Exceptions to Left Hand Turn Driving Rule
There are a few exceptions to the left-turn liability rule. The left-turning driver may not be at fault for the following scenarios:
1. The Car Driving Straight Was Driving Significantly Over the Speed Limit When They Were Going Through the Intersection.
This can be a difficult exception to prove. If there are no witnesses, it will be your word against the other driver’s.
Since the police officer will already be predisposed to giving you the ticket when they find out you were the one making the left turn, convincing them that the other driver was being reckless will be difficult to prove on your own.
An accident reconstructionist may be able to estimate the speed of the oncoming car based on damage to your vehicle. At The Brown Firm, we work with traffic experts and other expert witnesses to give you the best possible chance at proving the at-fault driver was negligent.
2. The Car Driving Straight Ran a Red Light or Stop Sign
If a car runs a red light or a stop sign, it will be breaking a traffic law and causing an accident to occur. The driver turning left will not be held responsible because the other driver should not have been going through the intersection when the accident occurred.
Depending on the area and time of day that the accident occurred, there will more than likely be multiple witnesses to attest to the other driver running a red light or stop sign.
3. The Car Driving Straight Wasn’t Paying Attention or the Driver Was Operating the Vehicle Illegally
Distracted driving is becoming a much more serious problem in the age of smartphones. If the driver of the oncoming vehicle was not watching the road, or otherwise driving recklessly or dangerously (for example, operating under the influence), and this prevented them from being able to avoid the car accident, they may be held partially liable.
4. Unforeseen Circumstances
Sometimes, the unexpected happens—and it can complicate your left-turn collision claim. For example, in a multi-vehicle pileup, the car that physically impacted your vehicle might not carry all the blame. Or, if the vehicle ran a red light because of a dangerous defective part (like faulty brakes or an improperly designed acceleration system), you might have a claim against a manufacturer or distributor.