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I’ve Been Involved in a Left Hand Turn Collision – Who Is at Fault?


In the United States, more than 2.5 million people are injured in roadway collisions each year. Unfortunately, many roadway incidents can turn deadly – national figures estimate that 37,000 people are killed each year due to incidents involving motor vehicles. Auto collisions also remain a leading cause of death for teens in the United States.

When these types of incidents occur, there are a number of factors that must be considered before determining fault. A key one is whether or not the driver was making a left-hand turn at the time of the collision.

Left-Hand Turn Collisions

More often than not, left-hand turn cases involve someone who is traveling in a straight path. When this is the case, the individual making the left-hand turn is generally ruled at fault for the collision. This is a notion that is widely accepted by the courts and entities that govern road laws [].

What is the primary reasoning behind this concept? Left-hand turn drivers must yield to all traffic before moving through the path – whether it be oncoming vehicles or pedestrians.

There are, however, some exceptions to the near-automatic liability rule. These exceptions include:

  • The car traveling in a straight path was going too fast. This can be difficult to prove without an in-depth investigation into the conditions of the road and any interfering elements.
  • The car traveling straight ran a red light
  • The car turning left began to turn when it was considered safe, but something unexpected occurred, making it difficult to slow down or halt the turn

Regardless of the state you reside in, drivers making left-hand turns are expected to wait until the path through the intersection is entirely free and clear of any oncoming traffic, to best protect against an injury-causing collision. Once the roadway is clear, a left-hand turn may be completed.

Injuries From Left-Hand Turn Accidents

Like other automobile collisions, left-hand turn incidents can cause significant personal injury. This is largely due to the size and speed of the vehicles involved. However, it’s important to note that collisions involving smaller vehicles like motorcycles, or those involving pedestrians, may be much more severe.

Some injuries that may result from a left-hand turn accident might include:

Recovering from these types of injuries can take months, if not years or a lifetime, to complete. In some cases, a victim may never recover from injuries sustained as a result of a left-turn collision.

Personal injury can also bring significant financial consequences, including, but not limited to:

  • Disability
  • Hospital, ER or longer term medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of income, whether temporary or permanent
  • Funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, the loss of companionship (in the event of fatal collisions)

Seeking Damages for Left-Hand Turn Incidents

Although it may seem like left-hand turn collisions are fairly straightforward, that is not always the case. In fact, it can be quite difficult to prove liability without the appropriate evidence.

Even if the individual who was not turning was not harmed or injured in any way, they may not be free of liability. This, of course, depends on a number of factors. In order to prove liability in left-hand turn crashes, you must prove that the other driver was reckless, in violation of the established laws of the road, or have behaved in a similar fashion to warrant an offense.

That’s why it’s important to never assume that, just because a driver was making a left-hand turn, they are automatically at fault.

For example, if a driver was making a left-hand turn when the roadway was completely clear, but is stopped due to a collision with another vehicle that approached at a high speed, it may be very difficult to prove that the driver making the left-hand turn caused the collision.

If you or someone you love has been involved in auto collision, including cases where a driver was making a left-hand turn, perhaps unlawfully, the most important first step is to seek medical attention for any potential injuries. Only a qualified medical practitioner can assess the extent of your condition and determine the best course for rehabilitation and recovery.

Once you have been diagnosed with an injury, you will also want to seek the guidance of an attorney specializing in personal injury, as you may have a legal claim to compensation and other damages related to your incident. That’s where the highly qualified attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen can help.

Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas

Our firm has extensive experience handling claims that involve car collision injuries, including cases where the injury has come as a result of an unlawful left-hand turn. We can work with you and your medical team to determine the extent of your injury and the impact it has had on your day-to-day life.

Our legal team understands that the key to these types of legal claims is building a strong, convincing case with the necessary evidence to prove liability. That’s why we are committed to building a legal strategy that yields the best possible results.

To schedule an initial consultation with one of our Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss your personal injury claim, call the law office of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen at (702) 505-8115.

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