Who is at fault in a left-turn accident?

Left-Turn Traffic Signal on a Busy California RoadLeft-turn accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in California. These crashes occur when a vehicle making a left-hand turn collides with a vehicle that's headed straight, generally in the opposite direction. Left-turn accidents can result in serious injuries and property damages, leading to significant medical expenses and unexpected time away from work.

California law requires that vehicles intending to make a left-hand turn yield the right of way to vehicles approaching in the opposite direction, and wait until it's safe to make their turn. As a result, when left-turn crashes occur, the driver making the left-hand turn is almost always found liable. However, there are some exceptions. Left-turning drivers may not be liable—or may only be partially liable—in the following scenarios:

  • The driver heading straight was traveling at an excessive speed.
  • The driver heading straight didn't obey traffic lights or signage, such as a red light or stop sign.
  • The driver turning left initiated the turn while it was safe, but unexpected circumstances required them to slow, swerve or stop.
  • The driver going straight was under the influence of alcohol or drugs thereby contributing to the collision.
  • The driver proceeding straight was talking, texting, or otherwise distracted thereby making their actions a cause of the collision.
  • The driver heading straight acted in a way to increase likelihood of the collision.

If you were injured in a left-turn accident that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, property damages, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Because California follows pure comparative fault rules, accident victims may still be able to collect compensation, even if they were partially responsible for the crash and their injuries—however, their financial recovery will be reduced to reflect the percentage of their liability.

Were You Hurt in a California Car Accident?

After a serious car crash, it's vitally important that victims understand their legal rights and options. The knowledgeable attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can answer your questions, address your concerns, and offer advice on navigating the personal injury litigation process. Contact us today toll free at (888) 694-3529 or locally at (909) 481-0100 to request a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case with one of our experienced attorneys.

 

David Ricks
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Rancho Cucamonga Car Accident Attorney and Personal Injury Lawyer serving the California Inland Empire