If you suffered any injuries in a car accident resulting from a motorist making an improper left turn, contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. We can help you understand how a Chicago left turn accident lawyer can help you ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Left Turn Accidents
Left turn accidents typically happen at intersections, when a vehicle attempts to make a left-hand turn across oncoming traffic. These types of left turns require that the driver be aware of their blind spots, the oncoming traffic, motorcyclists and bicycles in the roadways, and pedestrians that may be crossing the street as well. Any type of distraction or misjudgment in making the turn can result in serious injuries to any of the other motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians in that intersection.
Most left turn accidents are a direct result of driver error—either incorrect recognition of other vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians, or decision errors such as the distance between their car and another oncoming vehicle. Some of the other crash factors that can cause left turn accidents to include the following:
- Incorrect assumptions regarding the other driver’s actions (i.e. the other driver will run a red light)
- Misjudgment of the other driver’s speed or the gap between the left turn vehicle and the other vehicles on the roadway
- Poor surveillance of the area and failing to check blind spots
- Illegal left turns or illegal left U-turns
- Distracted driving, including—but not limited to—texting while driving
- Speeding or driving recklessly
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- An unexpected event, such as a heart attack, other physical condition, falling asleep at the wheel, or passing out as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Illinois state law is very clear regarding left turns on the roadways. Additionally, a driver that attempts to turn left must also be aware and give the right-of-way to all other vehicles, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. If a police officer issues a ticket for an illegal left turn, the driver may face a $75 fine and possible court costs. However, in many cases, an improper left turn may also include a charge of reckless driving. Reckless driving charges in the state of Illinois are Class A misdemeanors and will add substantial fines and possible time in jail, depending on the severity of the charge to the original left turn charge.
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In many cases, if a car turns left in front of another vehicle headed in the opposite direction, or turns left and hits a bicyclist or pedestrian, a judge or jury may hold the driver liable for their negligence. However, there are some cases where the left turn driver may not have responsibility and liability for an accident. For example, when a vehicle that was driving straight was speeding through the intersection, or the vehicle that was going straight ran through a red light. A Chicago left turn accident lawyer can help you determine your legal rights based on your specific situation.
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Injuries Suffered from Accidents Involving Left Turns
Left turns that result in an accident occur when the motorist does not pay the proper attention to the oncoming traffic or surroundings at intersections. In many cases, a left turn accident will result in harm to a bicyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian. In other cases, a left turn accident may cause a head-on collision, sideswiping accident, or T-bone accident between two vehicles. If you suffered injuries involving a left turn accident, the severity will directly depend on the facts and circumstances of your accident. However, left turn accidents are oftentimes catastrophic and can include the following types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Aortic dissection (due to seat belts or airbag deployment)
- Spinal cord damage
- Amputations of limbs
- Paralysis (temporary or permanent)
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychiatric conditions
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Prevention of Accidents Due to Improper Left Turns
There are several ways a driver could prevent an accident during their turn, including:
- Carefully checking oncoming traffic, including identifying if other drivers are actually stopping at their own stop sign or red light
- Only turning left when you are absolutely certain that the roads are clear and that you have a complete path to turn left safely
- Never making any illegal left turns under any circumstance
- Making sure to take extra precautions to check your own blind spots, and the areas where bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians may ride or walk.
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Contact a Chicago Left Turn Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries due to a driver’s improper or illegal left turn, you may have or experience substantial medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. We do not want victims of this type of accident to suffer further damage from this situation. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for injuries you suffered through no fault of your own. Contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to learn how a Chicago left turn accident lawyer can work with you to ensure your legal rights remain protected and help you with your next steps.