A man from Lynchburg, Virginia (VA), suffered critical injuries when a commercial truck driver attempted an unsafe U-turn. The nearly fatal crash happened on U.S. 460 through Bedford County.
Virginia State Police received the report of the collision at around 6:45 pm on February 28, 2018. They determined that the person operating the tractor-trailer had failed to yield right of way to the injured driver’s car. The resulting collision happened in the town of Forest, just past the intersection of U.S. 460 and State Route 811, which is named Old London Road to the south of the intersection and Thomas Jefferson Road to the north.
Unless posted signs indicated otherwise, state law allows all drivers to make U-turns at intersections and at designated turning points through highway medians. The error made by the commercial truck driver involved not making sure that he or she had enough time and space to complete the maneuver without endangering other people. The truck driver, sitting high in the cab and dealing with large blind spots, may simply have not seen the car approaching at an estimated 60 mph. That explanation, while understandable, would not stand up as a legal excuse.
The state statute that the truck driver violated is section 46.2-825 of the Virginia Code, which reads, in part, “The driver of a vehicle, intending to turn left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction if it is so close as to constitute a hazard.”
Troopers may file additional charges, but the existence of the single traffic ticket gives the injured man strong grounds for filing insurance claims against the truck driver. Issuing the citation shows that law enforcement officials consider the truck driver negligent, and showing negligence is an essential component of holding an at-fault driver responsible for paying a crash victim’s medical bills and for paying other damages for, say, replacing wages lost while missing work to recover.
Filing the failure to yield charge also means that troopers will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash in order to gather evidence for a prosecution and possible conviction. All of that evidence can then be used by the injured victim and his Virginia personal injury lawyer to substantiate insurance claims. No conviction needs to happen in order for the truck driver to be held accountable for insurance purposes.