Left-Turn Car Accidents
Left-turn car accidents can be incredibly serious. Most drivers know that left-hand turns are riskier than right-hand turns due to the possibility of colliding with oncoming traffic. Many left-turn car accidents are the turning driver’s fault because in most intersections, straight-through drivers are typically guaranteed the right of way.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a left-hand turn accident, it is important to contact an attorney who can advocate for your rights. Before contacting the insurance company, we recommend speaking with an attorney. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.Why Are Left-Hand Turns So Dangerous?
Left-hand turns are particularly dangerous because the driver making the turn must turn in front of oncoming traffic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), left-hand turn car accidents cause the deaths of over 2,400 individuals every year. Many drivers accelerate their speed when they make a left-hand turn, exposing themselves and pedestrians to a dangerous collision. Studies have shown that making a left-hand turn requires a driver to go through more physical and mental challenges than making a right-hand turn.
In Charlotte, most non-highway roads allow drivers to drive at a speed of at least 45 miles-per-hour. When the turning driver fails to yield to oncoming traffic at an intersection, a high-impact collision can happen. Many left-hand turn accidents occur when drivers are speeding, driving recklessly, or become distracted.
Experts have determined that when intersections do not allow left-hand turns, the accident rate drastically reduces. Eliminating left-hand turns also allows cars to get through intersections more quickly. Unfortunately, left-hand turns are likely not going away and may continue to cause a significant number of car accidents in Charlotte.Determining Liability In A Left-Hand Turn Accident
In many cases, the driver who was making the left-hand turn is liable for the injuries resulting from the accident. Typically, the driver coming straight through the intersection has the right of way, meaning the driver making the left-hand turn is likely at-fault for any crash and therefore responsible for any resulting injuries or damages. Under North Carolina traffic laws, those making left-hand turns must yield to oncoming vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. The driver making the left-hand turn may be held liable for injuries caused by accident in any of the following circumstances:
- Making a left-hand turn at an intersection
- Making a left-hand turn at a four-way stop, including when the other driver fails to stop at the stop sign or stops for an insufficient amount of time
- Making a U-turn in the left-hand turn lane
- Turning left into a commercial parking lot and colliding with another vehicle
- Turning left into a homeowner’s driveway and colliding with another vehicle or pedestrian
If you have suffered an injury caused by a left-hand turn accident in Charlotte, you may be wondering how you can recover damages. Many victims of left-hand turn accidents can recover compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Under North Carolina law, the at-fault driver has a legal responsibility to provide his or her insurance information so that the victim of the accident can file a claim. Unfortunately, the insurance policy may not cover the full extent of your damages. Or the driver who caused the left-hand turn accident may be uninsured. In this case, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
There is also the option of bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries. You will need to prove that the driver breached his or her duty of care and that this breach was the cause of the accident and any injuries claimed. Successful plaintiffs may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages caused by the left-hand turn accident.We are Here to Help
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how overwhelming the aftermath of an accident can be and we are here to help. Not only can we help you through the insurance claims process, but we can help you litigate any potential personal injuries claim you may want to bring against the other driver.
Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for you. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville.