A damaged front end of a wine-red sedan after a collision during a turn.

Turning without the right of way is a common cause of car accidents. These improper turns can happen at an intersection or when someone pulls out of a driveway onto the road.

Improper turns often result in a T-bone collision, where the front of one car strikes the side of another, and unfortunately, this type of crash can lead to severe injuries. When another driver’s incorrect turn leaves you with pain, medical bills, lost income, and more, you need to recover compensation for your damages—but the insurance company may not be as helpful as you’d like.

What Can a Denver Improper Turns Car Accident Attorney Do to Help?

Improper turn accidents often involve disputes over fault. The other driver will likely be convinced they had the right of way and may even claim that you ran a red light or stop sign—when it was the other way around!

Whether or not the other driver admits fault, their insurance company will look for any way to blame you, even partially, so they can either deny your claim or reduce your payment. The insurance adjuster may also undervalue your damages, costing you more money.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help you with all these challenges.

Our investigative team will find any available evidence so we can build a solid case to show the other driver is at fault. If you did contribute to the accident, we’ll work to ensure the insurance adjuster doesn’t overstate your share of responsibility.

Next, we’ll accurately value your claim, and if the insurance company makes a lowball offer, we’ll negotiate for a better resolution.

Olson Law Firm offers free consultations for your car accident or other personal injury case. If you have questions or concerns, we’ll review the details and explain your options.

There is no obligation, but if we do take your case, we don’t charge any upfront fees—you won’t pay anything until we win or settle your claim.

Who Has the Right of Way at a Four-Way Stop?

Everyone should come to a complete stop at a stop sign. At a four-way stop, the driver who reached the intersection first has the right of way.

If two vehicles arrive at roughly the same time or it isn’t clear who was first, the driver on the left should yield to a driver on the right.

There are several other points to keep in mind about four-way stops:

  • Many motorists don’t know or don’t remember the rules explained above. Always approach a four-way stop carefully and be ready to yield if another driver is confused.
  • Everyone is responsible for doing what they can (within reason) to avoid an accident. If another vehicle appears to be turning without the right of way, you have a duty to stop if it will help you avoid a collision.
  • Always use a turn signal if you are planning to turn. Otherwise, drivers might assume you are going straight through the intersection.

What Causes Left-Turn Accidents?

These accidents most frequently occur because the turning driver didn’t think anyone was coming. They may have failed to look both ways before turning, or they didn’t see a vehicle headed their way.

The latter is a particularly big problem in motorcycle accidents because they are small and difficult to see. Even the most careful drivers have inadvertently turned into motorcycles despite looking both ways.

One solution is to turn off the radio and lower your car windows before turning so you can hear if a motorcycle is coming. Drivers are also encouraged to “Look twice and save a life” before making a turn.

Left-turn accidents at intersections are often due to a misunderstanding about right-of-way, similar to the issues seen at four-way stops. Again, we see many cases where both drivers have different recollections of who had the light.

We may look for traffic cameras or try to find doorbell or security cameras in the area that could have captured the collision.

Why Would the Insurance Company Reject Your Claim for an Improper Turns Car Accident?

The most likely reason for the insurance company to reject a claim is because they think you are at least 50 percent at fault. Under Colorado law, an injured party who is at least 50 percent responsible for the accident can’t recover damages.

Insurance adjusters are well aware of this law and often take advantage of it by attributing at least 50 percent of the responsibility to the injured party. In many cases, their contribution might be much less than 50 percent, or they may not have contributed to the crash.

Won’t the Police Report Say Who Is at Fault?

Not necessarily. In some cases, the police report could be inconclusive if both drivers have vastly different accounts of what happened and the evidence at the scene is minimal.

The responding officer will take statements from both drivers and other witnesses, in addition to observing evidence at the scene. The police report includes a section where the officer gives their opinion of what happened and who is at fault, but this is an educated guess, not the final say on responsibility.

One of the first things we do is review the police report for an accident and ask the client questions as needed. If you notice anything inaccurate on the police report or the officer didn’t cite anyone due to lack of evidence, we may try to investigate further.

Our team is experienced at canvassing the area where an accident happened. We may find witnesses who weren’t present when the police arrived or even recover video from a nearby camera.

However, the longer you wait to contact us, the less likely we are to find a video. That’s because video files take up considerable storage space, and camera owners often program the software to delete stored video regularly to make room.

What Should You Do if Your Turning Accident Claim Is Rejected?

Some people have the idea to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and explain why they’re wrong. We understand the thought process, but please don’t do that.

You’re more likely to make things worse than improve your situation. Insurance companies customarily record their phone calls, and they won’t hesitate to misinterpret something you said and use it against you.

A better solution is to show the claim denial letter to an experienced car accident attorney. If we can locate evidence that the other driver is all or at least mostly at fault, we may be able to appeal the insurance company’s decision and recover damages in your case.

Why Does the Insurance Company Say They Don’t Have to Pay All of My Claim?

There are two likely reasons the insurance company may offer you less than you deserve:

  • They deducted a percentage of your settlement because they think you are partly at fault. Your lawyer will peruse the details of your accident and examine the evidence to determine if the insurance company has overestimated your share of fault or if you had any fault at all.
  • If you have a high dollar amount of damages, you may have exceeded the at-fault driver’s policy limit. The minimum liability insurance required in Colorado is $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability ($50,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage. When a driver has this limited coverage and causes a severe accident, their policy may not cover all or even most of the injured person’s damages.

Although policy limits can be frustrating, there may be other options for recovering your remaining damages. Your lawyer will consider a lawsuit against the driver, collecting from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UI) or, in rare cases, a third-party lawsuit.

You will be in the best position to deal with this frustrating situation if you have UM/UI, which is not required in Colorado. In some situations, if the injured party doesn’t have UM/UI and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, it may not be possible to recover all of their damages.

How Can You Learn More From a Denver Improper Turns Car Accident Law Firm?

Improper turn accidents happen quickly, and it can be hard to determine who was at fault from only one perspective. If you have questions or concerns about your car accident, we encourage you to contact Olson Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation.

We’ll find a way to recover damages for you. You don’t need to worry about paying any upfront charges—you won’t pay anything until we win or settle your case for you.

Attorney Sean Olson began his career as a photojournalist but soon channeled his passion for building up others into studying the law. He later founded Olson Law Firm and began advocating for injured people and their families.

Dedicated to his clients, Mr. Olson is always available to talk and update you on your case. He is a member of the Colorado and Wyoming Bar Associations and has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for five years.

Work with him when you call Olson Law Firm at (720) 730-4325.