Left-Hand Turns And Legal Fault: What You Need To Know

Who is At Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

Overview of Left-Hand Car Crashes in New Jersey

Due to the more dangerous nature of left-hand turns, what starts as a simple drive can turn into a serious accident. These crashes can often turn into complicated legal discussions too, with issues like driver fault, local laws and regulations, and other issues that you’ll likely need an attorney to help you sort through. Here is a basic breakdown of left-hand turn accidents and what you need to know if involved in one.

Rules and Regulations

Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines say that any driver attempting to turn left should wait until there are no obstacles in their way. When determining fault after an accident, courts rely on the negligence principles that the driver was driving recklessly or was disobeying the law when the crash occurred. In many cases, the driver making the left-hand turn is at fault for failing to wait until their path is completely clear, or attempts to rush to turn between cars going straight. Unless there is a sign specifically stopping traffic to allow left-hand turns (the green arrows on traffic lights), it can be very difficult to dispute liability in these situations. 

Exceptions To The Rule

Like most legal principles, where there is a rule, there is often an exception. This is the same with left-hand turn liability. As stated above, there are certain instances when a green arrow gives left-hand turning cars the right of way. If someone going straight runs a red light and hits one of these turning cars, they are at fault, not the other driver. There is also the possibility of trying to prove comparative negligence on the part of the non-turning car. Perhaps the car going straight was speeding to get through an intersection too quickly, and hits a car who thought his path was clear. It can be more difficult to prove this, as you’ll need quite a bit of evidence.

What Do I Do After An Accident?

After making sure that no one needs immediate medical attention, call the police and make sure to document as much evidence as you can on your smartphone or other camera, and take witness names and numbers if there were any. Then, contact an experienced car accident attorney to help you through the next steps. If you were the left-turning car, they can help you collect evidence for a defense and possible comparative fault strategies. If you were hit by the left-hand turning car, it is still imperative to contact an attorney to protect all your legal rights and get you the maximum amount in damages you deserve for you injuries.

Contact A New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Crash Case Today! 

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car wreck in NJ? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Silverman and Roedel represent clients injured because in car wrecks in Paterson, Wayne, Newark, East Orange, Hackensack, Garfield, and everywhere else in New Jersey. Call (973) 772-6411 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1187 Main Avenue Suite 2C, Clifton, NJ 07011.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.