Left-hand turns are a routine maneuver performed by millions of drivers every day in Florida, an essential part of navigating the roads. Unfortunately, some drivers may find themselves involved in particularly severe left-hand turn accidents. These accidents occur when a driver fails to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left-hand turn, resulting in collisions with vehicles traveling straight. T-bone accidents, characterized by the front of one vehicle colliding with the middle of another, are commonly associated with left-hand turn incidents.
Why are Left Turns Dangerous?
Left turns can involve a significant amount of danger and require judgment calls regarding the speed of oncoming cars. You also need to judge whether other cars are going to obey lights and traffic signals. In some instances, views of traffic lanes may be obstructed, and a driver may be tempted to make a blind left turn. Left turns require quick thinking and sound decision-making.
The consequences of left-hand turn accidents can be devastating, leading to fatalities and life-altering injuries. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on intersection crashes revealed that left-hand turns were the primary cause, accounting for almost 25% of all intersection crashes. This highlights the critical importance of exercising caution, following traffic rules and being attentive when making left-hand turns to prevent such catastrophic accidents.
Determining Who is at Fault When a Car Turns Left & Causes an Accident
Determining who’s at fault when a car turns left and causes an accident in Florida requires a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
When the Left Turn Driver is Liable
Unless they have a green arrow, left-turn drivers do not usually have the right of way. As a result, the left-turn driver in an accident is typically at fault for the collision. It is important for left-turn drivers to be aware of their surroundings, properly judge the speed of oncoming traffic, and only turn when it is absolutely safe to do so. It is also critical that drivers avoid making blind left turns. You should only make a left turn if you can see clearly whether another vehicle is coming. You should also not rely on other drivers to wave you through a left-hand turn.
When the Left Turn Driver is Not Liable
There are some circumstances where the driver in oncoming traffic is liable for hitting a left-turn driver. If a left-turn driver has a green arrow and oncoming traffic has a red light, the non-turning driver may be liable for running the red light. This frequently happens when drivers are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. In addition, a driver who is speeding may be liable for an accident. This scenario can be difficult to prove without the presence of a credible witness.
A driver who runs a stop sign may also be liable for causing a left-turn accident. This can occur at intersections controlled by a four-way stop sign. If a driver traveling straight fails to stop at the stop sign, they may be in violation of traffic laws, resulting in an accident with a left-turning vehicle.
To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario where Driver 1 approaches an intersection with four stop signs and signals their intention to make a left turn. After coming to a complete stop, Driver 1 begins the left turn. Meanwhile, Driver 2, distracted by a cell phone, fails to stop at the stop sign and collides with Driver 1 during the turn. In this case, the liability rests with Driver 2, as their failure to stop at the stop sign contributed to the accident.
Who is at Fault in Florida Left Turn Accident?
It is important to acknowledge that determining fault in left-turn accidents can be complex and heavily relies on the specific details and evidence of each case. Seeking guidance from legal professionals and insurance providers can offer valuable assistance in accurately determining fault.
In some left turn accident cases, a particularly challenging factor arises when another vehicle attempts to pass the turning car. This maneuver can create a highly dangerous situation as both cars may converge into the same lane simultaneously. The risks are heightened if the turning vehicle does not signal its intentions promptly or if the passing driver fails to anticipate the turn, leading to a potentially disastrous outcome. The consequences of colliding with a car that is trying to pass can be severe.
T-Boned While Turning Left: A Serious Type of Left Turn Accident
Left-turn accidents encompass a wide range of incidents, varying from minor fender benders to more severe collisions with significant injuries. T-boned while turning left accidents are not only the most common type of left turn accidents but they are often recognized as the most serious. But what exactly characterizes a T-bone accident?
A T-bone accident, also referred to as a side-impact collision, occurs when one vehicle directly strikes another on the passenger or driver’s side, typically around the doors. The impact creates a collision pattern resembling the shape of the letter “T,” hence the name “T-bone” accident. These accidents predominantly occur at intersections, where one or both drivers may have unlawfully entered, leaving little time for evasive actions. Oftentimes, drivers involved in T-bone accidents fail to adhere to stop signs or red lights before colliding with the other vehicle. Such accidents are typically the result of inattentiveness towards road signs and signals, leading to a failure to reduce speed. The consequences of T-bone accidents can be severe, resulting in significant injuries.
When it comes to negligent left turns, T-bone accidents are particularly common. Failing to yield to oncoming traffic while making a left turn significantly increases the risk of a T-bone collision. These accidents can have devastating outcomes, inflicting serious harm upon the occupants of both vehicles involved.
Injuries Sustained In Florida Left Turn Accidents
Left turn accidents in Florida can have serious consequences, resulting in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be life-threatening. The severity and type of injuries sustained in these accidents depend on several factors, including the position of the individual in the vehicle and the use of restraints like seat belts. Here are some potential injuries that can occur in left-turn accidents:
- Broken Bones & Fractures – Left turn accidents can cause fractures in areas such as the knees, hips, and pelvis. The impact of the collision can lead to pelvic fractures and dislocations when the femur strikes the dashboard forcefully.
