After you’ve been driving for a while, some things will feel like second nature. You may no longer worry about overtaking other vehicles or merging lanes. However, you may still feel a little jittery about making left-hand turns as you drive around Arkansas. That’s because this is a dangerous maneuver regardless of how long you’ve been driving.
Left-hand turn collisions occur frequently at intersections and they can be deadly. You may be wondering why these turns are so dangerous. It’s because drivers have to consider many variables before they execute the maneuver and even slight miscalculations can have disastrous consequences. It can sometimes be difficult to determine who is responsible for an accident that occurs in this way. Our experienced car accident attorneys can explain these things to you.
When making a left-hand turn, you need to estimate the speed and distance of ongoing vehicles. You also need to be aware that you’ll be impeding the flow of traffic when you cross into the opposite lane. In addition, there may be cyclists or pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Illegal Left-Hand Turns
In most cases, you’ll be blamed for the crash if you were the driver making the turn. Indeed, many left-hand turn collisions occur because drivers make illegal turns. The individual who is making a left-hand turn only has the right of way if they see a green arrow. Other drivers have to wait until the intersection is clear before they proceed. Even if there’s no marked crosswalk, they have to wait for bicyclists and people on foot to cross the street.
Even if you’re turning at an intersection that doesn’t have traffic lights, you must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. Don’t assume that other motorists should slow down or stop to allow you to pass. Notably, failure to yield was among the leading factors that led to fatal crashes across the country in 2018. If there’s a sign indicating that left turns are not allowed, you should obey even if you don’t see any other vehicles.
Legal Left-Hand Turns
The individual making the turn isn’t always at fault. Sometimes, the actions of the oncoming driver lead to the crash. They may have:
- Been intoxicated
- Been distracted by a mobile device
- Been driving with a suspended license or no license at all
- Been speeding
- Failed to stop at a stop sign or red light
If you can prove the driver acted recklessly or broke the law, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries. Since Arkansas follows a modified comparative fault system, you can still claim compensation even if you were partly at fault. Maybe you turned in front of an oncoming vehicle and the driver was too intoxicated to stop in time. Each party involved will be assigned a portion of fault. If you were 30 percent responsible, your damages would be reduced by 30 percent. A Bentonville car accident lawyer can help to ensure that you’re treated fairly.
Proving Who is Responsible for a Crash
It can be difficult to prove fault following a left-hand turn accident. even if you were not responsible, you may be blamed if the accident isn’t properly investigated. One of the first things you can do to protect your interests is to contact the police after the crash. Officers will study the scene and talk to eyewitnesses before compiling an accident report. This can help you to show that you didn’t do anything wrong.
However, police reports aren’t always accurate or conclusive. The report on your accident may not reflect what you believe happened. In such a case, your lawyer will do their own investigations to establish liability. They may review photos and videos from the scene, talk to witnesses, review cell phone records, and even hire accident scene reconstruction experts.
An attorney’s help will be invaluable if you’re blamed for an accident that was not your fault. If you can’t prove that the other driver was more than 50 percent responsible for the crash, you won’t be able to claim compensation. You would be left the foot the costs and losses associated with the accident.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield P.A. Today!
Call a car accident attorney in Bentonville today and begin the process of getting full compensation for your injuries. We’ll gather the facts and build a strong case on your behalf. We’ll negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to get you the best possible deal or go all the way to trial if necessary. Book a free consultation today and learn what we can do for you.