Left-hand turn accidents are tricky. It’s likely that you or your passengers sustained some level of injury, these crashes almost always take place in an intersection and it might seem like it’s your fault. Determining fault for left turns though is not as clear cut as insurance companies like to make it seem.
Always call in an Atlanta auto accident lawyer to help you guide instances where a fault might be complicated. Left turn wrecks are definitely complex cases to handle.
What is Left-Turn Law?
In Georgia, the laws for left-turns is very straightforward. You have the right of way when you have a green left-turn arrow light. That is it. This simple rule, however, comes with a lot of grey area.
What if the other driver was speeding, or drunk? What if I believed I had time to get through the intersection?
Then, there is the other side of the coin. Perhaps you were going straight, following the rules of the road and another driver makes a speedy left turn, hitting your car. The left turn law deserves a closer look to realize how it fits into your case.
Left-hand turn accidents happen all the time in intersections where there is no traffic light, or when turning onto private property.
Duty of Care and Clear Neglect
Duty of care plays a massive role in determining fault. In Georgia, it is possible to have a percentage of fault assigned to your side of the crash and duty of care will determine that.
For example, if you made a left turn, on a yield light, but were hit by a car clearly speeding, you will likely have a small percentage of fault. Duty of care comes into play with speeding although this can be hard to prove. You may need witness statements or a crash recreation expert to assess the speed of the other vehicle.
Additionally, there are instances of another car running a red light, or an unforeseen obstruction. Determining fault in left turn cases resides largely on identifying the neglectful party. It’s quite possible that there is no clear instance of neglect, but both parties were in some way foregoing their duty of care.
It’s easy for someone to step out of their vehicle and say that the crash wasn’t their fault. No doubt you don’t feel that the crash was your fault. Unfortunately, the laws of fault in Georgia are hard to navigate.
Often insurance companies take on determining fault and will declare a division between the involved drivers. Insurance determinations can be argued or questioned and bring legal consequences if either company made a clearly inaccurate assessment.
Determining fault, especially in left turn cases, is extremely difficult as it involves at least two insurance companies as well as Georgia law.
Lights and Right-of-Way
Lights govern how drivers move through traffic. You have a green light and then you get to go. You have a yellow light and you need to prepare to stop. However many people don’t follow these simple rules. The simplest way to prove fault in a left-hand turn is to show that the other driver ran the light.
However, they may have had a yield light, or you may have had a yield light. Those situations allow the driver to manage everything based on their best judgment. That judgment can often be wrong. They may have believed that you were further away, or not travelling so fast. Which brings in another element: speed.
If you went through a light above the speed limit then it is safe for the other driver to argue that they believed you were going slower. Someone believing that you were going the speed limit is reasonable. If you were speeding, even if you had the right-of-way, you could carry partial fault.
The right-of-way guidance is important. But, other infractions against traffic law can break into your fault percentage. That means ultimately you could receive a reduced compensation payment based on your contribution to the amount of damage from the crash.
Was There An Emergency Vehicle?
Emergency vehicles make us all nervous. We see an ambulance and initially get concerned that we’re not getting out of the way. Don’t be surprised if someone dove into a left turn to get out of the way of an ambulance. If the accident was genuinely at fault then you’d need to consider bringing your claims against the city of Atlanta rather than the other driver.
However, drivers aren’t taught to “dive” through traffic for emergency vehicles. Drivers are always instructed to move over safely and wait for the emergency vehicles to pass. Responding to an emergency vehicle can be a call for fault, but it is never a full excuse.
Who Was Most Responsible in a Left-Hand Turn Accident?
What it comes down to in Georgia is who was most at-fault. If the other driver was more than 50% at fault then their insurance company becomes responsible. However when it comes to fault you could contribute and miss out on part of your compensation if you were violating traffic ordinances.
The most responsible party carries the greater burden. However, it’s not that they’re paying right out of their pocket. Instead, their insurance company pays. It would be the same that happens if you were responsible for the crash. We all pay for auto insurance so that in these cases the victim is taken care of well.
Recovering from Your Left Hand Turn Accident
A left-hand crash will often result in fairly serious injuries, and those that are uncommon for crash victims. Where people often have whiplash, a left-hand crash may instead result in broken bones, spinal injury, or internal damage.
During these types of recoveries you’ll need to work with a medical team. You may have to manage your recovery closely through multiple surgeries or even physical therapy. Recovery is never as simple or straight-forward as people believe. It could be years of working on regaining your strength or mobility.
For Complex Situations, Call A Car Crash Lawyer in Georgia
If you were part of a left turn accident it’s likely that you took on some degree of injury. Work with a lawyer to try to collect the compensation that you deserve. Left-turn accidents often come with improper attribution of the fault and you may need legal help showing that you were not the person to blame.
In these situations, it’s likely that the driver turning left received a ticket. Additionally, the police may have put down in the report that you were in violation of traffic safety laws. In other words, if you were the driver turning left, the odds are stacked against you.
A ticket for turning left and a police report don’t guarantee an accurate depiction of the events that took place. There are many exceptions where a police report can paint a person as the driver at-fault when that’s not accurate.
Every car wreck comes with a unique set of circumstances. It should be up to the insurance companies to identify the wrongdoer, but instead, they often choose the easiest path to close the case.
Get In Touch With A Car Accident Attorney
When you’re in a left-hand turn or similarly complex crash you need someone to walk you through determining fault. The fault is a major part of most car accident claims and cases. If fault is incorrectly decided that you’re at fault or partially at fault then an Atlanta personal injury attorney can critically impact the outcome of your claim.
As a victim of a car accident, you can benefit from legal guidance even if your case never goes to court. The lawyers with the Weinstein Firm are available to help you. Call now or visit online to speak with an attorney now and discuss your case.