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Who Is Liable for a Left-Turn Car Accident?

Published: May 13, 2024 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Contact a Belleville Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm After a Left-Turn Crash

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an accident where one driver was turning left and you have suffered a serious injury, it is crucial to understand your rights. If you can establish that the other driver was at fault, you could be eligible for substantial financial compensation. However, navigating the legal complexities of such cases is not easy. That is why it is essential to contact a seasoned car accident lawyer who can handle your case and fight for your rights.

Why Are Left-Hand Turn Accidents Dangerous?

Left-hand turn accidents are among the most dangerous types of car crashes. These accidents are commonly known as T-bone crashes, and they are one of the deadliest types of accidents, based on the fatality rates. While 10 percent of the total number of car accidents are T-bone crashes, 20 percent of car accident fatalities occur in these accidents. For one driver, they are struck on the broad side of their car. If the impact happens on the driver’s side, they can suffer serious injuries. For the other driver, the effect is similar to that of a head-on crash. There is a tremendous amount of force unleashed in these accidents.

What Are Common Causes of Left-Hand Turn Accidents?

Left-hand turn accidents may be caused by the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Speeding
  • Carelessness
  • Poorly signed intersections

In the legal realm, there is a common presumption that the driver making the turn is usually at fault in a left-hand turn accident. However, it is important to note that this presumption can be overturned if the turning driver can provide evidence of the other driver’s wrongdoing. If you were the driver making the turn, you would likely face a challenging legal battle to obtain compensation for your injury. In such cases, it is advisable to consult an experienced car accident lawyer who can objectively review your case and provide an honest opinion about your potential for compensation.

The Oncoming Driver Usually Has the Right of Way

Most often, the driver who is established in traffic is the one who also has the right of way. In the context of the left-hand turn, the motorist in the oncoming lane usually has the right to pass. The driver making the left-hand turn can only do so when they have the right of way or when it is safe to make the turn.

Even if a presumption is working in your favor, you still need evidence to show what happened in the accident. The insurance company may still blame you, in whole or in part, to try to reduce the amount they pay you. When you hire a car accident lawyer, they could use the following to help prove your case:

  • Testimony from objective witnesses who saw the accident.
  • Pictures from the scene of the accident.
  • The police report written by the officer showed up at the scene (which cannot be used in court to prove a case because it is hearsay).
  • Dashcam footage from your car or one that was in the vicinity.
  • Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.

There are various ways that the oncoming driver could be at fault in a left-hand turn accident. For example, they could have been speeding, and the car making the turn did not have enough time to complete the maneuver, even though they had the legal right to do so. The oncoming driver may also have been distracted and not seen the driver who was properly making a turn.

Often, there is a question about whether the two drivers share fault in the accident. Illinois allows you to recover financial compensation, even if you were partially to blame for the accident. The law in the state is that you cannot bear more than half of the blame for the accident and still receive compensation.

Contact a Belleville Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm After a Left-Turn Crash

After you have been injured in a left-turn crash, a Belleville car accident lawyer at The Cates Law Firm can fight for you to receive total and fair financial compensation for your injuries. Call 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our office is in Swansea, Illinois, and we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.