When you make a left-hand turn, you are entering into a lane of approaching traffic. Because you are crossing the yellow line, making a left-hand turn is one of the most dangerous maneuvers that a driver can undertake on the roadways. The collisions caused by left-hand turns have high rates of personal injuries and deaths due to the potentially high speeds of oncoming traffic.
As a driver, you must exercise the utmost caution when undertaking a left-hand turn always checking the lane of oncoming traffic as the last action before initiating the turn. If a car is approaching quickly or you are unsure of the car’s speed, you should wait to make the left-hand turn, even if cars behind you are irritated. Our judgment of speed is not always accurate, especially as we age. It is always better just to wait if you are not confident you have the time to make a turn before the approach of the oncoming car.
If you were making a left- hand turned and were involved in an accident, you are considered liable for the accident. There are several instances, though, when fault may not lie with the driver making the left- hand turn:
- When the driver was making a left-hand turn at a traffic light with a green turn arrow, when the arrow was green.
- When the oncoming driver was excessively speeding
- When the oncoming driver ran a red light
- When the other driver was impaired.
Regardless of these instances, proving that the fault of the accident lies elsewhere is the burden of the driver that was making the left-hand turn. If you were making a left-hand turn and think that you are not at fault for the accident you will need to rely on the following information:
- Witnesses’ accounts of the color of a turn signal at the time of the accident
- Police reports assessment of the speed of the other car’s travel and any accounts of driver impairment
- Possibly the assistance of a good personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you gather the information needed for a claim if you were making a left-hand turn but the other driver was at fault.
While, as the driver making the left-hand turn, it is your responsibility to prove that fault lies with the other driver, it is a worthwhile and necessary endeavor if you need to file a car accident claim with the other driver’s insurance. If you were injured in an accident that was the fault of another driver, you may be eligible for compensation for damages caused by the accident:
- Coverage of medical bills
- Compensation for long term disabilities incurred by the accident
- Compensation for time away for work and for your pain and suffering.
- If you have lost a loved one, you may be eligible for a wrongful death suit.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are when you make a left-hand turn, accidents occur because of someone else’s negligent driving. In these cases, you are eligible for compensation. If you are having difficulty filing an insurance claim after a left-hand turn accident or need help proving the other driver was at fault, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident attorney in your area as soon as possible.