Left turns are a common cause of car accidents that occur at intersections. Many drivers become impatient while waiting for a stream of oncoming traffic to stop so they can turn left. Sometimes drivers try to avoid long lights by sneaking through intersections when they no longer have the right of way. If you were in a Georgia left turn accident, you should know the laws about left turn collision fault.
I Was Hit While Turning Left; Who Is at Fault?
Georgia Code 40-6-71 states that the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway must yield to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection that it presents an immediate hazard. This means that other drivers in or near the intersection have the right of way if you have not yet started making a left turn. If a driver begins a left turn while an oncoming car is already in the intersection, the left-turning driver will most likely be at fault for an accident.
Once you have yielded to approaching cars and have started making a left turn, you have the right of way. Oncoming cars must yield while you make your turn. Left turn collision fault may depend on other drivers’ positions near the intersection when you started turning.
Who Has the Right of Way?
In a car accident, fault for a left turn that caused the accident depends on which driver had the right of way. At intersections with traffic lights, it is much easier to determine who has the right of way. Drivers making left turns have the right of way when they see the solid green arrow signal. This signal indicates that oncoming traffic has a red light and should not be in the intersection. A driver with a green arrow will most likely not be at fault if they are hit while turning left.
Drivers making left turns must yield if they have a solid green light or a flashing yellow arrow. Either of these signals means that approaching drivers still have a green light and may proceed through the intersection. Left turn drivers must wait until there are no approaching cars in or near the intersection to turn with either of these signals. The same rules apply when there is no traffic light at the intersection. Cars turning left must wait until it is safe to enter the intersection to make the turn.
A solid yellow light or arrow follows the solid green light or arrow. The solid yellow signal means that drivers should not enter the intersection because a red light will follow. Drivers making left turns with a yellow arrow or light are more likely to be found at fault for left turn accidents.
Accident Fault in Georgia
Left turn collision fault follows the same fault rules as other types of Georgia car accidents. In Georgia, you can still recover against the other driver if you were partially at fault for the accident. The Georgia fault system allows an at-fault driver to recover against any party to an accident who is more at fault than they were. The recovering driver will have their damages award reduced by their percentage of fault for the accident.
This modified comparative fault system applies to left turn accidents. If you made a left turn while an oncoming car was a little too close to the intersection, but the other driver was texting or negligent in some other way, you may still be able to recover. Speeding is one common circumstance that may allow you to avoid liability for your left turn accident. If a vehicle is speeding as it approaches an intersection, it can be difficult for a left turning driver to determine whether the speeding vehicle is close enough to the intersection to present a hazard.
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Left Turn Accident?
Talking to a car accident lawyer about the details of your accident is usually a good idea. An experienced attorney will know how the Georgia laws about left turn collision fault apply to your situation. A skilled attorney will know what questions to ask to determine who is at fault. Further, they will be able to negotiate an appropriate settlement based on the unique details of your situation.
The lawyers at the Pritchard Injury Firm are ready to make themselves available to you every step of the way. We have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of accident victims, and we want to help you too. Contact the Pritchard Injury Firm today if you want to hire an attorney who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.