Car accidents are an unfortunately regular occurrence on America’s roads. There are many different causes for car accidents; some of them are innocent mistakes, like a driver backing out of a parking spot and into another car. Other car accidents are caused by negligent behavior such as excessive speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving. However, one of the more common causes of car accidents is the left hand turn. Common wisdom states that the person making the left turn is always at fault for the accident, but this is not always the case.
Regardless of how the accident was caused, you will likely be worried about how you are going to deal with the repair bills, medical bills, and any other expenses caused by the accident. If the accident was not your fault, then you can seek a settlement claim from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
You will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to do so; if you live in the Fresno area, then you can contact the Grossman Law Offices to find a skilled attorney who can help you.
When The Left Hand Turn Driver is at Fault
Left hand turn accidents are caused when a driver turns left at a green light—not a green arrow—without checking if a car is coming from the other lane. The left hand turn is a dangerous manoeuvre because it requires a lot of mental effort from the driver since they have to pay attention to multiple lanes of traffic at once.
When making a left hand turn, the driver needs to make sure that they have ample time to make the turn without blocking or disrupting the flow of traffic from the oncoming lane.
If the driver making the turn fails to do so, and ends up causing an accident, then, in most cases, they will be the one held liable for the accident. In addition to yielding to oncoming traffic, drivers who are making a left hand turn must also yield to cyclists and pedestrians in the crosswalk as well.
If the driver does not do so, then they can be held liable for any injuries caused to the pedestrians or cyclists.
When The Left Hand Driver is Not at Fault
The left hand turn driver is not at fault for an accident if they have the right of way or if the vehicle that collided with them made an illegal manoeuvre before the accident happened. The driver making the left hand turn has the right of way when the traffic light is displaying a green arrow, which means that traffic in the opposite lanes has a red light.
So if a car crashes into the vehicle making the left turn, then it means that said vehicle ran a red light, so the left hand turn driver cannot be held liable for the accident.
There are other cases where the left hand turn driver may not be liable, or is only partially liable for an accident. If the driver who was going straight was driving recklessly or negligently, then they are partially or completely at fault for the accident. That means they could have been speeding, texting while driving, or driving while intoxicated.
Unexpected circumstances could also mitigate or eliminate fault for the left turn driver, such as an obstacle suddenly appearing in front of them that forced them to stop or slow down. In those cases, the party responsible for the obstacle would be held liable for any accidents caused by the driver who was turning left.
Contact an Attorney If You Have Been in a Car Accident
No matter how a car accident was caused, you need to contact an attorney after it happens, especially if it was not your fault. That is because a personal injury attorney will give you the best chance of getting a settlement offer that can take care of all your injury-related expenses.
However, it is best if you drive safely and be extra careful when making a left hand turn so that you never get into an accident in the first place.