Determining Fault in a Pennsylvania Left Turn Accident
If you’ve played with the settings on your GPS, you may have noticed that there’s an option to minimize left turns. This might seem strange, but the fact is that a left turn is considered one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers. When a driver makes a left turn, he or she turns in front of oncoming traffic. This increases the risk of an accident.
But, there are two more reasons left turns are so dangerous. Drivers often speed up when crossing an intersection. They are trying to beat the light or beat traffic. However, higher speeds also mean deadlier crashes.
Left turn auto accidents are also more likely to result side-impact or T-bone collisions. Although side-airbags are becoming more common, not all cars offer this protection. Therefore, left turn accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. These crashes are often fatal.
Common Pennsylvania Left Turn Accident Injuries
- Facial injuries, including lacerations and contusions
- Sprained or torn muscles and ligaments
- Fractured bones, especially legs, arms, wrists, hands, knees, ribs and collarbones
- Hip or shoulder displacement
- Back injuries and herniated discs
- Injury to the spinal cord or brain stem
- Internal injuries
- Punctured eardrums
- Concussions, skull fractures and traumatic brain injury
Rules for Left Turns
Because left turn accidents can be deadly, there are more rules for left turns than there are for right turns. In Pennsylvania, drivers must turn on their left turn signal at least 100 feet before turning. The distance increases to at least 300 feet before turning if the driver is travelling at speeds greater than 35 miles per hour. When making a left turn, the driver making the turn must yield the right of way to on-coming traffic – even if he has the green light. A driver is responsible for checking that there is no traffic in the intersection before beginning the turn and that the turn can be completed without obstructing oncoming vehicles. The driver must also make sure that his actions don’t pose a danger to anyone else on the road.
These rules mean that the driver who is making a left turn across oncoming traffic is almost always at fault. But, there are exceptions.
- Another driver was travelling at an extremely high speed
- Another driver ran a red light
- It was safe when the driver making the left turn began the turn, but an unexpected event or obstruction forced the driver to slow down or stop
- The driver making the left turn had a green arrow which remained green for the entire turn
Determining fault for a left turn accidents can be complex, and you don’t want to be held liable for damages that were not your fault. If you were making a left turn when a PA traffic accident occurred, it is up to you to prove that he was not the cause of the accident. You may need the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania accident attorney.
Many of our clients have come to us after other lawyers have told them they don’t have a case. This is because Ostroff Law fights when other attorneys give up. If your insurance company s refusing to pay damages for a left-turn accident, give us a call. We’ll be happy to schedule a free case evaluation at no charge.