Hiring an experienced car accident attorney is very important since handling legal matters may be overwhelming for someone who just had an accident and presumably suffered an injury. Dubo Law’s team of car accident lawyers in Maryland will lead you fiercely through the process and aggressively fight for your rights. With many years of experience battling left-turn accidents and getting people the compensation they deserve, Dubo Law will approach your case honestly and passionately. Another vital reason for hiring a legal representative is fighting the insurance companies, which can be exhausting and tricky. Contact us at (443) 275-6345 for a confidential and free legal consultation if you were involved in a left hand turn accident in Maryland.
A left turn accident occurs when the driver fails to yield the right of way. In this case, the driver will be held liable for injuries and damages caused by the left-turn accident. This means that the motorist who turned left is presumed negligent. This is why most drivers are not the biggest left-turn fans, as it is easy to misinterpret the maneuver of other drivers involved in traffic.
Making the left turn in the middle of heavy traffic and crossroads can be dangerous. It requires a few judgments within seconds to make it right and not cause an accident. Those judgments made before making a left turn include how fast the traffic goes, how much time is left before the red light turns to yellow and green, and most importantly, how other drivers act and whether they follow the rules.
Statistics: How Common Are Left-Turn Accidents in Maryland?
Maryland Department of Transportation reports that over 50% of all accidents in the entire state are between drivers making a left turn and oncoming vehicles. So, every year around 5,000 crashes in Baltimore County are only left-turn accidents, leaving close to 10,000 people hurt. If we look nationally, almost 470,000 crashes in the US involve left turn accidents, as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported.
Why Are Left-Turn Accidents Considered Dangerous?
The most important of all reasons is the traffic itself. We all found ourselves in the middle of rush hour or heavy traffic. Lights, traffic signals, and other drivers’ actions may be the reason for distraction. There is a lot of pressure on the driver who makes the left turn, and here are some reasons why these accidents are considered risky.
- At intersections, vehicles come from several directions
- Left turns disturb the traffic flow
- Left turn ask for focus and great mental effort
- Drivers making the left turn must cross at least one lane in the middle of ongoing traffic
- At times they get confused about using the correct lane
- Sometimes trucks, buses, or other vehicles shield the driver’s view
What Are Other Causes of Left Turn Accidents in Maryland?
All these risks are the driver’s responsibility and can’t be caused by others. Remember that in these circumstances, contributory negligence will prevent you from getting compensation. The law states that if you’re even 1% at fault, you won’t be entitled to file a claim.
Which Injuries Are Caused by Left Turn Accidents
Injuries and damage don’t necessarily include just the body but also the mind. One can suffer severe bodily injuries, but others may suffer from trauma, anxiety, and even depression because of the event. Since left turn accidents cause head-on and side-impact crashes, some can result in immediate death.
Some of the most common physical injuries are severe brain trauma, paralysis and spinal cord injury, fractures, organ damage, amputation, chest injury and more. These are considered economic damages since you can get compensation for lost wages, expenses paid from your pocket, and most importantly current and future medical bills.
On the other hand, you can be compensated for non-economic damage and those involving pain and suffering. This can also cause a person to be depressed and unable to provide for the household.
Needless to say, the Statute of Limitations law must be followed if you’re determined to get compensated for the injuries. It states that a person has three years from the moment of the accident to file a claim, and failing to meet the deadline results in the inability to file a claim. For further information visit Maryland car accident laws.
Who is At Fault in a Left-Turn Accident in Maryland?
Different states have different laws when it comes to determining who is at fault in left turn accidents. Maryland is an at-fault state, meaning that the driver responsible for the crash will be responsible for compensation and damages too.
There are many factors that can determine the fault. These factors and steps which drivers must complete after the accident may be of great importance in building the compensation case.
- Filing the police report in Maryland is not obliged by the law, and in some cases, drivers don’t even call the police because there weren’t any major injuries. The report may sometimes serve as evidence since it contains all major details from the scene. Anyways, it would be wise to call 911 since every crash is an emergency.
- Traffic and city security cameras may be stationed at intersections, traffic lights and on nearby buildings. It may happen that the cameras captured the crash, so it is very important for you to ask for footage if there is any.
- Eyewitnesses can also greatly help, but very often aren’t reliable.
- Skid marks may help determine the fault as well as the damage to the vehicles. It can lead us to the conclusion of how the accident happened.
Maryland Laws on Left Turns
According to Maryland Transportation Code §21-402, the driver who intends to make the left turn must yield the right of way to other motorists who come from a different direction. Driver must do so when the vehicle is close enough to cause a crash.
Maryland Transportation Code §21-601 states that drivers who start making the left turn at an intersection or crossover must be in the left lane, i.e., traffic moving in the same direction.
The most dangerous intersections in Baltimore are:
- West Cold Spring Lane and Jones Falls Expressway
- The intersection of Reisterstown Road and Gwynns Falls Parkway
- Jones Falls Expressway and Northern Parkway
Situations in Which The left Turn Driver is Not at Fault
We stated that Maryland is at fault state and that according to its law, the driver who attempted the left turn and caused the accident is immediately considered guilty. However, there are those situations when the oncoming driver made a traffic violation and caused the crash.
Speeding is very common in left turn accidents. It can happen that an oncoming driver is moving too fast and exceeds the speed limit hitting the vehicle attempting to make a left turn. The only tricky thing could be proving how fast the speeding car traveled.
Failure to Stop and Running Through the Red Light
Of course, traffic lights and stop signs are there for a reason and should be obeyed by the law. If the ongoing vehicle runs through the red light or doesn’t stop at the sign, it will be liable for the accident.
These are some circumstances that simply can’t be predicted. For example, an animal jumps on the road and the vehicle making the left turn tries to slow down to avoid hitting it. Also, weather conditions can sometimes cause many dangerous road situations. We must indeed be prepared and cautious when driving in severe weather, but some natural circumstances may be unforeseen.
Aggressive, Dangerous and Impaired Driving
If the driver in ongoing traffic violates some of these rules, the driver making the left turn probably won’t be held liable for the crash. All these factors may influence speeding, changing lanes, and violating traffic laws.
How to Make a Safe and Legal Left Turn?
Every intersection or crossroad may be risky for making the left turn, especially if there is no left turn signal or lane. Some tips below may help you stay on top when making the left turn and prevent accidents.
- Be patient and don’t rush! Driver going straight have the right of way.
- Check for any obstructions which can cause visual impairment.
- Before making the turn, activate the turn signal, or “blinker.”
- Obey traffic laws and avoid prohibited left turns.
- Preserve good driving habits and you’ll avoid the crash.
Contact Our Attorneys for Free Consultations
Today’s car accident legal issues are more complex than ever, so hiring the best personal injury attorney with extensive resources is all you need. Dubo Law is a legal firm from Baltimore County that helps people gain compensation in personal injury claims. Its founder, Neil Dubovsky, is an experienced car accident attorney since 2002 who has seen both sides by working for insurance companies first. He is known for his aggressive fight for his clients. Each left-turn accident case is approached with special attention and Dubo Law team provides excellence through hard work, diligence, and commitment.
Mr Dubovsky is that guy for real I was waiting for a settlement for 2 years dealing with a different law firm so a friend of mine put me on with Mr Dubovsky and let me tell you he definitely does his job well he got me my money but not only did he get me my money he got my medical bills and everything else reduced I will definitely use him again. Thank you Mr. Dubovsky I really appreciate you and the time u spent working on my case.❤️❤️
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