-vehicle accidents where it is not entirely clear whose error started the chain reaction of collisions.

How Fault Is Decided

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Professional opinions about vehicle damage are used in conjunction with other evidence, including witness statements, observations of the responding police officer, and even surveillance video if a camera was present.

A police report may show the officer’s first impression about who was at fault. Although this is important information, it is not the final word on the matter. Police officers provide quick appraisals of an incident and move on to their next job. However, if they detect driver impairment, this will impact a car accident claim substantially. Impairment is equivalent to negligence.

A police officer might suspect impairment in a roundabout accident if a driver failed to yield upon entry, and an impaired driver might not notice the yield sign. Cars running into a roundabout’s center island could also hint that the driver was impaired and unable to control the vehicle in the circle.
A car accident lawyer in Las Vegas and the insurance adjuster will discuss all of the physical evidence and insights of professionals regarding fault. Overall, the evidence usually points to a conclusion representing the highest probability of who was at fault. Their negotiations could eventually yield an agreement regarding who was at fault or if fault should be shared.

In some cases, the evidence does not conclusively point in one direction. If negotiations cannot establish who was at fault, then you may want to file a lawsuit. Should the case go to trial, a jury will evaluate the evidence and decide how to resolve the claims made by the plaintiff and defendant.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas
Although people have a good chance of surviving roundabout accidents, they may still get hurt and miss work. Before talking to an insurance company about your collision, you can learn more about Las Vegas injury law at Moss Berg Injury Lawyers.

Our law firm exclusively represents accident victims. We work hard to make sure that the responsible party takes seriously the emotional and financial upheaval caused by your injuries. If you appear to be the victim of negligence, we will launch a thorough accident investigation so that we can pursue the highest settlement possible in your case. Contact our office for a free consultation right away.

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