The driver who is at fault in a left-turn accident depends on the circumstances of the collision, particularly who had the right of way. The difficulty of making a left turn contributes to accidents, as they require the driver to cross traffic and make a wider turn than when turning right. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one-third of the collisions examined in the agency’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) occurred at intersections, and the majority took place as the result of a left-hand turn.
An article from the National Safety Council (NSC) notes the dangers of intersections, which require drivers to effectively use eye scanning, mirrors, and speed analysis simultaneously, as failure to do so can lead to serious accidents that cause injuries or even death. If you suffered an injury in a left-turn accident, a lawyer can help you determine the liable party.
The Driver Turning Left Is Not Always Liable in a Left-Turn Accident
Turning left at an intersection requires adequate surveillance of the driver’s environment, current hazards, and foreseeable dangers. Drivers can turn left safely at traffic lights and stop signs when they have the right of way, when they have a green arrow, or after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians on a green light or flashing yellow arrow. The NHTSA attributes accidents caused by a driver turning left to prevalent driver behaviors including:
- Illegal maneuver
- Driver inattention
- Distracted driving
- Turning with an obstructed view
- Misjudgment of other’s speed or actions
When accidents occur due to these factors, the driver may be liable for causing the accident. However, left-hand turn collisions also take place due to the negligence of another driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist. If the driver has a green arrow and another driver runs a red light and hits them, the other driver may be liable for the accident.
Additionally, it can be difficult for the victim to judge the other driver’s speed in oncoming traffic if they drive significantly faster than the speed limit. If the other driver sped through the intersection and caused the collision, they may bear responsibility for it. Drivers turning left may also have to stop or slow down suddenly due to a person or object in the road. In these cases, someone other than the driver may hold responsibility for causing an accident that follows.
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Evidence Can Determine Who Is at Fault in a Left Turn Accident
One of the ways law enforcement, insurance companies, and lawyers can determine who caused the accident is by looking at the damage caused to the vehicle. If the property damage reveals that another driver struck the vehicle of the driver turning left, those investigating the case may determine that the collision resulted from the negligence of the other driver. Other types of evidence that may help prove liability in your case include:
- Video footage from nearby businesses
- Photos from the scene
- Proof of your injuries
- Testimonies from eyewitnesses
- Accident reconstruction
- Toxicology screens
A lawyer can help you collect evidence that may support your claim.
You May Qualify for Financial Awards for Your Accident Injuries
In certain states, a driver must carry liability insurance so that if they cause an accident, they can provide insurance coverage for the victims’ injuries. Other states require drivers to carry no-fault policies instead, which provide for the policyholder’s injuries no matter who caused the accident.
Pennsylvania has a hybrid system, which allows drivers to choose between liability and no-fault coverage. No-fault insurance does limit the victims’ opportunities to file lawsuits against the at-fault parties, but they may still be able to file claims if their injuries exceed their insurance policy limits. Victims of car accidents in Pennsylvania may be eligible for compensation for:
- Bills for medical care and related expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
An attorney can calculate your damages for you and pursue just compensation for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
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How a Lawyer Can Help You Determine Who Is at Fault in Your Left Turn Accident Case
If you or a family member suffered injuries or lost their life in a left-turn accident, you can file insurance claims or lawsuits against the liable driver on your own. Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it difficult for victims to obtain the compensation they deserve, and attempting to navigate the process during their difficult time may feel overwhelming. A lawyer can help you by:
- Investigating the details of your case
- Gathering the appropriate evidence
- Proving negligence and liability
- Assessing the value of your damages
- Filing your claim on your behalf
- Handling all correspondence with insurance companies
- Taking your case to court if necessary
If you seek the help of a lawyer, you can rest assured that they can manage your case for you, provide you with relevant updates, and answer any questions you might have throughout the process.
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Contact Berger and Green for Responsive Legal Assistance
If you want help establishing liability and seeking financial recovery, the lawyers at Berger and Green can determine who is at fault in your left turn accident case and pursue a claim against the person who caused you harm. Call our office today at (412) 661-1400 to talk to our team during your free case evaluation.
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