Call Now! Call Now!
(717) 888-8888

Liability for a Right-Turn Collision in Pennsylvania: What Crash Victims Need to Know

red light at an intersectionWhile turning left is often much more dangerous than turning right, right-turn collisions can still cause significant injuries. While there are many reasons for these collisions, it usually all boils down to a failure to yield the right of way.

Have you been involved in a right-turn collision caused by another driver’s failure to yield the right of way? You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, and the attorneys at Schmidt Kramer may be able to help. We have secured over $100 million for our clients.

Below, our Harrisburg based car accident lawyers discuss why right-turn collisions happen, how right-of-way laws factor in, and liability for these kinds of collisions.

Give us a call to discuss compensation for your injuries and damages: (717) 727-2550.

Why Do Right-Turn Accidents Happen?

Right-turn crashes are often the result of a driver turning into oncoming traffic while he or she was distracted, irritated or in a rush. These are just a few factors that can result in drivers misjudging the time needed to make the turn or the distance between his or her vehicle and oncoming traffic.

While some right-turn collisions happen when the turning driver has a green light, most happen when drivers are turning right at red lights.

Traffic laws require each vehicle to come to a complete stop before turning right at a red light. However, drivers are often in a rush, and they do not come to a complete stop. This gives them less time to scan the road to ensure it is safe to turn.

Not coming to a complete stop and rushing through a right turn at a red light could also result in a crash with pedestrians or cyclists who are crossing the street.

It is important to note that oncoming drivers sometimes cause right-turn accidents. For example, they may run a red light and hit a driver who is turning right on a green light.

There can also be right-turn collisions involving drivers who are turning left in the same direction as the right-turning driver. The right-turning driver may forget to check for this traffic.

Sometimes drivers turn right from a lane that allows drivers to turn or go straight. In these situations, using a turn signal is essential. If drivers signal too late, they could increase the risk of a rear-end crash. Of course, the trailing driver may have been following too closely. This can further complicate liability for the accident.

Dangers of Right-Turn Collisions

Right-turn collisions often involve the rear of the right-turning vehicle and the front of the vehicle that was heading straight. These are known as rear-end collisions.

Some right-turn collisions are head-on crashes or side-impact collisions:

  • The turning vehicle could get hit in the middle of a turn. If the other vehicle is turning left, it could cause a head-on collision.
  • A side-impact collision could also happen in the middle of a turn. The right-turning vehicle would be a little ahead of the left-turning vehicle.

Even at a relatively slow speed, those involved could suffer severe injuries like:

  • Fractured bones
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back pain
  • Dislocated joints

Pennsylvania Right-of-Way Laws for Right Turns

Pennsylvania law allows drivers to turn right at a red light if there is no oncoming traffic and no road signs prohibit the maneuver. Drivers should always come to a complete stop, check for oncoming traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists before making a turn. Oncoming cars have the right of way.

If two vehicles approach an intersection from different directions, the driver who arrives first has the right of way. If both cars arrive at the same time, the driver to your right has the right of way.

Who Could Be Held Liable for a Right-Turn Crash?

If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, you may be able to seek financial compensation for the damages you suffered, such as:

  • Medical bills, including the bills you have already incurred and the bills you may incur in the future
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • And more

It is important to note that Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. This means that no matter who is at fault, victims must first seek compensation from their own insurance company. However, fault can still come into play.

There are several factors lawyer may consider when determining fault for a right-turn collision:

  • Was there a sign prohibiting a right turn at red lights?
  • Was the driver of the oncoming car speeding? Could he or she have avoided a collision if traveling at a slower speed?
  • Were one or both drivers distracted?
  • Did the oncoming driver change lanes while the other driver was turning?
  • Did the turning driver fail to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists?

Sometimes fault is shared between both parties, such as if the oncoming driver was speeding. However, you need to discuss the situation with an experienced lawyer. The insurance company may be trying to lead you on about your role in the crash just to undervalue your claim.

Have You Been Injured in a Right-Turn Collision? Call Schmidt Kramer

If you were injured in a car crash in the Harrisburg area due to the negligence of another driver, and you are unsure if you have a case, we may be able to assist you.

There are no upfront fees when you hire our firm, and an initial legal consultation is free.

Call today and let us help you determine whether you have a case: (717) 727-2550.