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Dangers and Liability Associated with Left Hand Turns


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about a one-third of collisions happen at intersections. Of these accidents, the single largest cause of collisions was vehicles making left turns. There are a number of reasons why a left-hand turn can be so dangerous and the laws that apply to turns at intersections can make resolving these claims even more difficult.

Why Are Left Turns So Dangerous?

First, usually when a vehicle is making a left turn, the driver is turning across oncoming traffic. However, when other drivers are driving down a straightaway, they sometimes get too focused on traveling forward and can fail to notice there is a vehicle waiting to make a left hand turn ahead. This causes a dangerous situation and numerous rear-end wrecks a year. Second, the driver making a left hand turn may mistakenly think that an oncoming driver is slowing down to allow the maneuver, especially if that vehicle is using a turn signal. Misjudging these situations is another way a left turn accident can easily happen. Third, on the other hand drivers making a left hand turn sometimes try to “beat” the oncoming traffic. This is a very dangerous practice. It’s very hard to judge how much time is needed to “beat” the traffic, and if a driver’s calculations are even a little bit off, there is a huge risk that decision is going to cause a serious motor vehicle accident. Finally, oncoming traffic is usually traveling at a higher speed than the turning vehicle. Anytime speed increases, the risk of a severe collision goes up, and so does the risk of injury. As a general rule, the higher the speed, the worse the damages to the vehicles and people can be.

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Contributory Negligence Laws Makes Left-Hand Turn Claims Even More Complex

North Carolina is one of only a few states that still follows the law of contributory negligence, where an insurance company can legally deny all recovery if the claimant is at least 1% at fault for causing the collision. This law is frequently used by insurance companies to benefit insurance companies, and it sets a high hurdle for injured claimants to show that the other driver was 100% responsible (and nothing less) for the collision. Because insurance companies love to use the law of contributory negligence in many different scenarios, left-hand turn collision cases can expect to hear a potential contributory negligence argument, which can make recovery in left-hand turn cases more challenging than other cases such as a rear-end collision. Our personal injury attorneys are experience and familiar with the types of arguments that insurance companies use to try to deny claims and are we are prepared to combat their arguments.

Tien Law Firm Attorneys are Experienced in Handling Left Turn Collision Claims

Dealing with a collision can be a lot easier if you have a good attorney, especially if you were turning left when the accident happened. Tien Law Firm’s Personal Injury Attorneys have experience dealing with the complexities of insurance claims and car accidents. If you’ve been involved in an accident, call Tien Law Firm for a free consultation.