Who May Be At-Fault for a Left-Turn Car Accident?

Left turn traffic signalLeft-turn accidents in Tennessee and across the U.S. are amongst the leading causes for serious or fatal injuries in car crashes.

Greg Coleman Law discusses who can be at-fault if you are injured in this type of collision and steps drivers can take to avoid being involved in a left-turn accident.

Our firm is prepared to help drivers who suffered injuries in a left-turn crash due to another driver’s negligence. You may have a valid case for recovering compensation for your injuries, even if you think you may share some of the fault. Learn more about our free initial consultations where you can get answers to your legal questions and learn if you may have a case.

Why Driver’s Turning Left Are Usually At-Fault

When a collision happens during a left-hand turn, it is usually the driver making the turn who is determined to be at-fault. Under Tennessee state law, drivers making a left turn are required to take reasonable care to be sure the road is clear. These means checking the flow of traffic to confirm there is enough time to turn without taking the risk of colliding with another vehicle.

The traffic going through an intersection or green traffic light is not required to yield to a driver wanting to make a left turn. Per Tennessee code, 55-8-129, the left-turning driver must yield to oncoming traffic, taking reasonable care to make the turn without causing danger to others. Similarly, Tennessee code, 55-8-142 says turning drivers must wait and not turn until it is reasonably safe to proceed.

Common Causes of Left-Turn Accidents

  • Speeding to beat oncoming traffic
  • Miscalculating the distance or speed of approaching vehicles
  • Failing to use a turn signal
  • Turning when vision is obstructed
  • Failing to yield right-of-way
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving impaired

After a left-turn car crash, we strongly recommend that you speak with a Knoxville auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our team of legal professionals have extensive experience handling car crash claims, and we are prepared to fight for your best interests and legal rights.

Can the Driver Not Turning Left Be Liable?

Most left-turn car accidents are caused by drivers turning left. However, there are some circumstances under which an oncoming driver may have caused or contributed to this type of collision.

This includes:

  • Running a red light: The driver may get cited for breaking a traffic law and be liable for the crash.
  • Speeding: A traffic cam may help show a driver was exceeding the speed limit and crashed into the turning vehicle. A driver could then share, or be assigned full liability, for a crash.
  • Impaired driving: A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol who hit the turning car.
  • Distracted driving: If a distracted driver continues through an intersection while a driver is mid-turn, causing the two cars to collide, the distracted driver may be liable.

Vehicle Damage Can Help Determine Fault

Examining where vehicles are damaged after a car crash can help investigators get a clearer idea of who may be at-fault. Investigators will inspect not only the location of vehicle damage, but also the extent, as greater damage could indicate that a driver was speeding.

Your attorney, with the help of an accident reconstruction specialist, may be able to use this damage to determine how the accident happened, whether either driver was speeding and who may have caused or contributed to the crash. 

Avoiding a Left-Turn Crash

These steps may help you to avoid risking a left-turn crash:

  • Drive defensively: Expecting oncoming drivers to yield to you is a bad risk. They have the right-of-way.
  • Use your turn signal: Always signal before braking to warn other drivers you are about to turn.
  • Remain brake-ready while turning: Being ready to apply brakes quickly could prevent a crash.
  • Do not turn if your vision is obstructed: Sudden rain showers, bright sun, or even objects may keep you from seeing whether it is safe to turn. Wait until you can see clearly.
  • Never speed to make a left turn: That approach will not allow you to turn with reasonable safety.
  • Look left, right and left again: Sometimes it is easy to miss an oncoming vehicle, especially if headlights are off.

Contact an Attorney for Help After a Left Turn Accident

Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to provide legal assistance after a car crash. If you were injured because of the negligent actions of a driver making a left-hand turn, we encourage you to contact our team of legal professionals as soon as possible.

Left-hand crashes often result in serious injuries, and it may benefit your claim to have knowledgeable legal representation on your side. We have recovered millions in compensation for injured victims in the state, and we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for you.

Contact Greg Coleman Law anytime, day or night, to speak with one of our representatives and schedule your free consultation. There are zero upfront costs, and we only get paid if you do.

Call our firm for your free consultation: (865) 247-0080