Who Is At Fault With An Accident Involving The Shoulder?

Unfortunately, a large percentage of car accidents are the result of motorists performing an illegal action or simply driving irresponsibly. One reason that an accident can occur is that the motorist is not using the shoulder properly. Rather than using the designated lanes for traffic, the motorist might drive on the shoulder. However, this can lead to all sorts of accidents.

Shoulder-Related Accidents

One type of accident that can occur is when a vehicle is pulled over to the side of the road for emergency purposes. Then, a motorist driving on the shoulder might collide with the vehicle and cause damage. A motorist pulled over on the shoulder is not responsible for any accidents as long as he or she didn't create an unsafe situation.

When a pedestrian's car breaks down, he or she is allowed to walk along the shoulder to get to safety. However, if a motorist is driving on the shoulder, he or she might strike the pedestrian.

Driving on the shoulder can cause confusion. Other motorists expect fellow motorists to follow the rules of the road and may end up in an accident if a motorist flies past them on the shoulder unexpectedly. The driver may attempt to reenter the highway and collide with other vehicles that do not expect them.

Partial Fault

If you were in an accident involving a motorist who was not using the shoulder properly, you may be able to use this fact to bolster your case. When negotiating for a settlement out of court, the other party or the party's insurance provider may attempt to argue that you were partially at fault for the accident. However, this is more difficult to support when he or she was not properly using the shoulder.

To determine if the other driver has broken the law, you will need to research the law regarding the use of a shoulder. For example, in Texas, a driver can use the shoulder only when passing a vehicle that is slowing or has stopped. Then, the driver must exit the shoulder. Also, the driver must exit the shoulder in a safe manner. 

Whether or not you will be able to claim no negligence will also be based on if the police were called and if the police officer issued a citation. Regardless you will want to speak with an auto accident attorney when attempting to prove that you weren't partially at fault. Contact Nelson Fromer & Crocco Law Offices for more.