If you suffered injuries due to an accident involving a negligent driver making an improper left turn, contact our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 to learn how a Los Angeles left turn accident lawyer can help you understand how you may receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
Left Turn Regulations
Few drivers actually follow the strict guidelines and regulations regarding how to make a proper left turn in the state of California. For example, under the law, drivers must do the following when making a left turn:
- Signal at least 100 feet prior to making a left turn
- Look over their left shoulder
- Reduce speed
- Stop behind the marked line
- Look left, look right, and then left again
- Never cut the corner of the oncoming lane
Clearly, some drivers do not follow these regulations; otherwise, no left turn accident would ever occur. If a driver is negligent or inattentive, serious injuries or even death can occur due to improper left turns.
Types of Left Turn Accidents
There are several different types of intersections that could offer a driver the opportunity to turn left, and unfortunately, also cause an accident.
In many cases, when people think of improper left turns, they think of four-way intersections. These intersections can have stop signs or stop lights, and all have traffic that enters from all four different directions. Four-way intersections that have stop signs are slightly less dangerous as typically all vehicles will stop and the first vehicle to arrive at the stop sign will have the right-of-way. However, when the four-way intersection has a stoplight, drivers wanting to turn left can do so only after all of the oncoming traffic moving in the opposite direction clears. Additionally, a driver must check their surroundings to ensure that there are no pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists that may suffer injuries if they turn left.
If you are making a left turn at a T-intersection, the main thoroughfare has the right-of-way. In these cases, a driver must make certain that there are no oncoming cars before completing a left turn. In some cases, when the roadways are hilly or there are poor weather conditions, the driver may have challenges when determining if it is safe to make a left turn.
For a free legal consultation with a left turn accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Left Turn Accidents and Motorcycles
In some cases, the left turn accident does not occur between two vehicles, but between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle. Motorcycles often maneuver between lanes of traffic or will come up to the left side of a vehicle attempting to make a left turn. In some cases, a motorcyclist thinks that they are moving to the left side of a vehicle so that the driver may see them better. However, in many cases, this simply results in a vehicle turning left directly into the motorcyclist.
With little protection, accidents between motorcyclists and motor vehicles typically result in catastrophic injuries or death to the motorcycle rider. While catastrophic, determining fault will need to occur in these types of accidents to see if the fault rests with the driver of the motor vehicle or the motorcyclist.
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Left Turn Accidents and Pedestrians
Left turn accidents happen at intersections where there are often crosswalks available for pedestrians to cross the street. In most cases, the pedestrian will have the right-of-way in a crosswalk if they have a green light to walk, even if the driver also has the green light to turn left. Challenges occur when pedestrians think that they have the right-of-way at all times and use the crosswalk when they are actually not allowed to do so. Additionally, in most cases, the actual traffic will have the right-of-way on roadways where a crosswalk is not present. When an accident occurs between a motorist and a pedestrian, the injuries are typically serious or even life-threatening.
Exceptions to Left Turn Driver Liability
In most circumstances, if a driver makes an illegal left turn and causes an accident, they will bear the liability and responsibility for any injuries, damage, or losses. However, there are some exceptions to this rule regarding liability.
Oncoming Car Was Speeding
In some circumstances, the oncoming car is speeding and the left turn driver did not correctly judge how fast they were going. While this is often difficult to prove, if the intersection has cameras, it may prove that the oncoming car was speeding and contributed to the accident. Additionally, if the oncoming car was speeding excessively, witnesses may testify to that fact as well.
Oncoming Car Ran Their Red Light
If a driver is making a left turn, and the oncoming car runs their red light, the liability and responsibility for the accident shifts to the other driver. Had that driver not run through their own red light, an accident would not occur. Witnesses and intersection cameras can assist in proving these facts.
The Left Turn Driver Must Stop Suddenly
There are always extenuating facts and circumstances that may involve the left turn driver stopping suddenly, such as an animal wandering into the roadway, or some obstruction in the lane of traffic. If a driver slows down or stops for a reasonable cause while making their legal left turn, and they are rear-ended by another vehicle, or hit by another vehicle from a different direction, the left turn driver may not have responsibility or liability for the accident.
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How a Los Angeles Left Turn Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you suffered injuries due to a driver’s improper or negligent left turn, consider speaking with a member of our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at 800-794-0444 to help you understand how a Los Angeles left turn accident lawyer can work alongside you to help protect your rights.