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The Dreaded Left Turn And Fault In Auto Accident Claims

In the world of a car accident attorney, few things bring more cases to their office than the left turn. Especially with turns that occur in areas like two-lane roads and ones with center turn lanes, there are plenty of ways an accident can occur. Figuring out fault in these cases can be tricky so it helps to know how a car accident lawyer might see your case. Let's take a look at three of the top issues an attorney might bring up while discussing a claim related to a left turn.

Split Responsibility 

Very few incidents are 100% one person's fault. The way the legal system handles this issue is by only giving a percentage of what the most at-fault driver was deemed responsible to the injured party or parties.

Suppose a claims adjuster proposed a settlement with you based on the idea that you were only 20% at-fault in the case. This presumes the other party was 80% at-fault. Instead of getting 100% of the cost of replacing your vehicle, paying medical bills and covering future earnings, you'd receive 80% of the total damages in your case.

Duty of Care

In the case of a left-hand turn, in particular, there is a duty of care that both drivers have to observe. The person hanging a left-hand turn has to check that there aren't any cars approaching in the lanes they're about to cross. They also have to check for vehicles leaving the area where they're turning into, such as a parking lot. Drivers approaching them also have to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from occurring.

This is where responsibility tends to get divided up between two drivers. An approaching driver might have been speeding, for example. At the same time, the turning driver may not have looked for oncoming traffic.

No-Fault States

12 U.S. states employ what is called a no-fault insurance system. This means the majority of cases will be paid out by the insurance company based on the drivers' policies, limiting total damages.

Notably, each of these states has exceptions for catastrophic injuries. If you suffered a broken arm, for example, you'd likely be routed into the no-fault part of the claims system. If a car accident lawyer could prove the damage to the arm was catastrophic, such as limiting your ability to ever do your job again, then you might have grounds to seek greater damages.