While motor vehicle accidents can happen anytime, some situations are more dangerous than others. And it won’t come as a surprise for those drivers who have spent much time on the road to learn that left turns are some of the most dangerous traffic situations—both for the driver making the turn and other motorists approaching a left-turning vehicle.
While the general rule is that the driver making a left turn is responsible for yielding the right of way, there are exceptions. Therefore, it is important that all motorists understand the rules regarding left turn accident liability.
At the Harris Law Firm, we proudly represent accident victims and their families who have been impacted by another driver’s negligence. We understand the challenges that you face after an accident, and we want to help you recover—both physically and financially—in any way we can.
Our attorneys are compassionate advocates who aggressively pursue maximum compensation on behalf of our clients at every stage of the recovery process.
Mississippi Left Turn Accidents: Whose Fault Are They?
Left turn accidents can come up in a number of different ways. Perhaps the most common left turn accident involves a driver making a left-hand turn at an intersection, either with or without a stoplight.
As a general rule, a driver making a left-hand turn must yield the right of way to drivers who are traveling straight through the intersection. This is the case regardless of whether there is a stoplight at the intersection. However, if there is a traffic signal at the intersection, and it is turning from yellow to red, the left-turning vehicle must wait for the intersection to clear before completing a left-hand turn.
The other scenario in which left hand turn accidents are common is when a driver is making a left turn into a parking lot or in some other situation outside the context of an intersection. In these cases, the left-turning driver still has a duty to ensure that they safely execute the turn, which may mean waiting for quite some time until there are no approaching vehicles.
Of course, this is just a general rule, and there are exceptions. For example, if the driver who is not making a left turn is traveling at an excessive speed, it may be impossible for the left-turning driver to accurately gauge the amount of time they have to make the turn. In this situation, the speeding driver may be partially—or completely—liable for the accident.
When it comes to liability in a left turn accident, the ultimate question comes down to which driver was negligent. In most cases, a driver who is making a left hand turn has a harder time establishing that the other driver was negligent; however, it is possible.
Left Hand Turn Accidents: Liability and Recovery
After a car accident, victims may suffer serious physical injuries that may prevent them from working and will very likely result in significant medical expenses. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, accident victims may be able to obtain monetary compensation. To do so, however, an accident victim must prove that the other driver was legally negligent. This requires an accident victim to show that the other driver violated a duty of care that was owed to the victim and that the other driver’s negligence resulted in the accident.
Importantly, accident victims do not need to be completely free of fault to recover for their injuries in a Mississippi car accident lawsuit. Under the state’s pure comparative negligence law, even drivers who share some blame for the accident can still recover from other negligent drivers. However, the court will reduce the victim’s damages award by their own percentage of fault. For example, if you are involved in a left turn accident and the jury finds that you suffered $150,000 in damages but were 10% at fault, you’d recover $135,000 rather than the full $150,000.
A Mississippi personal injury attorney can help accident victims prevent other drivers (and their insurance companies) from unfairly shifting blame for an accident onto them.
Have You Been Injured in a Mississippi Left Turn Accident?
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a left turn accident in Mississippi, reach out to the Harris Law Firm for immediate assistance. We’ve been advocating on behalf of accident victims and their families since 1981 and have a successful track record of connecting our clients with the compensation they need and deserve. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer today, call 662-262-6336. You can also reach us through our online contact form.