How to Determine Who’s at Fault in a Roundabout Car Accident

Roundabout Car Accident Responsibility Kansas CityYou weren’t sure about the roundabout in Overland Park when it first went in, but now that you’ve been around it a few times, it seems a lot faster and more efficient than a regular four-way intersection. However, that’s only the case when other drivers know how to use it properly—and after a few close calls, you’re wondering if it might be safer to avoid the roundabout altogether.

There are several factors to take into consideration when determining who’s at fault in a roundabout car accident. A car that safely entered the roundabout first, yielding to oncoming traffic, is typically not at fault. However, if they failed to yield and caused an accident, then they may be at fault. Or, was a car in the wrong lane? Cars traveling in the wrong lane of a roundabout may be at fault for accidents. Other drivers who may be at fault include speeding and distracted drivers.

How Can I Tell Who Is at Fault in a Roundabout Car Accident?

While there are now over two-dozen roundabouts in the Kansas City area alone, it seems like very few drivers know how to use them properly. Unfortunately, drivers who don’t know how to use the roundabout are more likely to be nervous or make last-minute lane changes that result in a car accident—leaving both drivers involved in the crash wondering who was at fault.

Here are a few questions you should consider after an accident occurs in a roundabout.

Who Had the Right of Way?

Just as with most motor vehicle accidents, you are more likely to have a successful claim if you had the right of way at the time of the crash. In a roundabout, the person who is already in the traffic circle has the right of way. All other drivers must stop and wait their turn before pulling into a roundabout, so if someone attempted to “beat you” around the circle by pulling ahead, he is likely liable for the accident.

Was There a Rear-End Collision?

While it is not always true that the car that struck another vehicle from behind is always at fault, it is more likely that a following vehicle is to blame in a roundabout car accident. Following distances are shortened in a roundabout, with cars only a few feet away from one another. If a following vehicle is speeding or not maintaining a safe distance, it may be unable to stop if the car ahead needs to brake suddenly.

Was Someone Changing Lanes?

This is one of the cases where following cars may be the ones with a successful accident claim. In a multi-lane roundabout, drivers should know which lane will get them to their destination before they enter. If they discover they are in the wrong lane and attempt to swerve back into the roundabout, they may cause a pileup behind them.

Victims who are involved in a roundabout crash should always take pictures of the damage and gather as many witnesses as possible before leaving the scene. Evidence is key in proving your case if your insurance claim is denied, and the evidence will begin to disappear just minutes after the accident takes place.

What To Do After a Roundabout Car Accident

If you are involved in a roundabout car accident, there are a few important steps you should take:

  • Check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
  • Move your car to safety. If your car is still drivable, move it to the side of the road or to a safe area away from traffic.
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s). Get their name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number.
  • Take pictures of the damage. This will help to document the scene of the accident and will be useful if you need to file an insurance claim.
  • Call the police to file a report. This is important, even if the accident is minor.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t admit fault. Even if you think you may be at fault for the accident, don’t admit it to the other driver or to the police. Let the insurance companies investigate and determine who is at fault.
  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident. This is a hit-and-run offense and can result in serious penalties.
  • Call your insurance company. Once you have filed a police report, call your insurance company to file a claim. They will be able to help you get your car repaired and will also be able to represent you in dealing with the other driver’s insurance company.

If you are unsure of what to do after a roundabout car accident, it is always best to consult with a Kansas City attorney. Our attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options, and can represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court.

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

From our headquarters in Kansas City, we serve all of Kansas and Missouri. We also have offices in Lee’s SummitSt. Joseph and Parkville, MO as well as Overland Park and Olathe, KS available by appointment. Call our offices, start a live chat today, or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.

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