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Who is at Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Left turns are considered among the more dangerous driving maneuvers.  Drivers that turn left often do so in front of oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of an accident.  Side-impact accidents and T-bone collisions can result when a negligent or careless driver turns left without yielding or ensuring that there is a clear path.

There are more rules set forth under the Pennsylvania vehicle code for left turns than for right turns because of the dangerous nature of these turns. Pennsylvania law provides that vehicles turning left in an intersection yield the right-of-way to other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction. All drivers must signal before turning left, at least 100 feet before their turn, and 300 feet before a turn if the driver is operating their vehicle above 35 miles per hour.

Following a left-turn accident, the driver turning left across oncoming traffic will often be at fault. Negligence on the part of the driver turning left can be shown if they failed to meet their duty of care.  Because a left turn accident is a dangerous maneuver, a high level of attention is required to complete the turn.  Motorists are expected to look ahead when approaching a left turn, and refrain from turning if there is not room to safely complete the turn.  Guidelines within the Pennsylvania vehicle code address these turns specifically, in order to prevent harm.

If you have been hurt in an auto accident with a driver who turned left immediately in front of you, in most circumstances the other driver will be found liable. However, even if you are partially at fault for causing the accident, you can still recover some of your damages. Pennsylvania’s contributory negligence law provides that victims who are partly at fault for an accident can receive a damages award.

Determining fault in a left-turn accident requires assessing the circumstances surrounding the accident. While the driver attempting the turn is commonly found legally at-fault for resulting injuries, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, a driver that had been traveling at an extremely high speed and ran a red light may have caused the accident by turning directly in front of another vehicle, cutting them off.  Additionally, if the driver completing the left turn had a green arrow at the time of the collision, and it remained green for the entire turn, there may be a clear argument that the victim failed to appropriately stop.

At Needle Law, we have decades of experience investigating the causes of collisions and advocating on behalf of injured victims as they pursue compensation for their harm.  If you were injured in an auto accident by a left turn driver, we can help you understand your legal rights and pursue a claim against the at-fault party.  Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We can be reached at 570-344-1266 or through our online form.

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