Car accidents in Miami are incredibly common. One of the leading causes of these accidents is left-hand turns. Studies show that one out of every five accidents involves a driver making a left turn.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a left turn, you may wonder who is to blame. Is the driver making the left turn always at fault? Sometimes, but not always.
Drivers Turning Left in Miami Must Yield the Right of Way
Whenever you make a left-hand turn in Miami, you have to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. If there’s a car approaching from the opposite direction, you have to wait to make your turn until it is safe to do so. Making your left turn in front of approaching vehicles can constitute a dangerous hazard.
According to Florida Statute 316.122, you also have to yield if another vehicle is trying to pass you from behind on your left. You can’t cut them off or try to make your turn in front of them. You’ll need to wait until the coast is clear and they’ve moved through the intersection to turn.
Turning left doesn’t just involve cutting across lanes of opposing traffic. In many cases, it involves crosswalks. You’ll need to make sure that no pedestrians or bicyclists are crossing the road when you’re trying to make a left turn. If they are, you must wait until they’ve safely cleared your path.
Negligence For Violating Florida’s Left Turn Law
Florida law explicitly states that you must yield to others when making a left-hand turn. If you don’t, you can be considered negligent. Negligence means that you had and breached a duty of care that was owed to others. When you make an unsafe left turn without yielding the right of way, you are putting yourself and others in danger. As a result, you’ve breached your duty of care. Negligence can mean that you can be held financially responsible for damage or injuries caused by a left turn accident.
Is the Driver Making the Left Turn Always Responsible For an Accident?
Not necessarily. Left turn accidents can happen even when the left-turning driver is as careful as possible. In these situations, it’s often the negligence of other drivers on the road that causes the crash to occur.
Distracted Driving. Distracted drivers are causing an increasing number of car accidents. Distractions can lead to left turn accidents. For example, another car may lose sight of the road enter your lane as you’re executing a turn. That driver could be liable for injuries or damage caused by the crash.
Speeding. A driver making a left-hand turn will do their best to gauge the flow of traffic in the lanes they’re trying to cut across. This can be difficult to do if other cars are speeding. Many left-turn accidents happen because oncoming drivers are going too fast.
Trying to Beat a Light. Most left turn accidents happen at or near an intersection. As the light turns yellow, you may think that you have enough time to turn. However, another car slams into you because the driver was trying to beat the light. The other driver may be at fault.
Car Problems. What happens if your car malfunctions while you’re turning left across other lanes of traffic? It may be possible to hold the car manufacturer responsible for an accident.
Comparative Fault for Miami Left Turn Accidents
Car accidents aren’t always cut and dry. Several factors can contribute to a crash. Florida injury law takes this into account. When more than one person causes an accident, more than one person can be financially responsible. This is known as comparative fault. The more you contribute to an accident, the more responsibility you’ll shoulder for any resulting damages.
Let’s say that you collide with another vehicle while making a left turn. You thought that you had enough time to turn safely. However, you didn’t realize that the other driver was speeding. They slam into the passenger side of your vehicle as you’re halfway through the turn. An investigation reveals that you and the other driver caused the accident.
Sharing fault for an accident means that:
- Your ability to recover compensation will be compromised, and
- You can be on the hook for damages suffered by other accident victims.
In the crash, you sustained $10,000 in damages. You are 75 percent at fault. As a result, you’ll be limited to getting $2,500, or 25 percent of your damages, from the other driver. At the same time, you’ll be liable for 75 percent of his or her damages.
Common Injuries in Miami Left Turn Crashes
In a left turn car accident, one vehicle usually broadsides another. This can not only cause extensive damage to the vehicles, but to any passengers on board, as well. Passengers involved in left-turn accidents often suffer a wide range of injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injury
- Eye injury
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Paralysis, and
- Other serious injuries.
You may be entitled to compensation if someone else is at least partly to blame for your left-turn accident. Contact our Miami personal injury lawyers for help getting the money you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Left Turn Accident Claims
Florida law limits the amount of time you have to pursue compensation after a Miami car accident. Unless extenuating circumstances apply, you’ll have 4 years from the date of your left turn collision to file a lawsuit. You can lose the right to get the money you need if you wait too long to file your claim.
Need Help? Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Miami
Have you been injured in a left turn collision in Miami? Is someone else entirely or partly to blame? Call the experienced legal team at Lavent Law Personal Injury Lawyer for help with your personal injury case. We can help you recover money for medical bills, lost wages, chronic pain, and more.
We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call our law firm for help today. Our attorneys will review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.