There is always some risk in turning, but left turns are more dangerous because they involve crossing lanes of oncoming traffic. About 61 percent of intersection accidents involve a left turn, but turning left outside of an intersection can be even more hazardous.
For instance, a person turning left onto a busy thoroughfare has to find a lull in traffic moving in both directions before turning, and there is no left-turn arrow like most intersections have. When looking back and forth for a break, it’s easy to miss something, especially road users who are not in vehicles—such as motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Although some experts have suggested that eliminating certain left turns would reduce the problem, this strategy hasn’t been widely implemented. The best way to lower the chances of a left turn accident is to pay close attention to your surroundings, carefully look in both directions before turning, and use an intersection with an arrow whenever possible.
If feasible, you may also be able to avoid left turns by taking an alternate route in some situations.
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid all left turns or control how other drivers behave. If a negligent driver causes a left-turn collision, you could have serious injuries, physical or emotional pain, staggering medical costs, lost income, car repairs, and more damages.
You expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for your costs, but many people run into difficulties with a car insurance claim. The insurance company might blame you for the accident, undervalue your damages, or both.
How can you get a fair settlement for your injuries?
A Denver Left Turn Car Accident Attorney May Be Able to Help
Left-turn car accidents can be complicated, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be most concerned with saving money. If they can find a way to blame you—even partly—they may be able to reduce your settlement or even pay you nothing.
Meanwhile, the other driver might have recalled the events of the accident very differently than you when talking to the police and their insurance company.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help by thoroughly investigating your accident, locating as much evidence as possible, and building a solid strategy to win your case. If you or a loved one are struggling after a left-turn collision, please contact Olson Law Firm for a free consultation.
We’ll find out more about the incident, address your questions and concerns, and lay out your options for recovering compensation.
How Can You Be at Fault If Someone Else Turns In Front of You?
People often express frustration when another driver turns in front of them, blaming them for the accident. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence.
There are several different scenarios. In accidents at intersections, especially four-way stops, the drivers involved often disagree about who has the right of way; for example, the other driver might insist that you pulled straight forward while they had the right of way and turned.
Even if the other motorist’s account of the accident lines up with yours, or they admit to turning incorrectly, the insurance company will still look for ways to blame you.
Colorado law permits shared fault under modified comparative negligence rules. If the insurance company asserts that you were speeding or failed to turn your lights on when necessary, they could argue that you contributed to the crash even if their client ran a stop sign or misunderstood the right of way.
Modified comparative negligence laws allow an injured party to obtain compensation even if they were partly responsible, so long as their percentage of fault is below 50 percent. As a result, you might still receive a settlement from the insurance company, but they can deduct whatever share of fault they think you have— 10, 20, 30 percent, or more in some cases.
If you genuinely have that amount of fault, this is a reasonable way to address both drivers’ responsibility. Unfortunately, in some cases, the insurance adjuster overestimates how much culpability the injured person has.
In other situations, they may assign fault to a driver who did not contribute to the crash at all. For this reason, we recommend contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
We’ll work to establish exactly what happened and a realistic estimate of your contributions to the crash (if any), then fight for an equitable settlement.
What If You’re Turning and Another Driver Comes Through An Intersection Without the Right of Way?
Frequently, the other driver will blame the person who was making a turn. But if you had the light or the right of way at an intersection, the other driver may be at fault. Proving it, however, is sometimes difficult.
In these cases, we generally look for witnesses or nearby doorbell or security cameras. In some situations, we can find a video showing the lights or who arrived at a four-way stop first.
Unfortunately, we only have limited time to locate a video before it’s erased for storage space, and human memories fade quickly, so we advise you to contact an attorney right away after your accident.
Why Is It So Common for Cars to Turn Left Into Motorcycles?
A car striking a motorcycle is a very dangerous situation for the biker but usually less serious for the vehicle occupants. The absence of safety features like seatbelts and airbags on a motorcycle causes an increased risk for riders who experience accidents.
At the same time, cars turning in front of motorcycles are a common cause of motorcycle accidents. When asked what happened, vehicle drivers frequently reported that they didn’t see the bike.
They may been driving safely and obeying traffic laws right up until they turned into the motorcycle’s path, and in many cases, they did look both ways before turning. However, the bike’s smaller size made it harder to see—until it was too late to avoid a collision.
Bikers can reduce the risk of a crash by taking steps to be more visible and safe:
- Use your headlamp all the time, not just at night. If you are not following a vehicle or approaching an oncoming car, you can use your high beams during the daytime.
- Consider reflective patches for your jacket, clothing, and bike.
- In case your efforts at visibility don’t work out, scan the road ahead for cars that might be about to turn. If you see a vehicle in a driveway, for instance, you might slow down and be prepared to brake if it suddenly makes a left turn into your path.
- Always wear a helmet, thick jacket, long pants, gloves, and boots when you ride.
Drivers should also exercise caution when turning. Remember to “Look twice and save a life” before you turn left. Another tip is to turn down the radio and lower your window so you can hear a motorcycle coming even if you don’t see it.
This is especially helpful in rural areas where trees or other vegetation near the road can add to visibility problems.
Is This Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company Fair?
You should always pause to consider whether an offer from the insurance company covers all your damages. Unfortunately, correctly valuing a claim can be complicated, and most people don’t know how much to expect from the settlement.
Some only consider out-of-pocket costs like medical bills and overlook their lost income. Others don’t realize they should also be compensated for pain and suffering.
Insurance adjusters know that most people are unaware of their claim’s value, and they often begin with a lowball offer that doesn’t cover everything. They can always offer more if the claimant objects—or, better yet, calls an attorney.
A significant number of people, however, simply accept the first offer, sometimes losing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in compensation.
If you’ve received an offer from the insurance company, we recommend reviewing it with an experienced attorney who can help determine if it’s reasonable. If not, we can negotiate with the insurance company for a better resolution.
Where Can You Find a Denver Left Turn Car Accident Law Firm?
Olson Law Firm is always available for a free consultation about your left turn accident or any other car accident or personal injury. Our experienced legal team will review your accident details and explain the possibilities for recovering your damages.
We’ll find every route possible to get you compensation. There is no obligation, and if you want to move forward with our help, we won’t charge you anything until we win or settle your case.
Attorney Sean Olson’s guiding principle is “Build others up.” Since founding Olson Law Firm in 2012, he has worked to do that by helping injured people and their families seek justice.
Mr. Olson is a member of the Wyoming and Colorado Bar Associations and was a Super Lawyers Rising Star for five consecutive years. When he’s not working on a case, he enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking, and spending time with his family.
Work with him today when you call Olson Law Firm at (720) 730-4325.