Left-Turn Accident: Who’s at Fault?

Left turn accidentImproperly executed turns are the cause of many motor vehicle accidents. In many cases, the driver of the vehicle which is turning left is the one found to be liable and responsible for causing the accident. In many other cases, though, the other driver may be the one actually at fault for causing the accident. Read on to learn more about how a qualified Reno personal injury lawyer such as is found at the Law Office of Stephen Osborne can help to clear up any questions about liability that might remain after a left-turn accident.

Who has the Right of Way When a Driver is Making a Left Turn?

An accident attorney in Reno NV from the Law Office of Stephen Osborne can inform you about the right of way laws in Nevada.

Normally, unless a driver has a green arrow apparent on a traffic light, whoever is making a left-hand turn at a green light is required to yield to any oncoming vehicles and may only proceed with the turn when it is safe to do so.

According to this prominent accident lawyer Reno Nevada, If there is no green light, the driver making the left turn must still proceed as if there is a green light present.

This same Reno personal injury attorney notes that if a driver is making a left turn onto a road or alleyway or a U-turn, he must also always yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

Instances When the Driver Turning Left May Not Be at Fault

Per the Law Office of Stephen Osborne, a personal injury attorney Reno NV, in the following instances the driver who is turning left may not be at fault.

#1. If another driver is driving in a reckless manner and speeding through an intersection where another vehicle is turning left and causes an accident, this vehicle may be fully or partially responsible for the accident especially if there are witnesses who can testify to the reckless speeding incident.

#2. If the other vehicle runs through a solid red light and crashes into another vehicle that is making a left turn, the driver of that vehicle is guilty of violating a traffic law and may be held liable for causing the accident.

#3. If a person, bicycle rider, or animal suddenly goes into the road causing the vehicle turning left to suddenly stop, the driving making a left turn may not be held liable for the accident.

Damage to the Vehicles in a Left Turn Accident can Determine Liability and Fault

According to the Law Office of Stephen Osborne, an accident attorney in Reno Nevada, when determining who is at fault for causing a left turn accident it is important to document the damage to each vehicle at the accident scene.

If as an example your vehicle is traveling straight ahead and another vehicle makes a sharp turn just in front of your vehicle, and you swerve to the right to try to avoid the accident but collide with the other vehicle anyway, the damage to your vehicle should be either to the front or left side of your vehicle.

If, on the other hand, your vehicle is making a left-hand turn and another vehicle is traveling straight and the damage to your vehicle is to the right rear of your vehicle, this would indicate that the driver of the vehicle traveling straight is at fault probably for either excessive speed or for inattention.

How to Avoid Turn Accidents 

Left-turn accidents can be avoided by driving carefully and attempting to do the following:

  • Avoid making left turns whenever possible and make right turns if you can
  • Always reduce your speed before making a turn
  • Always turn on your blinker early

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