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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How To Win a Left Turn Accident in Iowa | Facts Left Turning Drivers Need To Know

Experienced drivers know that when turning left, they have to exercise extreme caution because this is one of the most dangerous maneuvers on the road.

In most cases, at least one driver may be traveling at very high speed, and the positioning of the left-turning driver leaves their car exposed to being hit from the side. Such a scenario is always likely to result in severe injuries or death.

Usually, when a driver turns left in front of oncoming traffic, the rules of the road favor the oncoming driver and hold the left-turn driver responsible for the accident.

However, left-turn car accidents are not always so simple to resolve. With experienced Des Moines automobile accident lawyers on the case, the driver who took the left-hand turn may be found to be not at fault for the accident.

Victims of left-turn accidents need to call Tom Fowler Law today for a free consultation. Determining how the accident happened, with the help of an experienced attorney, may be the key to winning a left-turn accident case. Tom Fowler Law can also provide insight on right turn accident who's at fault.

A Left Turn Car Accident Can Be Very Dangerous

A Left Turn Car Accident Can Be Very Dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), left turns that are made in front of oncoming traffic are some of the leading causes of accidents in the US.

Approximately 22% of all road accidents and 53% of crosswalk accidents are a result of a left-turn accident! Most intersection-related accidents (which make up almost half of the accidents witnessed in the country) are caused by a driver making a left-hand turn.

So great is the risk that big companies, such as UPS, use route optimization strategies to eliminate or limit the need to make a left turn during deliveries.

Left turns are so dangerous because:

  • A lot more mental energy is required when turning left, therefore when a driver attempts to turn left when they are tired or distracted, an accident is likely to happen

  • Usually, a left-hand turn requires the driver to cross one or more traffic lanes

  • Drivers turning left may have a limited view of oncoming traffic

  • Left turns usually disturb the flow of traffic

  • Some drivers try to complete the left turn quickly by accelerating, which increases the chances of hitting pedestrians

  • Great situational awareness to see drivers coming from three different directions is required when making left-hand turns

  • Not everyone uses their turn signals when turning, which can be dangerous during a left turn

Common Causes of Left Turn Accidents

Before determining fault in left turn accidents, it is important to first understand what caused the auto accident to occur. Road accident statistics usually point towards a few common reasons, such as:

  • Not yielding the right of way to oncoming vehicles

  • Turning while the view of traffic is obstructed

  • Not paying attention to blind spots

  • Miscalculating the space available at an intersection

  • Failure to signal when making a turn

  • Misjudging the other vehicle's speed

When Is the Left Turning Driver Not at Fault?

Any driver turning left is required by law to yield to the other driver using the oncoming traffic lane and traveling in the opposite direction. Failure to do so will result in the driver being found at fault in a left-turn accident.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. The left-turn driver may be deemed not to be at fault if:

  • Intersection cameras or witness statements can prove that the other driver did not stop at a red light or stop sign

  • An experienced lawyer can show that the other driver going in the opposite direction was traveling significantly over the speed limit

  • The driver turning left began the turn when they had a green light but was prevented from completing it by an unforeseen circumstance, and as such, the car accident fault cannot be blamed on either of the drivers involved

Other factors, such as if the other driver was intoxicated, texting, or driving recklessly may help the driver of the left-turning vehicle in cases where modified comparative negligence laws apply.

Iowa’s Comparative Negligence Laws

In Iowa, while the traffic laws usually go against the left-turning driver, when it comes to compensation, modified comparative negligence laws mean that the other driver may also be found to be partly at fault.

This is very important because if, for example, the other driver collides with the left-turn driver because they failed to stop at a red light, the modified comparative negligence laws may find that driver to be more than 51% at fault. In such a case, the left-turning driver may not be required to pay any compensation.

How To Win a Left Turn Accident Case

How To Win a Left Turn Accident Case

As difficult as it may be for a left-turning driver to win a left-turn car accident, it is not impossible. The driver of the left-turning vehicle needs to follow these three simple steps:

Call the Police

Next to getting medical treatment, anyone involved in a car crash needs to call the police and remain at the accident scene until they arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious offense. It will work against the driver if the case goes to court.

Even if the driver of the oncoming vehicle wants to handle the matter without the need for a police report, in a left-turn crash, especially one involving serious injuries, it is best to involve the authorities early on.

Gather Evidence

While still on the accident scene, the left-hand turning driver needs to gather evidence that may support their case and prove they are not the at-fault driver. Hard evidence, such as footage from traffic cameras, as well as witness statements describing how fast oncoming traffic was moving, can be very helpful.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

Finally, when dealing with a case as serious as a left-turn accident, it is best to have an experienced car accident attorney on one's side. Lawyers will help the left-turning driver to navigate the complexities of Iowa law and make the best of the state's modified comparative negligence laws.

Victims Involved in a Left Turn Collision Need To Call Tom Fowler Law Today!

Tom Fowler Law has a knowledgeable, compassionate, determined, and highly experienced panel of car accident lawyers who have been helping the residents of Iowa in left-turn accidents for many years. Victims can call their law offices in Des Moines at +1 515-203-8434 and request a free consultation.

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