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Are u-turns legal in Georgia

According to Georgia law, U-turns are legal on most roads unless:

  • Reduced visibility makes them dangerous, such as on a curve or the crest of a hill
  • The maneuver would cause a traffic interruption or crash
  • A U-turn sign expressly prohibits them

The legality of U-turns is a confusing subject for many Georgia motorists. But they can cause life-threatening accidents in some circumstances. Understanding when and where the law allows U-turns can help keep you and other road users safer.

What Are the Penalties for an Illegal U-Turn in Georgia?

An illegal U-turn is a traffic violation that the authorities can charge as a misdemeanor criminal offense. This charge can carry a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year. In most cases, a driver who performs an illegal U-turn is penalized with a fine and three points on their driving record. With added points, insurance premiums can increase or coverage may be discontinued entirely. Once a driver reaches 15 points on their license in 24 months, their license will be suspended.

What Types of Accidents Can Result from Illegal or Unsafe U-Turns?

When performed unsafely or illegally, U-turns can lead to severe crashes, including:

  • Head-on collisions – This is one of the most dangerous types of crashes. It occurs when a driver makes a U-turn into oncoming traffic, resulting in a high-speed front-end impact.
  • Broadside crashes – Also called T-bone crashes, these occur when the vehicle making the turn is struck from the side by another car.
  • Rear-end crashes – If a driver makes an unexpected U-turn, the vehicle behind may be unable to stop in time and could collide with the turning car’s rear end.

What Injuries Can Be Caused by U-Turn Accidents?

Because of the high speeds and dangerous angles involved, U-turn crashes frequently lead to severe or permanent injuries such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – The violent shaking of the brain against the inside of the skull can cause concussions, bleeding, and permanent cognitive dysfunction.
  • Spinal cord damage – Forces transmitted along the spinal column can crush or sever this delicate structure, leading to paralysis below the point of injury.
  • Internal organ damage – The abdomen can sustain traumatic blows from steering columns, seat belts, airbags, and other sources. This force can damage organs like the liver, kidneys, spleen, or other vital organs.
  • Broken bones – Fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, hips, skull, and vertebrae are common in high-impact U-turn collisions.
  • Soft tissue injuries – Whiplash, sprains, torn ligaments or tendons, herniated discs, and other painful conditions often occur.
  • Emotional trauma – Many crash victims develop PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other psychological scars following severe accidents.
  • Wrongful death – The most tragic outcome of a negligent U-turn accident is a loss of life, leaving grieving loved ones to mourn a loss that could have been prevented.

Who Can Be Held At Fault for a U-Turn Accident in Georgia?

As with all traffic accidents, establishing fault in a U-turn accident depends on proving who was negligent. In general:

  • The driver making the U-turn is at fault if they performed the maneuver illegally or unsafely.
  • The other driver is at fault if they behaved negligently or violated traffic laws while the driver making the U-turn performed the maneuver legally and safely.
  • The driver making the U-turn could be presumed to be at fault even if they performed the maneuver legally and the other driver did nothing wrong.

These guidelines are generalizations, and exceptions may apply. Determining fault in any car accident depends on a thorough investigation and examination of the evidence. You should never admit fault or say “sorry” after a car accident involving a U-turn. Always speak to an experienced Georgia car crash attorney who can advise you on your eligibility to file a compensation claim.

What Compensation Could I Be Owed After a U-Turn Accident?

If you suffered harm in a U-turn crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may have a right to seek compensation for your losses. Possible compensable losses include:

  • Medical expenses – You can claim any costs for hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, prescription medications, and ongoing care.
  • Lost income – If injuries from the crash prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for lost wages, both current and future.
  • Pain and suffering – You may receive money for physical and emotional trauma stemming from the accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – Compensation can address losing the ability to participate in activities that previously brought you joy.
  • Punitive damages – Additional punitive damages may be warranted if your attorney can prove gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the at-fault driver.

The value of a U-turn accident claim depends on the specific details and evidence in the case. A skilled personal injury lawyer can assess your situation and calculate the potential value of your claim.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

The statute of limitations in Georgia stipulates that car accident victims have only two years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, some circumstances may shorten or extend this limitation period. Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to ensure you file your claim before the statutory deadline passes, or you could lose your right to pursue compensation in court.

Contact a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer

While U-turns are often useful and sometimes necessary, they can also increase the risk of accidents. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a U-turn crash, you need a compassionate car accident attorney who can fight for your rights.

The experienced legal team at Kevin A. Adamson, P.C. has nearly 40 years of combined experience successfully winning compensation for injured individuals in Georgia. Our lawyers understand how difficult life can become after you suffer injuries in a traffic collision. We are here to help you pursue the financial recovery you need. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.