How Is Fault Determined in Left-Turn Accidents?

February 9, 2024
Our Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Will Help You After a Left-Turn Crash

Left turns are more dangerous than right-hand turns. Left-hand turns are dangerous maneuvers because drivers must make several judgment calls quickly before moving forward. They must follow the law, note if other drivers are driving unsafely, know how much time they have, and recognize how fast oncoming traffic is going. When a driver neglects any of this, they put themselves and others at risk of a car accident.

Pennsylvania drivers must turn on their left turn signal at a minimum of 100 feet before they turn. When a driver goes more than 35 miles per hour, that distance increases to 300 feet. In addition, drivers making left turns must yield the right of way for oncoming traffic. That is true even when the driver has a green light. They are responsible for checking traffic before starting the turn, ensuring that the turn can be completed without impacting other vehicles. Drivers planning to turn left must ensure their actions do not threaten others.

Establishing fault in left-turn accidents can be complicated.  If you were the one who made the turn and an accident happened, you must prove that you did not cause it. So, if someone else hits your vehicle when turning left, you must prove that they caused the crash.

Several factors may determine the fault in a left-turn crash. To start, responding law enforcement officers will provide a police report stating which driver caused the accident; in many cases, two or more drivers share liability. A car accident attorney can work with you to gather evidence proving that you were not at fault:

  • Eyewitness accounts can provide detailed accounts of what happen.
  • Property damage can indicate how the crash happen.
  • Skid marks also show how accidents have played out.
  • Traffic cameras at intersections frequently capture crashes.
  • Traffic violations.

What Should I Do After a Left-Turn Accident?

If you have been involved in a left-turn accident, there are several steps you should take:

  • Ensure safety: First and foremost, ensure the safety of yourself and others involved. Move to a safe location if possible and check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call emergency services immediately.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s licenses, and insurance policy details.
  • Document the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to vehicles, road conditions, skid marks, and any relevant signage or traffic signals. This documentation can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Report the accident: Depending on the severity of the accident and local laws, you may need to report the accident to the police or relevant authorities. Even if it is a minor accident, it is often a good idea to report it for documentation purposes.
  • Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. They will guide you through the claims process.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if you do not initially feel injured, seeking medical attention promptly after an accident is important. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and documentation of any injuries is essential for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Consider legal advice: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and options, especially if there are disputes over liability or significant damages involved.

Our Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Will Help You After a Left-Turn Crash

Left-turn accidents can be serious. If you need legal help, contact our knowledgeable Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. To schedule a consultation, call 610-565-3701 or complete our online form. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.