- Fatalities – Tragically, left turn accidents can result in loss of life. In 2019, there were 39,107 motor vehicle crash-related deaths in the United States, with a significant percentage involving crashes with other vehicles, fixed objects, pedestrians, and pedal cycles.
- Lacerations – Deep cuts or tears in the skin or soft tissues, known as lacerations, can occur in left-turn accidents. These wounds are prone to infection and may require cleaning, debridement, and stitches, especially when they involve muscles, tendons, or nerves.
- Spinal Injuries – Left turn accidents can cause varying degrees of spinal injuries. These injuries can range from complete loss of sensation and movement to partial retention of function.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – TBIs can be sustained in left-turn accidents, ranging from mild concussions to moderate or severe brain injuries. The long-term outcomes of moderate to severe TBIs can vary significantly, with some individuals experiencing substantial impairments or even fatalities.
- Whiplash & Neck Injuries – Whiplash is a common injury resulting from the sudden and forceful forward and backward movement of the neck. Diagnostic imaging techniques like X-rays, MRI, or CT scans are typically used to diagnose whiplash and other neck injuries.
These injuries can have a profound impact on individuals, leading to painful recovery processes, lost wages, high medical expenses, and, in the worst cases, fatalities. In such situations, pursuing a lawsuit may be necessary to recover the costs associated with the accident. Establishing legal responsibility or liability is crucial when seeking compensation for damages in a left turn accident case involving serious injuries.
Recent T-Bone Accident Settlement Example
$310,000/T-Bone Auto Accident/2023
Our client is a mother of five children and is involved in a myriad of volunteer and philanthropy work in the Central Florida area. She was proceeding down a road in Valrico, Florida when the defendant, who was stopped at a stop sign, pulled right in front of her, violating her right of way and causing a “T-bone” collision to the side of our client’s vehicle.
As a result of the crash, our client suffered a significant injury to her neck. An MRI scan was performed which revealed a large, herniated disc. Later, our client’s surgeon ordered an updated MRI which showed that the herniated disc was deteriorating. The surgeon believed our client needed a cervical discectomy with fusion to repair the damage.
Our client initially hired a large law firm shortly after the accident. Her case lingered in that office for five months with virtually nothing being done to move her case forward. She fired that office and hired our firm to assist her. We quickly discovered that the defendant who caused the accident had only a limited insurance policy of $ 10,000.00. Fortunately, however, our client had protected herself by purchasing a policy which provided uninsured motorist insurance in the amount of $300,000.00. We filed a lawsuit against the at-fault party and our client’s insurance company. The defendant’s insurance company paid its $10,000.00 limits shortly after the suit was filed. We then prepared a comprehensive demand to our client’s insurer giving them a limited time to pay their policy limits. The conditional demand was accepted, and the case settled for a total of $310,000.00.
This case demonstrates the importance of having uninsured motorist coverage. It is critical to purchase uninsured motorist insurance since many drivers in Florida have either no bodily injury coverage or only a small amount, such as the defendant in this case. Uninsured motorist coverage applies in both situations and pays your damages which are caused by the uninsured driver. Without this coverage, you may be left with little or no compensation when you are hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
How A Florida Left-Hand Turn Accident Attorney Near You Can Help Prove Liability
When you turn to Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for assistance with your left-turn accident case in Florida, our experienced car accident attorneys will employ various strategies to gather evidence and establish liability. Here’s an overview of the steps we take during the investigation:
- Listening To Your Account – Our attorneys will dedicate time to sit down with you and attentively listen to your detailed recollection of the accident. Your firsthand account is vital in understanding the sequence of events leading up to the collision.
- Scene Visitation – We conduct an on-site visit to the accident scene, meticulously examining skid marks, analyzing traffic conditions, and gathering other physical evidence. This thorough examination helps us gain a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding the accident.
- Witness Interviews – Our attorneys proactively track down and interview witnesses who were present at the time of the accident. By obtaining their statements, we can obtain valuable insights into the actions and behaviors of all parties involved.
- Vehicle Damage Assessment – We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the damage sustained by all vehicles involved in the accident. This assessment allows us to determine the extent of the impact and contribute to the establishment of liability.
- Surveillance Footage Retrieval – Whenever possible, we make efforts to obtain relevant footage of the accident from traffic cameras or nearby businesses’ surveillance systems. This visual evidence can serve as valuable support for your case.
- Cell Phone Records Investigation – With our expertise, we have the capability to obtain and analyze cell phone records to ascertain whether the driver making the left turn was engaged in distracted behaviors such as talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident.
If you have suffered injuries due to a left-turn accident, do not hesitate to contact a left-turn accident lawyer near you at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our dedicated team will conduct a comprehensive investigation into your case, working diligently to determine the cause of the accident and establish liability on your behalf.
Contact A Florida Left Turn Lawyer At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk
If you have been injured in a left turn accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced team at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our experienced nearby attorneys specialize in personal injury cases and are ready to provide the guidance and support you need. We understand the complexities of left-turn accidents and the potential serious injuries they can cause. By assessing the specific details of your case, we can navigate the legal process on your behalf, advocating for your rights and fighting to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries and losses. Don’t face the aftermath of a left-turn accident alone. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for dedicated legal representation and a strong voice on your side.
Learn more about the Florida Move Over Law.