While it’s completely legal for drivers to make a left-hand turn, there are greater risks for this over other types of turns, often causing t-bone accidents and other collisions. They involve yielding to oncoming traffic and being especially careful about traffic signs.
If you get into an accident in Georgia while someone is making a left-hand turn, you might wonder who is at fault for the collision. The driver who is making the left turn often causes the accident, but it depends on the details. Your personal injury lawyer can explain in more detail Georgia’s laws on left turns and how fault works if one results in an accident.
What Does Georgia Law Say About Left-hand Turns?
All drivers must follow Georgia’s traffic laws at all times, including when making a left turn on any road. The rules on making left turns are detailed in the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Drivers Manual.
When making a left-hand turn in your vehicle, you should:
- Use the appropriate signals and with sufficient time for the drivers ahead and behind you to see your plan to turn
- Move into the designated turning lane or, if there is none, the far left lane on the side you are traveling
- Keep your vehicle’s wheels straight until you start turning
- Yield to all vehicles that are approaching from the opposite directions and to pedestrians crossing either side of the roadway
- Turn into the lane closest to the center lane(s) in the direction of traffic on the street you are turning onto
- Stop for any pedestrians who are in the crosswalk of the road you’re turning onto
- Once you enter the left-turn lane at an intersection, you cannot change into another lane, even if you realized you made a mistake entering that lane.
All drivers are legally required to follow these laws on making left-hand turns.
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Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Accident in Georgia
If a driver was not following Georgia laws on turning left and it caused an accident, that driver was at fault for the accident. By failing to follow local laws, they were negligent and in turn led to the crash happening.
Reasons a driver might fail to make a correct left-turn include:
- Misjudging how fast cars in the oncoming lane were traveling, assuming they had enough time to complete their turn instead of yielding
- Not seeing an oncoming car or bicyclist
- Not seeing a pedestrian crossing the road
- Driving while distracted, such as while texting, or while under the influence
- Not using a turn signal to alert other vehicles of the turn
- Turning into the wrong lanes
So, the driver who was making the left turn is usually at fault for the accident. That being said, there are situations where the other driver may be liable. If the other driver ran a red light and crashed into another driver making a legal left turn, the first driver would clearly be at fault.
In rare cases, a left-turn accident can happen due to a manufacturing or maintenance error in a vehicle. In that situation, the party who created or worked on the car may be at fault for the accident.
Costs You Can Recover After a Left-Hand Turn Accident
In Georgia, you have the right to seek compensation for all of your costs after an auto accident that you did not cause. Those costs are legally known as your damages.
If you were not at fault for your left-hand turn accident, you can recover for losses like:
- Medical bills, doctor visits, and hospital stays
- Prescription medications
- Travel to and from medical appointments
- Future treatment, such as physical therapy or surgeries
- Vehicle repair costs
- Lost wages
If the accident has left you with mental and emotional damages too, you can recover for those as long as they directly result from your physical injuries. In the unfortunate event that a family member of yours dies from a left-hand turn accident, a personal injury lawyer can instruct you what happens with a wrongful death claim.
Car Accident Lawyers Can Determine Fault in a Left-Hand Turn Accident
Your car accident attorney can collect evidence and hire expert investigators to find the truth behind who is at fault for your left-hand turn accidents. Some of this evidence includes:
- Accident report – Police will often list who is responsible for the accident in their report, usually based on which driver violated the other driver’s right-of-way.
- Traffic cameras footage – These videos can provide a better picture of the events leading up to an accident and offer more context to show who was at fault.
- Witness interviews – Other drivers, pedestrians, and bystanders who saw the accident can provide their insight into what occurred. Expert witnesses can also be called to give testimony in disputed accident claims.
- Accident reconstruction investigations– With investigative techniques, computer software, and other tools, accident reconstructionists can provide a detailed breakdown of the crash.
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What a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
When a left-turn car accident attorney represents you, you can expect them to:
- Speak with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf
- Gather evidence that establishes the other party’s liability
- Total the value of your damages
- Initiate legal action by filing a car accident claim or lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiate for a fair and quick settlement offer
- Represent you at trial, if your case goes to court
- Keep you updated with the progress of your case case
The costs of many car accident lawyers in Georgia are based on a contingency. This means clients do not have to pay anything unless their case is won and they receive compensation for their damages.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you’re suffering injuries from a left-turn accident, or any other type of car accident, in Georgia, John Foy & Associates can help you get the compensation you need to recover. We know how to win cases, and have been helping injury victims do so for over 20 years.