State-specific regulations control driver actions.
Traffic patterns on U.S. roadways are governed by state-specific laws, but all state laws mandate driving on the right-hand side of the roads. When turning left at road junctions, and intersections, a driver must pass in front of left turning cars approaching from the opposite direction and not behind them. Many intersections have posted traffic lights or directional signals that specify the exact action you are allowed to take. Any driver actions to the contrary are considered a traffic violation and break jurisdictional laws. If you are at fault for causing an accident because you made an improper left-hand turn, contact an experienced accident attorney who may be able to assist with insurance disputes and legal actions that may be taken against you.
Left-hand turning driver is commonly at fault.
Most of the time the driver making a left-hand turn is found to be at fault when an accident occurs, unless traffic signals specifically gave them the right of way. Otherwise, governing regulations have determined that vehicles traveling straight through a lane, or provided path coming from opposite directions will have the right of way as they drive through intersections. A driver wishing to make a left-hand turn is required to wait until it is safe to turn across oncoming traffic.
Other driver fault.
There are occasions when the driver who is not making the left-hand turn is at fault. For instance, when a driver who is signaled to make a left hand turn by a left turn arrow or other official traffic lighting instrument is hit by another vehicle who runs through a red light, or if another negligent act leads to the accident such as running a stop sign or excessive speeding causing crash impact to the left-hand turning driver after they started to navigate their turn when the second car was not yet in their field of vision.
Proving fault speaks to compensation.
In these types of accidents, compensation may be difficult to obtain because it will be hard to prove partial responsibility or that the other driver fully caused the accident. Some exceptions may play out in favor of the left-hand turning driver, depending on proving actions of negligence that include excessive speed by the other driver traveling through the intersection, running a red light, or a stop sign or failing to yield rights of way that may have been posted.
Experts will be needed.
Damage to vehicles involved in left-hand turn accidents are the storytellers and will give a clearer picture of the details of the accident. Expert witnesses will provide reports and testimony that will verify the actions that lead up to the crash, and percentages of fault can be assigned to drivers based on this information.
Hire an attorney.
When you have been involved in a car accident caused by making a left-hand turn, contact an experienced accident attorney because they will know what steps to take and what consulting professionals to hire to prove that the other driver had some, or all of the fault that caused the accident.