Personal Injury Lawyer & Car Accident Gold Firm

San Bernardino Left Turn Accident Lawyer

Who Is At Fault When a Car Turns Left and Causes an Accident in California?

According to California’s traffic laws, the driver making a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic, including vehicles going straight through an intersection or making a right turn. This means if a driver turns left in front of oncoming traffic and causes a collision, they’re typically considered at fault.

However, there are exceptions. Determining who’s at fault when a car turns left and causes an accident hinges on a few key factors. For instance, if the oncoming vehicle was speeding or ran a red light, they might share some or all of the blame. Similarly, if the driver making the left turn had a green arrow indicating they could proceed safely, the oncoming vehicle might be at fault for disregarding the signal.

Ultimately, fault is determined by examining the circumstances leading up to the accident and applying California’s traffic laws accordingly.

Left Turn Accidents: Liability and Laws

In California, figuring out who’s to blame for a left turn accident is not always an easy undertaking.

Whether you’re the driver making the left turn or the unlucky driver caught in the collision by someone else not yielding to right of way, understanding who is at fault in this case will determine who is most responsible for injuries and property damages.

Generally, these types of accidents aren’t just fender benders; they are high impact crashes, causing serious injuries and significant damage to the vehicles involved. Drivers caught in the middle often face a mountain of bills, from medical expenses, to insurance premiums, and lost wages.

To navigate this mess, knowing the ins and outs of California’s right-of-way and left turn laws is a must. It’s your compass through the maze of determining fault, wrangling with insurance companies, and clawing your way to compensation for all the pain, suffering, and vehicle damage you’ve endured.

California Left Turn Laws

When figuring out who’s to blame in a car accident, comparative negligence laws look at how much each person involved might be responsible, especially if a number of different circumstances caused the crash.

California Vehicle Code 22100 (b) dictates how drivers should legally make left-hand turns while driving. This code explains the proper way to turn at intersections and ensure safety on the roads.

(b) Left Turns. The approach for a left turn shall be made as close as practicable to the left-hand edge of the extreme left-hand lane or portion of the roadway lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle and, when turning at an intersection, the left turn shall not be made before entering the intersection. After entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered, except that upon a highway having three marked lanes for traffic moving in one direction that terminates at an intersecting highway accommodating traffic in both directions, the driver of a vehicle in the middle lane may turn left into any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

The code section provides three additional rules for left turns in California. These are:

  • A driver cannot start a left turn before entering the intersection.
  • A left turn can be made into any lane lawfully available.
  • If a driver is traveling on a three-lane road that ends at a two-way road, he may turn left from the middle lane into any lane lawfully available.

Failure to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians during left turns can lead to legal repercussions, such as fines and points on the driver’s record.

Comparative negligence laws might also be considered if multiple elements contribute to the accident, emphasizing the importance of abiding by the established rules to ensure safe and efficient traffic flow.

Is the Left-Turning Driver Always At-Fault in California?

It’s important to understand how fault works in car accidents, California is considered an “at-fault” or “tort” state. This means that the person responsible for causing the accident is on the hook for covering the injuries and damages of others involved.

Unlike in some other states where everyone relies on their own insurance regardless of fault, California puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the person who caused the accident. That’s why California requires liability insurance for all California drivers

When it comes to making a left turn in California, the rules are clear: you must yield to oncoming traffic and only turn when it’s safe to do so. Typically, if there’s a collision involving a left turn, the driver making the turn is considered at fault. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Here are instances where the driver turning left might not be considered responsible:

  • The car going straight was in excess of the speed limit.
  • The car going straight disobeyed traffic signals, such as running a red light or ignoring a stop sign.
  • The left-turning driver began their turn when it was safe, but faced an unexpected obstacle, like suddenly needing to slow down.
  • The driver going straight was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contributing to the accident.
  • The driver going straight was distracted, like talking on the phone or texting, leading to the accident.
  • The driver going straight engaged in actions that increased the likelihood of the crash.

Determining who’s at fault in a left turn accident involves closely examining the events leading up to the collision.

If you were injured in a left-turn accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, in addition to the pain and suffering you’ve endured since the crash.

Exploring the Causes Behind Left Turn Crashes in California

In California’s largest cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, left turn accidents are all too common, especially where streets are jam-packed with cars. One big reason? The sheer volume of vehicles on the road.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get T-boned while turning left in San Bernardino, or wind up colliding with a car that is trying to pass you in Riverside.

At any busy intersection, especially the ones without clear signals for left turns, cars tend to stack up while waiting for their chance to turn. This situation can tempt some drivers to bend the rules and zip through red lights, which is often a major cause of left turn accidents in the state.

Besides running red lights, there are several other typical reasons why left turn collisions happen. Here are some of the most frequent ones:

  • Neglecting to yield the right of way
  • Speeding through the turn
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Getting distracted behind the wheel
  • Miscalculating the speed or distance of approaching cars
  • Turning when visibility is poor
  • Forgetting to signal for the turn
  • Being caught off guard by weather conditions

These factors, along with others, heighten the chances of accidents when making a left turn.

