Who is At-Fault for a Left-Hand Turn Accident?

DC Car Accident Lawyers discuss who is at-fault for left-hand turn accidents.

Left-hand turn accidents are commonly seen as straightforward crashes when determining which driver was at-fault. Most courts assume that the driver who made the left turn caused the incident. This is not always the case but can be challenging to prove without the help from a car accident lawyer. Before talking about fault, it can be helpful to outline and explain the basics of a left-hand turn accident.

What is a Left-Hand Turn Accident?

A left-hand turn accident happens when a driver is pulling into traffic to turn left. Depending upon the situation, the person might be crossing several lanes in the process. In some situations, the left-hand turn happens at a crossroad with or without a stop sign. On other occasions, the left-hand turn occurs at an intersection with a stoplight.

Left-hand turns happen under other circumstances, too. These might include someone pulling out from a parking lot or even a residential driveway. The act of making the left-hand turn puts the driver in the path of any oncoming traffic from the right. Therefore, a left-hand turn crash often results in a T-bone accident.

Why is the Left-Turning Driver Assumed At-Fault?

In general, most left-turning auto accidents happen because the driver making the left-hand turn has not adequately timed the turn. For instance, a driver may not make sure that traffic from the left is completely clear or might not look at all. Similarly, a driver at a four-way stop may just make the turn even though the car to the left has already begun to proceed. For this reason, courts typically lay legal blame on the left-turning driver because the driver bears the responsibility. Still, there are times when a left-turning driver is not at fault.

When is the Left-Turning Driver Not Liable?

One of the biggest reasons that courts may determine the other driver is at-fault in a left-hand turn accident is if the driver going straight is speeding. In other words, the party who tried to make the left-hand turn did everything correctly but was surprised when the speeding car came out of nowhere. Another example is if the other driver starts to move while the left turn is already taking place. This could happen at an intersection where the left turn is already in progress and the other driver simply decides to proceed. Similarly, a driver could run a red light or a stop sign, leaving the left-turning driver without enough time to react.

Finally, if the driver who collides with the left-hand turning driver’s vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the driver may be considered liable. The only way to prove fault of the non-left turning driver is to gather and compile copious amounts of evidence.

DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Car Accident Victims Recover Damages

Because it can be difficult to prove liability in a left-hand turn accident, drivers may want to speak with a DC car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. We will review the facts of your case and hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Located in Washington, DC, we serve clients throughout DC and Maryland. For a free consultation, call us at 202-331-1963 or complete an online form today.