What Is A Left-Hand Car Accident?
As the name suggests a left-turn car accident occurs when a person is attempting to make a left-hand turn typically at an intersection but it could be into their driveway or into a parking lot of some kind. The reason there are so many accidents involving people making left turns is that it puts the driver right into oncoming traffic to complete the turn. If there isn’t enough time for them to complete the maneuver or the driver coming towards them disobeys a traffic law such as running a red light it can mean a serious accident and possibly severe injuries. It can be difficult to determine who is at fault when it comes to left-turn car accidents since the person who generally gets hit has entered the oncoming lane but it is not always that person’s fault. If you have been injured in a left-turn car accident regardless of whether you were the person turning left or the person in the other vehicle it is worth it to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney near you. They will be able to help you get proper care from medical professionals and help determine your potential for compensation to cover the costs incurred from the accident.
Common Reasons For Left Turn Car Accidents
Left-turn car accidents are very common, they account for 22% of all car accidents in the United States. Almost half of the over 6 million car accidents that occur every year are intersection related and the majority of these involve a left-hand turning vehicle. There are a number of reasons why left-turn car accidents occur and why they are so common.
The most common reason that left-turn accidents happen is that the driver makes a mistake while behind the wheel. Driver error accounts for 96.1% of all car accidents and this is especially true for left-hand turn car accidents. This could be a number of things:
- They might misjudge the amount of time they have to complete the turn
- They misjudge the actions of the other driver ie. thinking they are turning when they are actually planning to proceed straight.
- They might be distracted
- They might have an obstructed view
- They are driving too fast or aggressively
Other factors that can contribute to left-turn car accidents include the oncoming vehicle making an illegal driving maneuver such as running a stop sign or red light or proceeding when there is a left-turn right of way, when a pedestrian makes an illegal move or some other external factor forces a left-turn vehicle to stop in an intersection, or if poor driving conditions create confusion.
Common Injuries Sustained in Left Turn Car Accidents
Left turn injuries can have a varying degree of severity based on the circumstances of the accident including how fast both vehicles were moving, the part of the vehicle that sustained impact, the types of vehicles involved in the accident, as well as many other factors. If you have been in a left-turn car accident some of the most common types of injuries that you could be facing include:
- Whiplash – when your vehicle gets hit by another your body is typically jarred violently either forward and backward or side to side, either motion can cause serious neck and shoulder injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries – these injuries are quite common and can range from anything minor bruising to crush injuries causing paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – head injuries are very serious, traumatic brain injuries such as concussions can have a long recovery time
- Chest injuries – chest injuries quite easily occur from the seatbelt or airbag deployment
- Broken bones – depending on how the vehicle is struck a person might end up smashing their arm or leg against the dashboard, steering wheel, or door and breaking a bone
- Internal injuries – it is not uncommon for a person to sustain internal injuries and organ damage when they are involved in a left turn accident
Recent Left-Turn Car Accident Settlements in Florida
One question that we get asked quite frequently ‘is it always the fault of the person making the left-hand turn in left-turn car accidents?’ The answer to this is almost always. Left turning drivers are expected to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. Because a left turn puts the driver in the ‘wrong’ lane of the road they are expected to only proceed if completely safe to do so. The individual details are always considered when determining fault in a car accident, however, more often than not it is the left turning driver’s fault in these types of accidents. Below we share some of our recent car accident settlement victories for our clients involving left-turn car accidents.
$325,000 Left Turn Motor Vehicle Accident Settlement –
Our client was side-swiped in an intersection. The insurer for the at-fault party made no pre-suit offers. We filed suit and ultimately recovered the full $250,000 policy limits from the insurer for the at-fault party. We also recovered $75,000 from our client’s underinsured motorist carrier, who accepted our proposal for settlement rather than face trial.
$280,000 Left Turn Car Accident Settlement –
Our client was t-boned in an intersection by a left turning driver. We recovered policy limits of $280,000 for our client, including a portion from the at-fault driver and a portion from the underinsured motorist carrier.