Who Is at Fault for Left-Hand Turn Accidents in Georgia?
Determining fault is one of the most important factors in helping injured crash victims get compensation for their losses. In left-hand turn car accidents, however, it can be challenging to sort out who’s to blame. Laws regarding left-hand turns at intersections can be complex. Depending on the circumstances, both the driver who was turning and the driver going straight through an intersection may have credible claims that they had the right-of-way.
So what are your options if you have been hurt in a left-hand turn accident in Georgia? Speak with the car accident attorneys at Adamson & Cleveland today. Our experienced staff has handled many left-hand turn accident claims over the decades, and we have a strong track record of getting results for our clients. Contact us today for your free consultation.
What Are the Rules in Georgia About Left-Hand Turns?
- 1 What Are the Rules in Georgia About Left-Hand Turns?
- 2 Who Can Be Held Liable for a Left-Hand Turn Accident?
- 3 How Is Fault Determined in a Left-Hand Turn Accident?
- 4 What If I Am Sure the Left-Hand Turn Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
- 5 How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Accident?
- 6 Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Now
Generally speaking, drivers making left-hand turns in Georgia must yield to traffic coming through an intersection, only making a turn when there’s sufficient time to do so safely. Drivers making left-hand turns must also yield to any pedestrians in the crosswalk. This applies to drivers at green lights without a left-turn arrow and to drivers who are at a flashing yellow turn arrow.
Drivers making left-hand turns who have a green turn arrow have the right of way, but they must still yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Once a driver has yielded the right-of-way as required by law, they can make their turn.
Drivers who are turning left are required to turn into the lane closest to the center lane in the correct direction of traffic for whatever street they’re turning onto. Assuming the turning driver left enough room to make the turn safely, drivers passing through the intersection are required to yield the right-of-way to the turning driver.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Left-Hand Turn Accident?
Whichever driver violated the other’s right-of-way is the person who is at fault for left-hand turn accidents. In most cases, this means that the driver who is making the turn will be held responsible ─ but not always. Sometimes the turning driver did everything correctly, and the driver who was traveling straight is the one responsible for the accident.
In some instances, a driver making a left-hand turn may be struck from behind, pushing his or her vehicle into an intersection and into another driver’s path.
The best way to determine who is liable for your left-hand turn accident is to speak to a lawyer who has experience investigating these types of crashes.
How Is Fault Determined in a Left-Hand Turn Accident?
Here’s some of the evidence that’s often used to determine fault in left-hand turn accidents:
- Police report – After most accidents, especially those involving injuries, law enforcement officials will investigate the crash and issue a report. Police will often list who is responsible for the accident in their report, usually based on which driver violated the other driver’s right-of-way. This may mean the person who made the turn is cited, but not always.
- Traffic cameras – Cameras at intersections can help provide a better picture of the circumstances leading up to an accident. They can also offer more context to show who was at fault. For instance, a camera may show that the turning driver followed all the correct procedures and that the other driver caused the accident by blowing through the intersection at a reckless speed.
- Witness interviews – Other drivers, pedestrians, and other witnesses who saw the accident can also provide additional information about what occurred. Expert witnesses can also be called to give testimony in contentious accident claims.
- Accident reconstruction teams – Using sophisticated investigative techniques, computer software, and other tools, accident reconstruction teams can provide a second-by-second breakdown of an accident, offering a more complete picture of what happened and who is at fault.
What If I Am Sure the Left-Hand Turn Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
Sometimes the police will cite someone for an accident even if it wasn’t their fault. This can be very frustrating if it happens to you, but don’t panic. In these situations, your best bet is to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can review your case, explain your options, and launch an investigation to determine who was truly at fault.
If you are cited for an accident that you believe was not your fault, it’s vital that you don’t speak to anyone about the accident except for your attorney. You especially do not want to speak to the other driver or his or her insurer, as they will likely attempt to blame you for the entirety of the accident.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Accident?
Georgia law allows accident victims to pursue fair compensation from whoever is responsible for their injuries. Potential compensation in left-hand turn accident claims includes:
- Medical bills – This includes hospital stays, surgeries and other procedures, doctors’ visits, prescription medication costs, physical therapy costs, and more. It also includes the costs of future anticipated medical expenses.
- Lost wages – You may need to miss a lengthy period of work due to your accident, but you can recover damages to make up for those missed wages. You can also seek compensation for any reduced ability to earn income in the future.
- Pain and suffering – The pain from your accident injuries may significantly impact your quality of life and prevent you from doing activities that you enjoyed before. You can be compensated for the physical toll an accident takes.
- Mental anguish – Car accidents can leave painful mental scars, including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. While these damages can be difficult to prove, you deserve compensation for the mental toll that a serious car accident can take.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Now
Whether you were the one making the turn or the one traveling through the intersection, you should not be forced to pay for losses when another driver was at fault. The car accident lawyers at Adamson & Cleveland are here to help. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case in a free consultation.
Kevin Adamson is a former college baseball player who brings a competitive spirit to personal injury trials and settlement negotiations. Kevin played baseball at LaGrange College and went on to earn his MBA from Lynchburg College and his J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Since 2001, he has focused on personal injury law and secured numerous six- and seven-figure results for his clients. He is also a registered arbitrator and mediator with extensive experience handling contract negotiations for a variety of professional services, including athletic contracts. Kevin also owns his own airplane and makes frequent use of it for his law practice, which has taken him to 18 states.