Car Accidents After Left Turns: Who Is at Fault?

Fault in an accident is one of the most important determining factors that can influence whether or not someone recovers compensation for their injuries. Even if you currently live in a no-fault state, it can be important to show how someone else's actions contributed to your suffering in an accident especially when your injuries and the cost of treating those damages and problems is greater than what is covered by your policy. In those circumstances, you'll need to make a compelling argument that someone else caused the accident. 

This can make your life that much easier as you are attempting to adapt after going through an unfortunate incident. Left turn collision car accidents are unfortunately all too common and in many cases, are completely preventable. But as the person who has suffered the outcome in this accident, you need to be prepared to gather evidence to show that someone else caused this incident to happen. 

When you’re making a left turn yourself, it’s best to take your time and verify that the coast is clear before you move forward. 

But what happens if you’ve already suffered in a serious vehicle accident? This is the reality for too many people who can’t get the help they want after an accident caused by someone else. Likewise, a person who turned left in a car accident might be worried about whether or not they’ll be held accountable for the accident. With so many questions at play, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer is necessary. A lawyer can help you discover whether or not you’ll be able to sue for personal injury damages and get the financial help you need for your medical treatments.

Hiring the right lawyer is very important when you need to explain to the court how the accident happened. This might be the only chance for you to get injury compensation, so you need to share your side of the story in a clear and compelling way. Only a knowledgeable lawyer can help with that process, which is why you should hire an attorney as soon as possible after the accident happens. Over time, it might get harder to get evidence or even to remember the facts of the case. 

Basics of Left Hand Turns

Making a left hand turn can be one of the most dangerous aspects of driving a vehicle. If you make a left turn at the wrong time, this can have long-lasting consequences for all passengers and drivers involved. In the event that you've already been hurt in an accident like this, you may need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help make your case. Determining fault in a car accident left turn situation requires someone who has been in this position before and who will understand the various laws of your state as well as the kinds of evidence to be collected that could help the outcome of your claim. Showing that someone else wrongly made a left turn and put you in the dangerous position of suffering injuries and consequences might be the only way for you to be able to recover compensation. 

Fault in Left Turn Collisions

As an attorney who has experience determining faults in car accidents with a left turn can tell you, the driver who made the left turn in most collisions is usually at fault. This is because the vast majority of states across the country have laws that declare drivers making left hand turns should be the ones who must yield to drivers coming from a different direction. In these circumstances, vehicles coming in the other direction have the main right of way as long as there are no traffic lights or stop signs that must be followed. The driver who turned left and was involved in a collision, as a result, is usually found at fault although this is not always the case. Making a left hand turn can be a dangerous maneuver because you must assume that there are no other sources of traffic or vehicles coming your direction. 

It requires several different judgment calls to be made on the part of the person making the turn. First of all, they have to make sure that the path is clear to both their own left and right but then they also need to make sure there's no oncoming traffic. 

They have to judge the speed at which other vehicles are traveling towards them and whether or not they have enough time while turning with the support of a light. But these aren't the only reasons that left hand turns can lead to dangerous vehicle accidents. Some other reasons that left hand turns are problematic include:

  • Drivers must use their turn signals in order to make a left turn safely but not everyone understands these or uses them properly.
  • Left hand turning means that a turning driver must be paying perfect attention to traffic coming from three different directions and with the rise of distracted driving, it is increasingly less likely that people do this. 
  • Left hand turns demand greater mental focus than a right hand turn so someone who is distracted, tired or under the influence can be seriously hazardous when making a left hand turn. 
  • Drivers who are making left hand turns have to cross a minimum of one lane of traffic and it could even be more than this. 
  • Drivers making a left hand turn can affect existing traffic flow. 
  • Drivers attempting to make a left hand turn might be using a limited or blocked view as their only source of confidence that they have the ability to move forward. 

How Do I Know Someone Is at Fault? 

Most states across the country have specific laws that a driver making a left hand turn is at fault for any accidents that result. This is due to the fact that drivers making left hand turns have all of the dangerous factors listed above. Drivers have to ensure that every road they cross is free and clear of traffic and any other obstacles that could end up in an accident. The driver that is making a left hand turn must wait when there is oncoming traffic. They have to wait until all oncoming traffic has passed before they can carry out their turn. If you make a left hand turn too early and are involved in a car accident as a result, you will likely be categorized as responsible for the accident and held at fault. 

Circumstances When the Left Turn Driver Is Not at Fault

Most attorneys who have experience determining fault in car accidents involving a left turn can tell you that there are some exceptions when the driver making the turn is not found at fault. These situations are very rare. The first one of these involves someone running through a traffic light or a stop sign. This is the most common reason for a left hand turning driver to be found not liable for a collision. 

This is when a driver in an oncoming vehicle goes through a traffic light or a stop sign when the left turning driver had the right of way or had no reason to expect that the oncoming driver would not stop. 

Speeding is another circumstance in which the left hand turn driver is not responsible. If the vehicle the driver collides with is going significantly higher than the speed limit when the accident occurs, the driver making a left turn is unlikely to be held liable. It can be very difficult to prove how fast oncoming traffic is going, however, which makes it all the more important to identify an attorney who has experience in determining fault in car accidents involving left turns. Finally, unforeseen circumstances can also increase the likelihood of an accident. If an unforeseen circumstance occurs while a left hand driver is turning, such as a person or animal running into the road, a driver may not be held liable. 

What To Do if You've Already Been Hurt in an Accident? 

If you have already been hurt in an accident in your state and are suffering the consequences, you need to be prepared to consult with an experienced and dedicated lawyer. An attorney can investigate the scene of the accident and gather other evidence that might help to support your claim. For example, perhaps there's video surveillance showing that the oncoming driver did go through the stoplight or was speeding at the time of the accident. This information can become instrumental in making your claim to recover compensation. You have so much to expect and work through in these complicated situations that you need to retain an experienced lawyer.       

Get accident analysis underway immediately to increase your chances of a full and fair recovery of accident damages. If you’re not sure how the accident happened or need more information about your next steps, hiring a lawyer is one of the best things you can do to support your claim. Contact Morgan & Morgan if you are ready to take your first steps and move on from the accident you’ve experienced. Our experts can help you with a free case evaluation with no obligation to you.

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