Although making a left turn might seem like a simple task, it’s trickier than it appears and can pose risks if not executed properly. Unfortunately, many drivers tend to bend the rules and disregard traffic laws when making left turns, leading to hazardous accidents.

Which Driver Is at Fault When Colliding With a Car That Is Trying to Pass?

When two cars collide while one is making a left turn and the other is trying to pass, figuring out who’s to blame gets tricky. It’s not always clear-cut.

Depending on important factors like who signaled first, how fast they were going, and if they could see each other, both drivers might be at fault. To sort it out, getting legal advice is a smart decision. You’re not in the good hands of the insurance companies, who all have teams of lawyers that are not on your side and not looking to award you maximum compensation.

An experienced car accident lawyer near you with a proven track record of successfully handling left turn accident cases can help you navigate the legal intricacies that unfortunately comes with these types of accidents.

Imagine you’re turning left and boom, you crash into a car trying to pass you on the left. To prove it was their fault, you’ll need things like security camera footage, photos, witnesses, a police report, and maybe even a play-by-play deposition of what went down. It’s like playing detective, gathering all the evidence to back up your case.

Attempting to do all this without legal assistance can be a real headache. That’s why having a good San Bernardino car accident lawyer nearby is super helpful, we know the ropes and can guide you through the whole process.

T-Boned While Turning Left: Who Is at Fault?

You know those T-bone accidents, where one car gets hit on the driver’s side from the front end of another vehicle? They often happen during left turns.

In California, when it comes to crashes involving a vehicle trying to pass another vehicle that is making a left-hand turn, figuring out who’s to blame can get tricky. Determining who is at fault in these situations depends on a number of factors, like if someone broke traffic rules or didn’t give the right of way.

In California, we use a calculation called comparative negligence to decide how much fault each driver contributed to the crash. Comparative negligence laws allow for proportional fault assignment based on each party’s contribution to the accident.

Comparative negligence means that in an accident, all parties involved may share some degree of responsibility. Therefore, if you are found partially at fault, the amount of compensation you receive for damages could be reduced accordingly.

Pinning the blame in these left turn T-bone accidents means looking at things like who had the right of way, what the traffic signals were, and how the drivers were operating their vehicles. Usually, the car that didn’t have the right of way is the one at fault for the accident. But even the car that was supposed to have the right of way can also be partly to blame.

That’s because the car with the right of way has a duty of care to pay attention to the road ahead and anticipate that a driver may cut across traffic.

These collisions can result in severe injuries and property damage. Establishing liability in T-bone accidents involving left turns requires careful examination of factors such as right-of-way, traffic signals, and driver actions. Figuring out who’s at fault in T-bone crashes means gathering info like what witnesses saw, footage from traffic cameras, and reports on how the accident happened.

Having a lawyer do all of this – and more – for you can make it easier to recover financial compensation for the harm and inconvenience they suffered as a result of the accident.

Keys to Winning a Left Turn Accident Case in California

Even if you played a role in causing the accident, you could still receive compensation for any injuries or damage to your vehicle. However, the amount you receive may be reduced based on the level of responsibility attributed to you.

If someone is injured and decides to take legal action against the driver later on, the driver could be held accountable for negligence. In California, negligence refers to not being cautious enough to prevent harm to oneself or others. In car accident cases, if a driver is deemed negligent, they are considered at fault for the accident and may be required to cover the resulting damages.

Proving negligence in a personal injury case can be challenging. However, in California, if a driver violates a law, such as a traffic regulation, they are automatically viewed as negligent under the legal concept of “negligence per se.” This means that breaking a rule, like making an illegal turn, automatically establishes negligence, as it pertains to VC 22100.

Nevertheless, even if a driver is deemed negligent per se, they may still be eligible to receive compensation for their own damages due to California’s laws regarding comparative negligence.

For instance, if you were involved in a car crash and the court determines that you were 20% responsible because you were going slightly over the speed limit, the compensation you receive would be adjusted to reflect your level of contribution to the accident.

Talk with a Top-Rated San BernardinoLeft-Turn Accident Lawyer Near You

Getting into accidents where cars are turning left or collide sideways can be really serious for everyone involved – even if you are following California car seat laws and keeping your children in the back seat. 

It’s important for drivers to know who’s responsible and what they should do legally if they’re in an accident. Following the rules of the road and being careful can make sure everyone stays safe. If you’ve been in one of these accidents, it’s smart to get advice from a San Bernardino accident lawyer who knows all about these kinds of accidents in California.

At the Gold Firm, we’re here to guide you through the confusing process of figuring out who’s at fault and how to make a claim for any injuries and property damage. Whether you’re not sure who is at fault when a car turns left, which driver should pay if they crash into a car trying to pass, or if you got hit while turning left, our team of experienced car accident lawyers is ready to help.

Book online or call us at 909-308-1118 to schedule your no-cost, zero-obligation consultation today.