When a car is making a left turn and strikes a vehicle going straight, that person is almost always at-fault for the accident. The left turn accident is one many people dread, and it’s for good reason. Whether you’re the person turning or the one who was struck by a turning car, there is very little reason to believe the driver going straight is going to be held liable for the cause of the accident. This might not make much sense to everyone, but there’s a good reason a left-turn driver is usually held responsible for an accident. Understanding what makes this happen can make driving a lot easier for all involved.
Q: What is Stated in The Law?
A: The law is simple. In all states, the law states a driver making a left-hand turn must wait to make the turn until it is completely safe to do so. If a driver makes a left turn and strikes another vehicle going straight, it’s common sense the turning driver didn’t wait for the road to become clear. This person took a risk turning left that caused an accident. The driver going straight wasn’t at fault because he or she was only following the rules on his or her side of the road. Failing to yield before making a left-hand turn makes a driver responsible for the accident.
Q: What is The Exception to the Rule?
A: There is an exception to almost every rule, this kind of turn included. There is no reason to assume a driver who is making a left-hand turn is not going to become a victim of an accident in certain cases. It’s almost always that driver’s fault, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the other driver’s fault. If a driver is making a left turn with a green arrow indicating it’s safe to go left, it’s safe to assume the light controlling oncoming traffic is red. If an accident occurs in this situation, it’s because the driver going straight ran a red light or failed to yield to the proper road lights and/or signs.
That is the only instance in which a driver turning left is not held responsible for the cause of an accident. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to prove this happened without witness statements. Most drivers want to be cleared of fault for the accident, and many work to clear their name by denying their own wrongdoing. Without proof a person ran a light, it’s almost impossible to make sure the correct driver is charged with causing the accident.
There are two more small exceptions. One is that a driver turning left did yield and deemed it safe to drive without realizing an oncoming vehicle was driving excessively fast. If a person is speeding and they’re able to get through the light faster than they might if they were going the speed limit, it’s difficult to prove. However, there is a chance you can still prove this with witness statements. The final exception is a driver waited to turn left until it was clear and something unexpected occurred causing the vehicle to stop and be hit by another vehicle. This could be any number of things, but many are hard to prove.
Q: What Do You Do When Involved in a Left Turn Accident?
A: The problem for many is they don’t know what to do when they’re involved in an accident of this nature. They’re not sure how to go about finding the damages they’re entitled to, they aren’t sure how to fight an accident they don’t believe is their fault, and they don’t know how to handle these situations. This is when it’s imperative to contact an attorney who is familiar with left-turn accidents and personal injury cases. It’s not always easy to prove a case such as this one, but it can happen.
Calling an attorney is your best bet, especially if you were the left turn driver and didn’t cause the accident. It’s difficult to prove you are not at-fault, but it can be done. Let the experts help you prove your case by handling the investigation and detail work for you. If you were to blame for the accident, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to damages to help you cover the cost of medical bills and loss of wages among other issues. You aren’t going to get as much as you might if you were the victim in an accident of this nature, but an attorney can guide you in the correct direction when it comes to this kind of law. Call as soon as the accident occurs to ensure you receive the most comprehensive medical care possible for you and your family.