Who Is at Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Accident? - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Who Is at Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Accident?

Left-hand turns are responsible for a significant number of car accidents across the United States. Left-hand turns can cause serious property damage to your car as well as catastrophic bodily injuries. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to fault and how you can effectively prove liability in such cases.

If you sustained injuries in an accident in Colorado, contact the personal injury lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced legal team are knowledgeable and zealous advocates for our clients and their cases. We treat our clients as people, not case files. Learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact our Denver law firm to learn more.

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Understanding Right-of-Way Laws and Their Impact on Left-Hand Turn Accidents

To comprehend the complexities of left-hand turn accidents, it is crucial to grasp the concept of right-of-way and its implications. The right-of-way refers to a driver’s entitlement to execute a maneuver before others. It helps in maintaining order and ensuring smooth traffic flow. However, when it comes to left-hand turns, determining the right-of-way can be challenging, leading to potential accidents.

In most regions, making a right-hand turn on a red light is permissible unless otherwise indicated by signs. However, it is essential to note that the turning driver must come to a complete stop before making the turn and yield to oncoming traffic. In this scenario, vehicles passing the turning driver still have the right-of-way, and the right-turning driver needs to wait until the path is clear to make the turn.

At a four-way intersection with stop signs in each direction, the generally accepted rule for determining right-of-way is “first come, first served.” The first driver to reach the intersection must come to a complete stop and then proceed through the intersection, followed by the second driver, and so on. However, even with these rules in place, left-hand turns require additional attention and caution.

Analyzing Defenses for Left-Turning Drivers and Factors Affecting Fault

Left-hand turns pose a higher risk due to the need for designated turning lanes in most areas. Without a green left turn arrow, left-turning drivers typically do not have the right-of-way and must yield to all other traffic. However, there are certain situations where the left-turning driver may not be at fault, despite being involved in an accident.

One example is when another driver proceeds into the intersection despite the light being red, while the adjacent lane has a green left turn arrow. In such cases, if the other driver is a distracted driver, driving under the influence, or speeding, they may carelessly collide with a driver turning left from the opposite direction. Here, it becomes evident that the left-turning driver should not be held liable for the accident.

Analyzing fault in a left-hand turn accident requires a comprehensive assessment of various factors. Proving fault may be challenging, as it requires substantial evidence and a clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the accident. However, by considering the following aspects, one can build a stronger case:

  1. Witness Testimony: Gathering testimony from other drivers and bystanders present at the accident site can provide valuable insights into the sequence of events and help establish fault.
  2. Recovering Crash Data: Retrieving crash data from the vehicles’ computers can provide objective evidence regarding the speed, acceleration, and braking patterns leading up to the accident.
  3. Phone Records Examination: Obtaining the phone records of the drivers involved can help determine if distracted driving played a role in the accident.

Proving Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Accident: A Detailed Approach

Proving fault in a left-hand turn accident requires a systematic and detailed approach. Without clear-cut evidence such as traffic camera or CCTV footage capturing the incident from an optimal angle, establishing liability may rely on the following:

  1. Credible Witness Testimony: Testimonies from impartial witnesses who observed the accident can provide crucial information regarding the actions of the drivers involved.
  2. Accident Reconstruction: Expert accident reconstruction can analyze the physical evidence, vehicle damage, and skid marks to recreate the accident and determine the responsible party.
  3. Traffic Violations: If the opposing driver violated traffic laws such as running a red light or speeding, it strengthens the case against them and supports the left-turning driver’s claim of being not at fault.
  4. Driver Negligence: Proving negligence on the part of the opposing driver, such as driving under the influence or being distracted, can establish their responsibility for the accident.

It is important to consult with a reputable Denver car accident attorney who specializes in left-hand turn accidents to navigate the legal complexities and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What should I do if I am involved in a left-hand turn accident?

A: If you find yourself in a left-hand turn accident, prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. Call emergency services if necessary and seek medical attention for any injuries. It is also advisable to gather evidence at the scene, such as taking photographs, noting the positions of the vehicles, and obtaining contact information from witnesses.

Q: Can I be held liable for a left-hand turn accident if I had the right-of-way?

A: Generally, if you had the right-of-way and another driver caused the accident, you should not be held liable. However, proving fault can be complex, and it is crucial to gather evidence and seek legal guidance to protect your rights. Insurance companies often argue that you are partially or entirely at fault for a left-hand turn accident if you were the party turning–even if you had the right of way.

Q: What if I am partially at fault for a left-hand turn accident?

A: Even if you bear some responsibility for the accident, you may still have grounds for seeking compensation if the other driver’s fault exceeds your own. Consulting with a personal injury attorney will help you understand your options and potential for recovery. In Colorado, your claim may be affected by a comparative negligence defense.

Q: How long do I have to file a claim after a left-hand turn accident?

A: The statute of limitations for filing a claim after a left-hand turn accident varies by jurisdiction. It is advisable to consult with an attorney promptly to understand the specific deadlines applicable to your case. Here in Colorado, the statute of limitations is typically three years for an auto accident; however, some collision cases require you to take special action in as little as 180 days after the crash.

In conclusion, left-hand turn accidents are complex situations with potential liability on both sides. Understanding right-of-way laws, analyzing defenses for left-turning drivers, and taking a detailed approach to prove fault are essential in navigating these circumstances. If you have been involved in a left-hand turn accident, seek the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our Denver law firm today to discuss your collision case at no charge with one of our experienced and skilled accident lawyers.

Colorado Car Accident Lawyers

If you suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our experienced Colorado car accident lawyers help clients across the state pursue full and fair compensation for their accident-related injuries and financial losses. We help clients in Colorado with a wide range of motor vehicle collisions involving different types of vehicles, crashes and severity of impacts. Contact our law firm to discuss:

Although most of our motor vehicle collision clients hail from Denver, we also help clients in other parts of Colorado, including:

No matter the type of auto accident or location in Colorado, our law firm is ready to talk to you about your case. Front Range Injury Attorneys offers free consultations for car crash cases so you can speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers at no cost and no obligation.

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