Most car accidents are unexpected and happen in the blink of an eye. However, one maneuver that is is especially dangerous and a frequent cause of car accidents is the left turn. The left turn is has been the cause of many serious accidents, even for the most experienced drivers.
The Philadelphia car accident lawyers know that the left turn is one of the most dangerous maneuvers on the road. By its very nature, a vehicle making a left turn will turn into traffic traveling straight towards it. The driver making a left turn must make a determination, prior to turning, that he/she has enough time to clear the turn. This is not always an easy decision. Especially, when making a left turn into heavy traffic or on windy roads.
Making a left turn can be further complicated by obstacles blocking your vision of oncoming traffic. For instance, there may be another vehicle parked in front of the turn. Other times, a hill or sharp turn in the road limits the distance the driver can see oncoming traffic coming towards him/her.
In general, a vehicle traveling in its own lane has the right of way. This means that the driver making the left hand turn has a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. In most cases, a driver performing a left turn will be found liable for the accident because he/she failed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For example, the driver making a left turn may be found NOT to be liable when the other driver is traveling at a high rate of speed in excess of the speed limit. Here, if the driver making the left turn acted reasonably, and the accident was unavoidable and caused due to the other driver’s speeding, the speeding driver may be found wholly or partially at fault.
Another exception where a driver making a left turn may be found not liable for an accident is when the other driver could have avoided the collision but simply chose not to. A driver who sees a vehicle making a left turn in front of him/her, and has the ability to avoid a crash, but simply chooses not to do so because he/she “has the right of way,” will likely be found liable for the crash. This is because a driver cannot intentionally cause a crash which is otherwise avoidable.
If you are injured in a car crash, you should always speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, even if the insurance company has determined that you were liable for the accident.
Thanks to authors at The Wieand Law Firm LLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.