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Who Is At Fault in a Left-Turn Car Accident in Oklahoma?

Posted on: February 5, 2020 by Edwards & Patterson Law

Car crash accident on street.

We often work with clients who have the question, “Is a driver making a left turn always the one at fault when an accident occurs?” The answer is not a simple one. On one hand, the driver of a vehicle making an illegal left-hand turn will almost always be at fault for the car accident. Oklahoma law requires left-turning drivers to yield to oncoming traffic. The failure to do so is negligent conduct. On the other hand, the driver who makes the left turn may be at fault or possibly share fault.

If you were recently injured in a left-turn accident in Tulsa, McAlester or elsewhere in Oklahoma, an experienced car accident attorney at Edwards & Patterson Law will know how to investigate your case in order to determine who was at fault. If another driver caused your crash, we will work tirelessly to pursue all compensation you are due. Contact us now and allow us to review your case and assess your legal options in a free consultation.

What Factors Contribute to Left-Turn Accidents in Oklahoma?

A man is looking desperate after two cars crashing on the road by his fault.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies left-turn accidents as the most common type of crash which occurs at intersections. They account for more than 20 percent of all intersection collisions. The NHTSA identifies the following as common contributing factors to these accidents:

  • Inadequate driver surveillance
  • Distraction by something inside the car like a smart phone
  • External distraction caused by something outside the vehicle
  • A driver’s false assumption about an oncoming vehicle’s speed
  • Turning left despite an obstructed view
  • An illegal maneuver such as failing to yield the right of way
  • Traveling too fast for the conditions.

At Edwards & Patterson Law, we thoroughly investigate left-turn crashes. As part of our investigation, we may look at evidence collected from an inspection of the intersection where the crash occurred. We may also gather and analyze accident scene photos, surveillance or red-light camera footage and more. We also can discuss the crash with witnesses and use subpoenas to get information such as a driver’s cell phone records, black box data and toxicology test results. In many cases, we work with accident reconstruction experts who know how to use the evidence and establish why a crash occurred and who was responsible for it.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved in a Left-Turn Car Accident?

If you are involved in a left-turn car crash in Oklahoma, it is extremely important that you act to preserve your ability to obtain compensation through an insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit. The following are steps that you should take:

  • Call the police – If anyone was injured, you should call the police and stay at the scene of the collision. The law enforcement officer who arrives at the scene may give the at-fault driver a citation. The officer also will file a crash report. This information can be extremely helpful as you work to prove that the other driver was at fault and pursue compensation for your losses.
  • Photograph the scene – Take as many photos as you can with your phone. You should make sure to take some close-up pictures as well as photos from a distance in order to give a sense of the scene where the collision took place. You should also photograph any property damage as well as your injuries.
  • Get contact information – You should try to obtain contact information for anyone who was involved in the left-turn car accident or who witnessed it, including any other drivers, occupants of other vehicles and those on foot or on a bicycle nearby who saw what happened. Keep in mind: Most bystanders who see an accident will leave the scene shortly after the police arrive. So, you should move quickly to get their information.
  • Seek medical attention – Regardless of whether you have obvious signs or symptoms of an injury, you should not wait to see a doctor. The Mayo Clinic explains that some highly serious injuries such as whiplash or internal bleeding actually may not have immediate symptoms. If you wait too long, the at-fault driver may try to argue that you should be barred from compensation or that your award should be reduced because your injuries are not as severe as you claim they are.
  • Contact your insurance company – You will need to contact your insurer within a specific period of time according to the terms of your coverage. When you give notice about your accident, stick to the facts. Do not offer any opinions about who caused the crash. You can leave that to the investigation. If the insurer has any questions, you can simply refer the insurance claims adjuster or lawyer to your attorney at Edwards & Patterson Law.
  • Avoid talking about the crash with any other insurance company – You are under no obligation to discuss your crash with any other driver’s insurance company. If an insurance company contacts you and asks for a statement, requests access to your medical records or makes a settlement offer, you should discuss the matter with your attorney first.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Oklahoma Left-Turn Accident Case?

At Edwards & Patterson Law, our Oklahoma car accident attorneys can provide a wide range of services to you after you have been hurt in a left-turn crash, including:

  • Gathering evidence and consulting with experts in order to establish who was at fault in the accident
  • Helping you to determine whether to file a first-party insurance claim through your own insurance company or a third-party insurance claim through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy
  • Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf and negotiating with the insurer in order to seek a full and fair settlement of your claim
  • Taking your case to court, if necessary, in order to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for you.

Get Help from Our Oklahoma Left-Turn Car Accident Attorneys

Do you have questions about filing a claim for compensation after a left-turn car accident? An experienced Oklahoma auto accident lawyer at Edwards & Patterson Law can help you to understand all of your rights and options. Contact us today for more information in a free consultation.

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