Is the driver making a left turn always at fault in a car accident?

Many drivers believe that when a car hits another vehicle, motorcycle or pedestrian while making a left turn, the turning driver is always at fault for the accident. However, there are several circumstances in which the party that is struck may be at fault, which may complicate a car accident claim.

Challenges to a left-turn accident are difficult, but they can be successful under certain circumstances. Three of the most common scenarios in which the vehicle turning may not be at fault are: 

  • when the vehicle going straight ran a red light or ignored a traffic signal;
  • when the vehicle going straight exceeded the speed limit or participated in other reckless driving behavior; and
  • when the vehicle turning left began the turn while it was safe, but conditions changed to make the situation unsafe.

Changes in conditions are the most difficult of the three scenarios to argue because the basic rules of the road state that a car making a left turn must be certain that it is safe to begin the maneuver. Still, circumstances on the road can change in the blink of an eye, such as an animal running into the road. In such cases, there is often no way to predict or prevent these hazards.

Whether you were turning or traveling straight, when you are the victim of an accident, it can be frustrating hearing the other driver or the insurance company pointing the blame at you. Make sure you’re prepared to defend against these allegations with appropriate evidence.

Make Your Case with Police and Witness Reports

Two recourses you have for building your case of fault against the other party are police and witness reports. Official records and statements can be invaluable in building your claim against a negligent driver and saving your right to collect a fair settlement.

The police report will record the facts of the accident from an authoritative standpoint. The record this generates should contain all of the information for both drivers and any witnesses, as well as the police officer’s assessment of the accident scene. By calling the police, an officer may issue the other driver a traffic citation for illegal turn, speeding or another infraction. A citation can be helpful when establishing the other driver’s negligence.

Witness statements are also important, especially if the other driver claims you made an illegal turn, were speeding or ran a light. If these claims were false and a witness can attest to your innocence, it may help discredit the other driver’s claims.

Accident Victims: There’s Help for You!

If you were the victim of the accident, another driver may challenge your account of the accident and try to place blame on you. Even if you believe the evidence is completely in your favor, it’s best to consult an attorney if you or a loved one sustained substantial injuries.

For residents of Upper Arlington, Bressman Law is here to help. We want our neighbors to know there’s a legal team dedicated to ensuring their needs are met following serious accidents. Don’t hesitate to contact Bressman Law to review the details of your case. (877) 538-1116.