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Is The Car Making A Left Hand Turn Always At Fault In An Accident?

by Harry Brown / May 17, 2018
The vehicle driving straight will more often than not have the right of way when driving through an intersection.

More often than not, the car's driver making the left hand turn will be found at fault. However, there are exceptions when the other driver may be at fault.

When the police arrive on a left-turn collision accident scene, they will almost always issue a ticket to the driver who was turning left. This is due to right-of-way laws.

In the article below, our car accident lawyers will take a look at who may be at fault in a left-turn accident.

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Frequent Causes of Left Turn Accidents

Many left-turn car accidents are caused by drivers who ignore right-of-ways.

State laws require drivers who turn left at a green light to wait until traffic is clear and it's safe to turn.

This includes making sure there isn't a pedestrian oncoming as well.

If there isn't a traffic light, the driver still has to wait until it is safe to make the turn.

Drivers that turn left onto another road, alley, driveway, or making a U-turn must also yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic.

Drivers with the right-of-way are not required to stop, slow down or yield to someone making a turn.

When the police arrive on the accident scene of a left-turn collision, they will almost always issue a ticket to the driver who was turning left. This is due to right-of-way laws.

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Left Hand Turn Law

The driver making a left-hand turn will only have the right of way if they are proceeding on a left-turn arrow.

Otherwise, the driver turning left at a green light must wait until all oncoming traffic is gone or far enough away to allow for a safe and complete turn.

If a traffic light is not present, the left-turning driver must still abide by the same precautions. The oncoming traffic will have the right of way and do not have to stop or slow down to allow left-turning drivers to pass.

Drivers making left turns must also wait for all pedestrians and cyclists to make it safely across the street before they can proceed with the turn.

This is why it is rare to find the other driver at-fault for this type of accident and can be even more difficult to prove.

However, with that being said, like anything, there are always a few exceptions to the rule.

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Auto accident from someone making a left hand turn

Exceptions to Left Hand Turn Driving Rule

There are a few exceptions to the left-turn liability rule.

The left-turning driver may be deemed not at fault for the following scenarios:

1. The car driving straight was driving significantly over the speed limit when they were going through the intersection.

This can be a difficult exception to prove. If there are no witnesses, it will be your word against the other driver.

Since the police officer will already be predisposed to giving you the ticket when they find out you were the one making the left turn, convincing them that the other driver was being reckless will be difficult to prove on your own.

2. The car that is driving straight ran a red light or stop sign.

If a car runs a red light or a stop sign, it will be breaking a traffic law and causing an accident to occur.

The driver turning left will not be held responsible because the other driver should not have been going through the intersection when the accident occurred.

Depending on the area and time of day that the accident occurred, there will more than likely be multiple witnesses to attest to the other driver running a red light or stop sign.

3. Unforeseen circumstances may warrant the other driver at-fault for the accident.

If the left-turning driver initiates the turn while it is safe to proceed, but some unforeseen circumstance arises, such as an animal appearing in the road, another vehicle runs a red light, or some obstruction appears during the turn that makes it necessary for the driver to slow down or stop, then the other driver may be found responsible for the crash.

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Contact an attorney if you were involved in a left hand turn accident

What to do If you are Involved in a Left Hand Turn Accident

If you were involved in a left-hand turn accident and believe someone else's negligence caused it, you will need to hire a professional Personal Injury Attorney to help prove your innocence.

If you were a passenger in a car accident, you have the right to compensation as well.

Because most of the time, the driver turning left will receive the ticket in a car accident, it can be difficult to prove your innocence on your own.

If you think your accident occurred due to the other driver running a red light or stop sign, failing to yield, or if you believe they were speeding, you may need help from an attorney to prove that you were not at-fault for the accident occurring.

The Brown Firm specializes in representing the victims of Car Accidents.

Related Blog: Importance of photos after a car accident

We have the knowledge and experience to help you receive the benefits you deserve for the injuries and damages you suffered during a left-hand turn accident.

We offer a free consultation to see if we can accept your case.

So if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident that you believe was caused by someone else's negligence, click on the link below to schedule an appointment with our experienced The Brown Firm Car Accident Attorneys today.

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