Who is at Fault in a Left-Turn Accident in New York?

The traffic in New York is infamous throughout the United States and is known for being hectic. As such, drivers in New York must be extra vigilant when making risky driving maneuvers, such as making left turns.

In most cases, the driver making a left turn is likely at fault. Under New York law, drivers making left turns must yield to oncoming traffic. The right to proceed without stopping is sometimes called the “right of way.” Drivers making left turns do not usually have the right of way and may be at fault for an accident. Left turns are often dangerous because drivers must contend with oncoming traffic from numerous directions. If you are hit by a driver making a left turn, you should contact the police and emergency medical personnel immediately. To prove the other driver is at fault, you might need witness testimony, red light cameras, or even security camera footage of the accident.

If you were involved in a car accident because another driver negligently made a left turn, our Westchester car accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit. We also serve clients throughout most of the state of New York. For a free initial case review, call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.

Determining Fault in Left-Turn Car Accidents in New York

According to V.A.T. Law § 1141, the driver of a vehicle turning left at an intersection or into an alley or other road or driveway must yield the right of way to any other vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. However, the driver must only yield if oncoming traffic is too close to allow them to make the left turn safely. Generally, if the oncoming vehicle is a safe distance away, the left-turning driver may proceed with caution.

Under the aforementioned law, our New Rochelle car accident lawyers can help you determine who is at fault in a left-turn crash based on who was permitted to be in the intersection. If the other driver was the one making a left turn as you were approaching from the opposite direction, the other driver should have yielded the right of way and waited for you to pass. If they did not, they are likely at fault for the collision.

The traffic control devices around the intersection are important things to consider when determining who was at fault. Many intersections are controlled with traffic lights. Even when a left-turning vehicle is given the green light, they are often required to yield to oncoming traffic. At some intersections, there are signs prohibiting left turns. If the other driver did not have a green light or was prohibited from making a left turn, they might be at fault for the crash.

Why Are Left Turns More Likely to Lead to Accidents in New York?

Left turns are often likely to lead to accidents, and the drivers making left turns are more likely to be at fault because of the higher risk. When making a left turn, drivers are required to watch out for traffic from multiple directions. There might be oncoming traffic from behind, in front, or across the intersection. The more roads that intersect at a red light, the greater the risk of a left turn.

Drivers tend to avoid making left turns if they do not have to. Some professional drivers, like truckers or delivery drivers, are forbidden by their employers from making left turns because they want to decrease the risk of accidents.

Left turns are especially dangerous in New York, where traffic is notoriously chaotic. Drivers are sometimes in such a hurry that they do not look out for oncoming traffic when making left turns, or they do not yield when they should. Our Yonkers car accident attorneys can help you file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who failed to yield to you when making a left turn.

What to Do if You Are in a Left-Turn Car Accident in New York

If you are hit by a vehicle that made a negligent or illegal left turn, you should immediately call for help. According to V.A.T. Law § 605(1), all drivers in accidents involving injury, death, or at least $1,000 in damage are legally required to contact law enforcement and report the crash. Typically, a driver has 10 days from the accident to make such a report. If they are too badly injured to make the report themselves, someone else should do it for them.

You should speak to the police as soon as possible. Often, the police will interview all drivers at the crash scene. In some cases, the police might contact you after the accident or speak to you at the hospital. It is important to talk to the police because they will compile and submit a crash report that we might use later to track down important evidence like witnesses.

It is also extremely important that you get immediate medical treatment. The sooner you get medical treatment, the more accurate your medical records will be. Your medical records are of the utmost importance because we might use them to establish the extent and severity of your injuries and damages in court. You should contact an attorney right away to help you through this process.

Evidence to Prove Fault in a Left-Turn Car Accident in New York

Our New York car accident lawyers can help you find evidence to prove the driver making the left turn is liable for the crash. One important piece of evidence is the presence of signs, lights, or other traffic control devices. If a sign at the intersection states that left turns are prohibited, the other driver is far more likely to be found at fault.

Similarly, if the other driver turned left at a light, there might have been a red light camera. If the driver did not have a green light when they turned, the red light camera might have snapped a photo of the illegal turn. Alternatively, we can check out footage from nearby security cameras. Nearby businesses and homes might have security cameras that recorded the accident. A video of the left turn crash might be very persuasive evidence in court,

We should also find as many witnesses as possible. Even without photos or videos of the crash, witnesses can testify that they saw the other driver negligently make a left turn. Our Whiteplains car accident lawyers can help you find what you need to prove your claims and get compensation.

Contact Our New York Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Initial Case Assessment

If you were hit by another vehicle making a negligent or illegal left turn, our Mount Vernon car accident attorneys can help you sue them for your damages. For a free case review, call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.

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