Left Turn Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, a large percentage of car accidents that occur while turning or traveling through an intersection involve a left turn. Left turn car accidents can result in injuries or even fatalities. Often injured people and their families are unprepared for the costs of serious injuries. If you were seriously hurt in a left turn car accident, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.Left Turn Car Accidents
New York is a no-fault state. This means that if you are injured in a left turn accident, you must first turn to your own personal injury protection insurance coverage. You will only be able to bring a lawsuit in court if your injuries are serious enough to meet a threshold.
In New York, a driver who is turning left in an intersection needs to yield to traffic approaching and driving straight in the opposite direction. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1141 provides that drivers intending to turn left, whether at an intersection, alley, driveway or private road, must yield right-of-way to any car or vehicle coming from the opposite direction that is in the intersection or close enough to present an immediate danger. The driver doesn’t need to yield right-of-way to every vehicle, just those that are close enough to be dangerous or that are already in the intersection.
Left turns can be risky because they disrupt traffic flow. Drivers also sometimes fail to use turn signals and the speed of oncoming traffic may be underestimated which also increases risk. An accident may occur when a driver turning left fails to yield the right-of-way, but it can also occur when an oncoming driver who has time to slow down, instead acts aggressively and speeds up. An accident can also occur when there are multiple lanes of traffic and a driver in the lane further from the turning driver is hidden from the turning driver by a line of cars or a commercial truck.Liability in Left Turn Car Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a left turn accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages. You’ll need to demonstrate it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the defendant breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For example, if a driver turning left fails to yield to you at an intersection even though you are driving straight through a green light, with the right-of-way, it is likely the jury will find that the other driver breached the duty to use reasonable care. For another example, if you are already executing a safe left turn, and a drunk driver is oncoming but purposely speeds up to run a yellow light and thereby T-bones your car as you’re in the middle of executing your left turn, the jury is likely to find that the drunk driver breached the duty to use reasonable care.Damages
Whether you’re in the car turning left or the car traveling straight in a left turn accident, serious injuries such as multiple broken bones, skull fracture, traumatic brain injury, may be sustained. If your attorney is able to establish liability, you may be able to obtain compensatory damages beyond the economic losses covered by no-fault insurance. Economic damages that may be awarded include lost wages, medical bills, replacement services, rehabilitation, and out-of-pocket costs. You may also be able to obtain noneconomic damages including pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
If a loved one such as a spouse or child was killed in a left turn accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover your pecuniary losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.Hire an Attorney in Syracuse
Left turn collisions can have serious consequences. If you were seriously injured in a left turn accident caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our lawyers represent car accident victims in Rochester, Syracuse, and other Upstate New York cities such as Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Auburn, Oswego, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Wampsville, Ithaca, Watertown, Elmira, Utica, Herkimer, and Lowville. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or by completing our online form.