Do left turn accidents result in automatic liability for the defendant?
In car accident lawsuits, juries determine the issue of liability based on whether the defendant was negligent and the plaintiff was partly negligent. Here, “negligence” means the person’s failure to behave in a reasonably careful manner for the safety of others. Contributory negligence means failing to behave in a reasonably safe manner so as to ensure one’s own safety.
At the end of a civil trial, the jury is given instructions on how to decide the issues in the case. Determining whether or not the person was negligent or partially negligent is often left to the jury to decide. The jury decides what reasonably careful conduct under the given circumstances is.
Juries normally determine negligence based on whether or not there was a violation of a statute. When it comes to liability in left turn accidents, there is a statute dealing with it. Our St. Louis car accident lawyer explains that the statute states that the driver of a motor vehicle intending to make a left turn within an intersection or into a private road, driveway or an alley shall yield the right of way to a motor vehicle approaching from the other direction which is close enough to constitute an immediate danger, but the driver having yielded to the vehicle may proceed when it is safe to do so.
The jury then determines the percentage of fault the defendant and the plaintiff each had in causing the crash. If it is determined that the victim’s amount of contributory negligence was more than 50 percent, then the defense is typically given a “not guilty” verdict. However, when the degree of fault is 50 percent or less, the amount of damages is proportionately reduced. For example, if the plaintiff is found 30 percent negligent, the damages may be reduced by 30 percent.
Left turn accidents do not result in automatic liability for the defendant. They can use the issue of contributory negligence to defend cases where the defendant made a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle. The various ways in which the plaintiff can be considered negligent is when they are speeding, they could have slowed down, or when the other driver nearly cleared the intersection when the crash occurred.
The above mentioned defenses can increase the amount of fault allocated to the victim and decrease the fault on the part of the defendant. This can significantly affect the amount of damages that can be recovered.
Car Accident Claims Involving Left Turns
In short, left turn accidents do not result in automatic liability, and a competent St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you determine liability, contributory negligence, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If you have been injured in a St. Louis car accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney. Give us a call today at (314) 361-4242 for a free and private consultation.