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Reasons Why it Can Be Tough to Establish Liability for Left-Turn Crashes

left turn lane on roadLeft turns can be very dangerous, no matter how much traffic there is or how careful you are when making this maneuver. You are cutting across traffic heading in the opposite direction, so speeding up may not help you avoid a crash as it might when making a right turn.

If you were injured in a left-turn crash, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages. However, the other side may claim you were at fault, as it is often difficult to establish fault for these types of crashes.

As there can be many factors involved in these collisions, you should give serious thought to meeting with a licensed attorney for a free consultation. Experienced attorneys are often able to obtain more compensation than victims who pursue claims on their own.

Determining Liability

One of the central issues in many left-turn crash claims is who had the right-of-way. For the most part, the oncoming driver has the right of way. You need to wait until the path is clear and you can make it across the intersection without obstructing the flow of traffic. If you pull out into the intersection at the wrong time and hit an oncoming vehicle, you are likely to be the one at fault for the collision.

However, if the other driver was speeding while you were making a left turn you may be able to argue he or she is at least partially to blame. You would likely have an even stronger argument if the other driver ran a red light and you had a green arrow and not just a green light.

If you were the one going through the intersection and the turning driver was distracted, you may have a strong case if you and your attorney can prove the driver was distracted. For instance, your lawyer might be able to obtain cellphone records showing the other driver making a call or texting moments before the crash.

You may have had plenty of time to make a left turn but were forced to slow down because of the car in front of you or an animal darting out into the road in front of you. The other driver may have trouble pinning all the blame for the crash on you.

If you had an obstructed view because of the design of the road or some other factor out of your control, you may not be entirely to blame for crashing into an oncoming car while making a left turn. However, your lawyer may need to make a convincing argument that a reasonable person would not have been able to avoid a collision because of the obstruction or roadway design. If road design or poor maintenance caused the crash, a government entity may be liable.

If there were traffic cameras at the intersection, your lawyer may be able to obtain the footage from the time of the crash to help prove what happened. This evidence may also be helpful to disprove claims from the other side, such as claims that you were speeding or distracted.

Dangers of Making Left Turns

Use caution when making a left turn because it is a highly dangerous traffic maneuver that often leads to serious accidents.

Here are some of the many reasons why left turns can be so risky:

  • Your view of traffic may be obstructed, particularly if there are vehicles in the left turn lane directly opposite yours preparing to turn
  • Turning left disrupts the normal flow of traffic
  • Drivers heading in your direction often try to run red lights
  • You have to accelerate into the turn to avoid oncoming traffic, putting pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the street you are turning onto at risk

Need Legal Help? Call Schmidt Kramer to See How We Help Accident Victims

Our firm has helped numerous car accident victims obtain compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Our Harrisburg auto accident attorneys have extensive knowledge of car insurance laws in Pennsylvania and how to establish liability for a crash.

An initial consultation with our attorneys is 100 percent free of charge and comes with no legal obligation to hire us. If you have a valid case and decide to hire us, there will be no upfront fees for our services. We work on contingency, which means we are not paid unless you get paid.

Have questions? Call today to schedule your free legal consultation. Schmidt Kramer: (717) 888-8888