Left turns are a common part of driving but can be dangerous in certain situations. Fortunately, Mississippi law is clear that the driver making the left turn is usually responsible for causing an accident.
Drivers turning left have a duty to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and only cross when it is safe to do so. However, there are exceptions when the other driver is at fault. For instance, if you were hit while making a left by a driver that ran a red light, the other driver would be at fault. Fortunately, you can recover compensation even if you contributed to causing your accident.
If you suffered injuries in a left-turn accident, our Mississippi personal injury lawyers can help you prove that the other driver caused your injuries. For a free case evaluation, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Who is At Fault When a Left Turn Accident Occurs in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the driver making a left turn is almost always at fault for causing an accident. Fault for a left turn accident in Mississippi is determined by Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-803. According to this law, the driver making a left turn must yield the right of way to vehicles approaching from the other direction. The reason for this rule is that drivers turning left are disrupting traffic and are thus responsible for making sure it is safe to cross. Drivers turning left are also required to use turn signals and turn from the appropriate lane. Further, drivers making a left turn must yield to pedestrians or bicycles using the crosswalk.
Exceptions to Mississippi’s Left Turn Law
While the driver turning left will typically be at fault, there are exceptions to Mississippi law where the other driver will be responsible. For insurance, vehicles turning left have the right of way if they have a green left turn arrow at a traffic light. If a driver was struck while turning at a left green arrow, the negligent driver ran a red light. These accidents can be devastating since many result in T-bone and head-on collisions.
Drivers are permitted to turn left at a green light, even without an arrow, as long as they yield to oncoming traffic. If an approaching driver was speeding when they caused the accident, the driver turning left will likely not be held liable under the law. A driver will also usually not be held automatically liable if it was safe to make a left turn, but unforeseen circumstances forced them to slow down or divert their vehicle, causing an accident. Our Mississippi car accident attorneys can review your case to determine who was at fault for your injuries, whether you were making the left turn or hit by a driver making one.
How Can I Recover Compensation After a Left Turn Accident in Mississippi?
You will have a few options to recover compensation for your damages after a left-turn accident in Mississippi. Mississippi is a “fault” state, meaning that victims who have suffered a personal injury because of another person’s negligence can recover damages from the at-fault party. Victims can accomplish this by filing a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance or filing a lawsuit against them. You are not required to file for insurance before exercising your right to file a lawsuit but can choose whichever method seems most likely to recover damages. Our Hattiesburg personal injury lawyers can help you determine which options work for your case and prepare your claim.
Filing an Insurance Claim
For some left-turn accidents, filing for insurance might be sufficient to cover a victim’s injuries. Because Mississippi is an at-fault insurance state, you will need to provide evidence that the other driver was responsible in order to recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance. This can typically be done for left-turn accidents by providing the insurance company with a copy of the police accident report from your accident. Since Mississippi law places the burden on the driver turning left to make sure it is safe to turn, an officer will usually ticket that driver and include the cause of the accident in their report. Insurance companies have difficulty fighting this type of evidence since the law is clear on liability. Hence, it is critical to wait for the police to arrive and investigate your accident.
Filing a Lawsuit
Some left-turn accidents result in catastrophic injuries, and insurance might be wholly insufficient to cover the full extent of a victim’s damages. Suppose a negligent driver’s insurance policy is exhausted before you are fully compensated, or the other driver did not even possess insurance. In that case, you can sue them for what you are owed in a Mississippi court.
Filing a lawsuit is often the best way to recover the full range of damages you might have suffered. Our attorneys will have more options to obtain evidence after a lawsuit is filed in your case and can question the other driver and witnesses under oath during depositions. The good news is that we can still negotiate a settlement with the insurance company even after a lawsuit is filed. In fact, insurance companies are typically more willing to make a fair settlement offer when they know the alternative is litigating the case in front of a judge or jury. Our Biloxi personal injury lawyers can gather evidence and contact witnesses to help you build the strongest case possible.
Determining Each Driver’s Percentage of Fault in a Mississippi Left Turn Accident
Fortunately, you can recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for your left-turn accident under Mississippi’s “pure comparative negligence” rules. According to Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-15, victims are not barred from recovery if they contributed to causing their accident, but their award will be reduced by the percentage they were found at fault. It does not matter if you were found 99% at fault for causing your left-turn accident, you would still recover 1% of compensation. Our Biloxi car accident lawyers can help you fight accusations that you caused your injuries to ensure you maximize the compensation you recover.
Our Mississippi Left Turn Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured in a left-turn car accident in Mississippi, our personal injury lawyers at Howe Law can help you prove that the other driver was at fault. Contact us at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.