Turning left might feel like just another mundane part of your daily commute, but it is dangerous enough to cause many accidents. The driver making the left turn is often, but not always, to blame.
While drivers turning left are often highly suspect, they are not always the ones to blame. We must assess the details of the crash, including the police report, to determine exactly who is at fault. Left-turn accidents tend to happen because drivers fail to yield to oncoming traffic while turning, although numerous other factors might play a role. To prove fault, we need evidence like footage from security or traffic cameras, red light cameras, witnesses, and information about signage on the road. It is important that we prove the other driver is responsible for the accident because Alabama’s rule regarding contributory negligence might bar you from recovering any damages.
If you were injured in an accident involving a driver turning left, there is a good chance we can prove the other driver is at fault. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Determining Fault in Left-Turn Accidents in Alabama
Many drivers are surprised to learn that when an accident involves a driver making a left turn, that driver is often at fault. Left turns are usually riskier than right turns because left turns tend to cross other lanes of traffic. However, left-turning drivers are not always to blame, and we still need to find evidence to support your claims.
Courts tend to be more suspicious of defendants who made left turns before an accident. This situation might work in your favor and make it easier for our Alabama car accident lawyers to prove fault and get compensation. However, the defendant is not presumed liable based on a left turn alone.
For example, it is possible that the other driver traveling in an opposite lane of traffic blew a red light before striking the driver turning left. While a left turn carries certain risks, and an accident might be more likely in certain circumstances, we still must work to prove that the other driver is at fault.
How Left-Turn Accidents Can Happen in Alabama
According to the law under Ala. Code § 32-5A-111, drivers making left turns within an intersection, alley, driveway, or private road must yield to any approaching vehicles from the opposite direction. In many instances, drivers making left turns must cross the opposite traffic lane. If they fail to look out for or yield to oncoming vehicles, they might cause a collision.
Left-turn accidents also sometimes happen at red lights. Drivers stopped at red lights waiting to make a left turn might get a green light or a green arrow signaling their turn to move. A green arrow means the left-turning driver has the right-of-way, but a green light means the driver can turn but must yield to oncoming vehicles. Depending on the signal, the left-turning driver might be at fault for a crash.
Left-turn accidents tend to involve a failure to stop or yield on the part of the left-turning driver. Unless a driver turns left onto a one-way street, they likely have to cross other lanes or yield to other drivers when turning. Our Alabama personal injury lawyers can help you find evidence that the other driver in your case made a negligent left turn.
Evidence of Fault in Alabama Left-Turn Accidents
The fact that the driver turned left may be compelling evidence, as left turns are common causes of accidents. However, that fact alone is not definitive, and we need more information about how the accident happened to prove fault successfully. Our Alabama car accident attorneys have experience finding admissible evidence and can help you.
Cameras are everywhere nowadays, including on the road. The left-turn accident could have been recorded by a nearby security camera or a traffic camera posted along the road. If the left turn happened at a red light, there might be photos or videos from a red-light camera. If you or another driver near the crash had a dashboard camera (dash cam) equipped, the footage from that camera might be crucial to your case.
Even without photos or video recordings of the accident, we can build a strong case on compelling witness testimony. Roads and highways are often busy places, and other drivers might have seen the left-turn accident happen. If we can find several witnesses who saw the crash and they testify that the defendant caused the accident when they negligently turned left, we might prove the defendant is at fault.
Signage is very important in left-turn accident cases as signs along the road inform drivers of when they can and cannot make left turns. Perhaps there was a stop sign prohibiting the defendant from turning left before stopping. Maybe there was a yield sign the defendant completely ignored. Photos from the accident scene can help us figure out what kind of traffic signage was in the area and whether the defendant violated any traffic laws.
Why Proving Fault in Left-Turn Accidents in Alabama is Important
Alabama adheres to a common law rule of pure contributory negligence. Under this rule, if you contributed to the accident, even a little bit, you are barred from recovering any damages. This is different from most other states, where plaintiffs might still recover even if they contributed to the accident, but their damages are reduced in proportion to their share of the blame.
This is a very harsh rule, and proving the left-turning driver is completely at-fault is crucial. Contributory negligence might be something as minor as failing to wear a seatbelt. The defendant might claim your injuries are so bad because you did not wear a seat belt. Similarly, speeding or committing a traffic violation that contributed to the crash in any way might cost you the entire case. Our Birmingham car accident lawyers can help you refute allegations of contributory negligence so you can recover the damages you are entitled to.
Call Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Review of Your Case
If you were hit by a driver making a left turn, our Alabama car accident attorneys can help you prove that the other driver is at fault. Call the team at Howe Law for a free case review. Call us today at (844) 876-4357.