Personal Injury

Who is at fault in a left-hand turn car accident?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Monday October 15, 2018

As an Omaha injury attorney who mainly handles injury claims stemming from car accidents, one of the most common accidents I see are those involving left-hand turns. Whether through an intersection or on an open highway, the left-hand turn is one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers you can make.

While who is at fault in a car crash involving a left-hand turn is entirely dependent on the specific facts of the situation, more often than not it will be the driver making the left-hand turn that is determined to be responsible. Many drivers don’t realize that when turning left through an intersection, the vehicle proceeding straight through the intersection has the right-of-way. In Omaha, Omaha Municipal Code Section 36-81 specifically states,

The driver of a vehicle who intends to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or approaching so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

Basically, the law is that if you cannot make the turn without causing an accident, then don’t make the turn. Of course, as with everything else, these rules are not without exception. If the car turning left has a green arrow, the car proceeding straight through the intersection can be shown to be excessively speeding or any number of potential other unforeseen circumstances, then liability may not be so clear.

If you have been injured in a car crash involving a left-hand turn, it’s important to speak with a local injury attorney sooner versus later so that as much documentation as possible regarding the accident itself can be obtained and/or preserved. As with many other disputed liability accidents, photographs and the involved vehicles’ ECM modules may provide extremely important evidence as to who is at fault for the accident.

Chandler | Conway

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