Who Can Be at Fault in Left-Turn Accidents?

Posted on behalf of Rizk Law on Sep 18, 2019 in Auto Accident

A left-turn accident is one of the most common types of collisions at an intersection. Typically, this kind of accident happens because the driver turning left fails to yield to oncoming traffic.

Since the motorist driving straight usually has the right-of-way, the left-turning driver is usually the one at fault. However, there are times when the driver of the other vehicle may be at fault.

If you were involved in a left-turn accident, a Portland car accident lawyer that serves auto accident victims in Multnomah County from Rizk Law is prepared to review the circumstances of your accident and discuss your legal options.

The initial consultation is completely free of charge. We accept car accident cases on contingency, so if we represent you, there will be no upfront fees. We do not get paid unless we are successful in recovering damages for you.

Different Left-Turn Crash Scenarios

The general rule with left-hand turns at intersections is that all vehicles going straight have the right of way, so the turning motorist must wait to go until his or her vehicle can pass through the intersection without posing a danger to other vehicles. However, there are a couple of unique situations in which the other driver passing through the intersection may be at fault.

The Driver is Turning Left at an Arrow

A motorist proceeding left through an intersection with a left-turn arrow signal has the right of way. In this scenario, if the other driver going straight runs a red light and goes into the left-turning vehicle’s path, he or she may be held liable for the collision.

Both Drivers Are Turning

In a trickier situation, two drivers may be turning in the same direction at the same time, but from opposing sides of the intersection – one motorist is turning left while the other is turning right. In this scenario, the road signs would be one of the most important factors in determining liability.

Driver Traveling Straight Runs a Red Light

If the motorist driving straight was speeding through the intersection to beat a red light and struck the left-turning vehicle, there may be an argument for shared liability.

How Vehicle Damage May Help Prove Liability

The damage to each vehicle shows the points of impact, which may help investigators determine liability.

Some damage may also reveal whether one or both drivers attempted to maneuver in a specific direction to avoid a collision. For example, if the driver traveling straight swerved right to avoid coming into contact with the other vehicle, the left-front side probably sustained damage.

When You Cannot Avoid Impact

In some left-turn accidents, you may not be able to avoid impact and your focus must then turn to minimizing injuries and damage. You may be able to mitigate harm by taking the following steps:

  • Slow down as much as possible while keeping control of your vehicle
  • Drive off the road to the right, if necessary
  • Avoid hitting an object straight-on
  • Brace for impact

Contact a Lawyer for Help After a Left-Turn Accident

If you were involved in a left-turn accident due to someone else’s negligence, we encourage you to contact one of the experienced lawyers at Rizk Law. We represent victims of left-turn accidents who were hit by a negligent driver.

We offer a free consultation to determine if you have a viable claim. If we represent you, you will owe us nothing for our services unless we are able to help you recover compensation.