How is Liability for an Accident in a Rotary/Roundabout Determined?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on September 1, 2022  in Car Accident News. Updated on March 3, 2024

New Jersey rotaryA rotary, or roundabout, is an alternative to intersections to cut down on heavy traffic delays. Unfortunately, some drivers still do not know how to use them properly, resulting in collisions. If you were injured in an accident while driving through a roundabout, you may be eligible for compensation.

Let our New Jersey car crash lawyers investigate your claim to determine who may be liable for your damages. We may be able to help you file a claim against the liable insurance company and your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy.

We offer a free consultation, and there are no upfront fees.

What Are the Rules of Driving in a Rotary or Roundabout?

According to the New Jersey driver’s manual, there are no set rules for driving in a rotary or roundabout. Instead, drivers are expected to use common sense and remain cautious. Unfortunately, the driver’s manual is not clear on a lot of the rules that are written.

In one part of the manual, it is established that traffic circles that feed into or flow through a major highway dominate the traffic flow. Therefore, drivers who are attempting to merge into the rotary must yield to vehicles already in the traffic circle.

However, the driver’s manual also instructs drivers to recall basic governing rules regarding any uncontrolled intersection – when a driver to the left is expected to yield to one on the right. This could be interpreted as a driver in the rotary should yield to one attempting to enter it.

There are some traffic circles that have posted signs alerting drivers to stop or yield before entering the rotary, which could help establish who has the right-of-way.

Usually, though, the right-of-way is determined by “historically established traffic patterns,” which could be vague when trying to establish who is at fault for a collision.

These rules, or lack thereof, make determining liability for an accident in a rotary very complex. It may be in your best interest to discuss your claim with an experienced attorney who may be able to help.

Are Drivers Required to Yield the Right-of-Way to Pedestrians and Cyclists?

Due to the confusing nature of the rotary traffic laws, drivers may be expected to yield to cyclists and pedestrians in a roundabout. They may also be expected to yield the right-of-way to those attempting to cross the street near the traffic circle.

Ultimately, drivers are expected to use caution while driving through a roundabout.

How Did the Roundabout Crash Occur?

Liability for an accident in a roundabout may come down to how the collision occurred. If the crash is caused by a driver who fails to yield to vehicles already in an established traffic pattern rotary, then he or she may be liable for the collision.

There are cases when a driver in the rotary may brake suddenly to yield to one attempting to enter the rotary, resulting in a rear-end collision. Liability in a case like this may not be straightforward. Your attorney may need to investigate whether this was an instance of distracted driving. Perhaps the driver who entered the rotary failed to yield when required, and so the other driver was forced to brake suddenly.

Whether you are the driver who was rear-ended or did the rear-ending in this situation, our attorneys are prepared to help. We have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation of the crash to determine who may be liable.

If necessary, we also have the resources to work with an accident reconstruction expert to help determine fault for the crash.

What Are My Options for Pursuing Compensation After a Roundabout Crash?

In a no-fault state like New Jersey, drivers generally have two options for pursuing compensation after a crash. The first is to file a claim through their PIP insurance policy to get their medical bills covered. PIP insurance may also cover lost wages if your injuries left you unable to work for a time.

There is a limit to PIP insurance, though. You cannot recover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. PIP also has a maximum payout amount, which you normally set when you sign up for it. The minimum in New Jersey is $10,000. If you max out your PIP insurance, you may be able to file a claim with the liability insurance of the at-fault driver. This is your second option for pursuing compensation.

Filing a claim with the liability insurance of the other driver may be more involved, as these companies rarely pay out claims within a reasonable time. That is why you should consider working with an attorney who knows how to handle the insurance company to get them to cooperate.

Call Us Today

If you were injured in an accident while driving through a rotary, you may be able to have your medical bills, lost wages and other damages compensated.

Our attorneys have helped countless injury victims recover maximum compensation, and we are prepared to help you, too.

Call Lynch Law Firm, PC today to discuss your claim during a free and confidential consultation. If you choose to hire us, there are no fees while we work on your case.

Set up your free consultation. Call (800) 518-0508 today.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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