A vehicle that makes a left turn is almost always liable for causing a crash with a vehicle coming from the other direction and heading straight.
This type of crash is known as a left turn accident.
In an Injury Case for a Left Turn Crash, Does It Matter Who Gets the Ticket?
Not really. A police officer will typically give a ticket to the driver who made the left turn. The citation will usually be for failure to yield the right of way.
However, a ticket cannot be used in a personal injury case in Florida.
That said, it’s generally a good sign for your injury case if the other driver gets a ticket for failing to yield the right of way. Police officers are usually, but not always, right when assigning fault.
When Does the Driver Who Made a Left Turn Have a Case?
A driver who made a left turn, and crashes into a car that was going straight, may have a case in limited circumstances.
Examples of these limited situations are if one or more of the following is true. They are if the driver heading straight was:
- Driving while drunk (DUI)
- Speeding or weaving through traffic.
- Driving an 18 wheeler with a violation (e.g. driving too many hours without rest, etc.)
- Driving a car with its headlights off, and the crash happened when it was dark.
In addition, the driver who made a left turn may still have case if:
- His injuries are worth much more than the other car’s bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limits.
- He had a green left turn arrow signal
The left hand turn driver may also have a case is if there was construction that made it difficult to see the other car.
Will the Insurer for the Left Turn Driver Usually Accept Liability?
Yes. As an example, a motorcycle rider who was going straight down a street. A driver of an 18 wheeler made a left turn and hit the motorcyclist.
The crash diagram is at the top of this article. The insurance company (now AIG) for the truck quickly paid for the damage to the motorcycle.
When discussing the motorcycle rider’s personal injury claim, the AIG adjuster said that the motorcyclist may have some fault in the crash. (Many jurors feel little sympathy for motorcyclists.)
However, adjusters often bluff in an attempt to pay as little as possible. Ultimately, the adjuster basically accepted liability for the injury case.
$300,000 Settlement for Broken Leg from Left Turn Crash
In this case, vehicle 2 was traveling straight. Vehicle 1 made a left hand turn into vehicle 2’s path of travel.
Allstate Insurance Company insured the driver of vehicle 1. They quickly paid for the damage to vehicle 2.
The driver of vehicle 2 suffered a broken lower leg (tibial plateau fracture). Allstate paid its $100,000 BIL insurance limits to settle his personal injury case.
Travelers Insurance Company insured the driver of vehicle 2. They paid $200,000 in underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage to settle the case.
The total settlement was for $300,000.
Passenger in Left Turn Accident Gets $150,000 Settlement for Back Surgery
A passenger was in a car that was heading straight. A driver of another vehicle made a left turn and hit the car that the passenger was in.
The passenger had UIM insurance, who paid the $100,000 UIM limits.
Left Turn Wreck Results in $100,000 Settlement for Herniated Disc and Broken Nose
Sara was driving her car on State Road 826 (The Palmetto) near NE 17 Avenue in North Miami Beach, Florida.
As you can see from the diagram above, Vehicle 1 made a left hand turn in front of Sara’s (Vehicle 2) path.
Sara struck vehicle 1, causing her SUV to run off the road to the right and hit a business sign.
GEICO insured vehicle 1. After some resistance, GEICO eventually paid its $100,000 BIL insurance limits to settle Sara’s personal injury case.
$100,000 Settlement After Car Turns Left into Motorcyclist’s Path; Herniated Disc, ED, Meniscus Tear
On May 26, 2013, at 12:40 a.m., a young man was riding a motorcycle, going straight on NE 2nd Ave. A driver of car made a left hand turn into the motorcyclist’s path.
The motorcycle struck the car. The motorcycle rider claimed that the crash caused or worsened his herniated disc and meniscus tear. He also claimed that the crash caused his erectile dysfunction (ED).
GEICO insured the car. They paid $100,000 to settle the motorcyclist’s personal injury claim.
$100,000 Settlement for Left Hand Turn Wreck; Herniated Disc
A man was driving his car straight down the street. A 18 wheeler made left hand turn into the car’s path.
Zurich Insurance Company insured the 18 wheeler. They quickly paid to fix the man’s car.
Zurich also paid $100,000 to settle the personal injury claim.
These are just a few of the many left hand turn accident claims that I’ve settled. You can see more of them on my car accident settlement page.