Who is at Fault for a Left-Turn Car Accident?
August 18, 2021 – Matt Albrecht
Left-turns are among the leading causes of car accidents. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1 in 4 multi-vehicle collisions happen when one car is making a left turn. This raises an important question: Is the car turning left always liable for the accident? The answer is ‘no’—while the vehicle making a left turn is more likely to be at-fault, the specific circumstances of the case always matter. Here, our Spokane auto accident lawyers highlight the key things you need to know about left-turn crashes in Washington.
Left-Turn Accidents: An Overview of Liability
Washington is a fault-based auto accident state. Any party found responsible for causing an accident through reckless, careless, or otherwise improper behavior is liable. Notably, under RCW 46.61.185, a vehicle making a left turn has a general duty to “yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction”. A driver turning left who fails to properly yield to an upcoming vehicle is likely at fault for most (or all) of an accident.
Exceptions: No Automatic Liability
As noted previously, the driver turning left is more likely to be at fault for a multi-vehicle crash. That being said, there are exceptions. Liability is always assessed based on the specific circumstances of the case. A driver who turned left may not be at fault for an accident if the oncoming vehicle engaged in negligent conduct that contributed to the crash, such as running a red light or speeding.
Washington is a Comparative Fault State
In Washington, auto accident injury claims fall under the comparative negligence statute (RCW § 4.22.005). A driver involved in an accident is liable for their proportionate “share” of the blame. In a left turn accident, multiple drivers (or other parties) may share partial liability for the collision. For this reason, it is essential that a serious left-hand turn crash is comprehensively investigated by an experienced attorney.
You Deserve Full Financial Compensation for Your Injuries
Was your left-hand turn car accident caused by the negligence of another driver? If so, you have the right to pursue full and fair financial compensation for your damages. Among other types of damages, you may be able to recover money for:
- Automobile repairs or replacement;
- Emergency medical care;
- Medical bills;
- Loss of current and future earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Long-term disability; and
- Wrongful death of a loved one.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not make it easy for people to recover the money that they need to pay their bills. We wrote the book on insurance law—our Spokane, WA car accident lawyers know how to get you full and fair financial compensation after a left turn accident.
Call Our Spokane, WA Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Spokane motor vehicle accident lawyers fight aggressively to help our clients maximize their financial support. If you or your loved one was involved in a serious left-turn collision, we can help you get justice. Give us a call now or contact our Spokane law office online for a free consultation. Our attorneys represent injured victims throughout Eastern Washington, including in Country Homes, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Deer Park, Davenport, and Creston.
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