When it comes to car accidents, there are a lot of things to consider in the aftermath. Apart from the possible injuries and damages that they can cause, there is also the insurance to deal with, and the whole process of determining who is at fault and who wins the claim.
As a general rule, if an accident is caused by a left turn, the driver performing the left turn will be initially considered at fault.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should resolve yourself to simply losing the claim. There are circumstances and situations in which you might be the one performing the left turn, but you’re not at fault for the accident caused.
So, how do you win a left turn accident? You have to prove that you’re not at fault and that it is in fact the other driver that caused the accident. Let’s get right into it!
General rules about left turns
Before you get into the process of trying to win a left turn accident claim, you need to be aware of the general rules that apply to this particular circumstance, and how they are treated in relation to a car accident.
When it comes to making a left turn, the main driving rule that applies is the right-of-way principle, so that is what will be taken to account instantly.
This principle states that if you’re attempting a left turn, you have to give way to any other vehicles that are approaching the intersection from the opposite direction.
Left turns are inherently dangerous because they require you to cross over the lane in which the opposite flow of traffic is taking place.
In left turns, unless there is any signaling or red light system in place, you 100% have to adhere to the road rules, and you have to give way. You can’t make your left turn until the road is clear.
In fact, the principle also states that even if you have a green light to go, you have the responsibility of checking that the road is indeed clear and that it is completely safe for you to perform that left turn.
This leaves you in a complicated position, as according to the rules of driving, it is practically 100% your fault if an accident was caused during a left turn that you were performing.
Causes of a left turn accident
We know that left turns are highly dangerous, and one of the riskier maneuvers when it comes to driving and circulating on the road. But what are the actual common causes of a left turn accident?
The most popular cause of a left turn accident is performing the left turn when the road isn’t clear and safe to do so.
It is not surprising that it’s almost always automatically the left turner’s fault because if they had not been performing the left turn, there would have not been an accident.
But as we said, this leaves you in a very bleak situation, with little chance of winning your claim. So let’s take a look at some other causes of a left turn accident, in which the other driver could be considered at fault:
- Exceeding the speed limit
If the other driver was exceeding the speed limit, that can be seen as the cause of the accident. After all, you can argue that if the driver had been following the legal speed limit, you would have had enough time to perform the left turn safely.
- Driving through a red light
It is your responsibility to check whether the road is clear, even if the light is green for you.
However, if the other driver suddenly comes driving towards you, as you’re in the middle of performing the left turn, because they jumped a red light, then they can definitely be seen as the cause of the accident because they’re the ones breaking the road rules.
- Driving while drunk, on drugs, or similar
If the other driver is driving while under the effects of drugs, alcohol, or other, then they are committing a serious crime.
If this is the case, you can argue that they are the ones driving recklessly and that they are therefore the cause of the left turn accident, despite you performing the actual turn.
Winning a left turn accident
Okay, so it’s pretty hard to win a left turn accident, but we know it’s possible as long as you demonstrate and prove that you weren’t the driver at fault.
We’ve seen some cases in which that is possible, but the real winning move is being able to provide evidence so that it’s 100% clear that you were not at fault.
So, how do you prove that it’s the other driver who was at fault? Here are a few key forms of evidence that you can use:
Having an official police report to back up all the events that you’re narrating, is absolutely vital when it comes to fighting the case of a claim.
You should 100% file a police report after the accident, so that there is an official record of how the accident happened, with a timeline, location, and more. After all, an official police report is a lot more trustworthy than a spoken testimony by one of the involved parties!
If there were any witnesses at the site of the car accident, try to get a statement from them. Having neutral people back up the events and the fact you weren’t at fault can be incredibly helpful and decisive.
- Traffic cameras
A single image is worth more than a hundred words, or so the saying goes, right? Check if there were any traffic cameras at the intersection or any video evidence at all. This can be a key piece of evidence to prove that you weren’t the driver at fault.
- The damage caused to your car
Get a report from your insurance company or car repair services, as to how the damage to your car was caused.
Sometimes they can discern an approximation of the other vehicle’s speed or direction depending on the impact it caused on your own car, and that can be an extra piece of evidence to paint the whole picture!
Winning a left turn accident is pretty hard, especially because the general rule states that the person at fault is usually the person performing the left turn. This is because it is your responsibility to check that the road is clear and safe before you perform said turn.
However, you can win the left turn accident by proving that you weren’t the driver at fault. Whether it’s because the other driver was exceeding the speed limit, driving through a red light, drunk-driving, or any other, if you can prove it was their fault, then you can win the claim.
Remember to provide the necessary evidence to back you up, such as a full police report, any witness statements, and ideally any video evidence or other.