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Is a car making a left turn always at fault in an accident?

1 Aug 2017

Car accidents are difficult to deal with no matter how minor or serious they might be. It’s never a good time to be involved in a car accident, no one is ever prepared for one, and there are so many factors to consider it makes the entire situation more confusing. The first thing you should do if you are ever involved in a car accident is call the police. An accident report is not only required, it’s going to help you file your insurance claim and determine the at-fault driver. If your accident is a left-turn accident, you might not think you need an accident report, but even an accident like this has outside factors to consider.

Are left-turn drivers always to blame?

Typically, the answer is yes. A left-turn driver is usually the driver at-fault in an accident such as this, but there are other factors the police might use to determine the left-turn driver was not the driver to blame for an accident. Calling an personal injury attorney can help you glean a little more insight into this situation and prove your case, but you can get to know the law regarding left-turn drivers right now. Calling an personal injury attorney following a left-turn accident is always a good idea, however.

Left-Turn Laws

The law is very simple when it comes to making left-hand turns. You must yield to oncoming traffic and obey all the laws of the road. If you are making a left-hand turn at a red light, for example, you must stop if the light is red. You cannot go until the light is green. If you have a green arrow, you are legally able to make a left turn without any issue. If the arrow is not green but the light is, you are allowed to turn left only if you stop and wait for oncoming traffic to disappear.

If you are making a left-hand turn at a stop sign, the law requires you come to a complete stop and wait your turn. The general rule is the first person at the stop sign is given the right of way to turn. If you are the only person at the stop sign, the law dictates you stop for at least two seconds and check for oncoming traffic. Provided there is no traffic coming or you are at a four-way stop where oncoming drivers are required to stop and wait for you, you are free to turn left.

Left-Turn Considerations

Since the law is clear and left-turn drivers have a very specific law to follow, it’s most often their own fault when an accident occurs. However, there are other considerations. For example, if a driver making a left turn did stop and wait but the driver in the oncoming lane is speeding excessively and/or doesn’t stop for his or her own red light or stop sign, the accident becomes that driver’s fault rather than the left-turn driver.

Calling the police in this situation is going to help you when it comes to determining fault. If you were the left-turn driver but the accident was not your fault, you’ll need this police report to file your insurance claim. The insurance company of the other driver is going to do whatever they can to avoid paying this claim, and seeing it was a left-turn accident is almost always grounds for them to dispute the claims.

A police report determining the other driver was at-fault for the accident is invaluable. It’s not something you can take lightly, which is why it’s always important to call the police. It’s also important to seek medical attention after the accident. Even if you feel fine, ruling out the existence of any internal injuries is imperative to both your health and your potential insurance claim.

Call an personal injury attorney to discuss how you can handle this kind of insurance claim. It’s up to you to file the claim, but you’re not required to go it alone when an attorney can help you deal with the confusion that often follows a left-turn accident. You’re not to blame just because the law usually falls on that side of an accident. You do have options, and we can help you.

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