Left-Turn Car Accident Lawyer: Chicago, Illinois
Many Chicago car accidents happen when the driver is making a left-hand turn across oncoming traffic, especially at intersections. These turns require the driver to be aware of the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction and bicycles and pedestrians in crosswalks.
Dense roadway activity can cause the driver to become distracted, misjudging a turn, or just not paying attention. Any illegal turn can result in severe injuries to oncoming motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC regularly represent people injured in left-turn car accidents. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation regarding your legal rights and options for financial compensation.
An Illinois Left-Turn Vehicle Accident Injury Attorney Can Help
The Chicago car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent people with serious injuries sustained in left-turn accidents. Our law firm has years of experience securing the fairest financial compensation possible for clients injured in incidents with negligent drivers.
As with all of our Chicago area auto accident cases, we handle left-turn cases on a contingency fee basis. We only charge a legal fee when we obtain a settlement from an insurance company or obtain a jury verdict in your favor.
Contact our legal team at (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation. Our personal injury lawyers currently represent clients throughout the United States, Illinois, and the Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, and Schaumburg.
Left-Turn Car Accident FAQs
How Many Accidents are From Left Turns?
Estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that more than three million vehicle crashes happen every year at intersections, mostly from illegal left turns.
Over twenty percent of all vehicle accidents result from a left turn violation. More than half of all accidents involve crossing the path of oncoming traffic when making a left turn.
What Makes a Left Turn Across Traffic the Dangerous?
Many motorists tend to accelerate when making a left turn, creating a wide radius at high speed and exposing pedestrians to a greater risk of severe injury or death.
The demand for making a left-hand turn requires additional physical and mental challenges compared to right-hand turns.
Who is at Fault When a Car Turns Left Colliding With a car That is Trying to Pass?
Any driver who violates a traffic law when making a left-hand turn might be found legally responsible for causing an accident. Traffic laws require that all drivers make left-hand turns while yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians/bicyclists in crosswalks.
What is the First Thing a Driver Should do After Deciding to Make a Turn?
Notifying all other motorists on the roadway is crucial to ensuring everyone’s safety. Use the appropriate turn signal or arm gesture to signal your intentions at least 200 feet before making a legal turn.
Turn signals warn others and guide motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians what they should do.
How do You Make a Left Turn at an Intersection?
According to motors guidelines, making a left-hand turn requires using the turn signal or arm gesture before slowing down. When reaching the junction, scan the intersection to ensure all oncoming traffic is clear of your pathway when turning.
Only make a left-hand turn using the left lane. Never enter the right lane when making a left-hand turn by crossing over traffic lanes during the maneuver.
Who Turns First at an Intersection?
A car, truck, and motorcycle reaching an intersection with stop signs or blinking red lights before others can move through the intersection first after stopping.
Suppose two vehicles arrive at the junction simultaneously. The vehicle to the right moves first because it is given the right-of-way by traffic rules.
Prevalence of Left-Turn Accidents
According to a study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on auto accidents in the United States, left-hand turns accounted for the highest number of crashes in the study, making up twenty-two percent of the accidents.
The majority, 96.1%, of these crashes were attributed to negligent drivers either categorized as recognition or decision errors.
- Most recognition errors (forty-four percent) involved “inadequate surveillance.” Drivers did not make sure it was safe to turn by checking for other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles at a stop sign or traffic light.
- Decision errors were closely divided between misjudging the other person’s actions, turning with an obstructed view, and performing an illegal maneuver.
- Increasingly, driver distraction plays a role in turn-related collisions when drivers are looking at their cell phones or other electronic devices. Driver distraction remains one of the common causes of left-turn accidents, as does drunk driving.
When compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents like T-bone collisions, which generally involve factors such as: traveling too fast, driving aggressively, or performance errors, left-hand turns were almost always due to the fault of the driver.
Illinois State Traffic Laws Relating to Turning Vehicles
According to Illinois traffic laws, drivers turning left must give the right-of-way to vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. The law states:
(625 ILCS 5/11-902) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-902)Sec. 11-902.
“Vehicle turning left. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard, but said driver, having so yielded may proceed at such time as a safe interval occurs. (Source: P.A. 76-1586.)”
Bicyclists, Motorcyclists, and Pedestrians at Risk for Getting Struck by Turning Vehicles
Specific hazards in intersection left-turn accidents are those that involve bicycles, pedestrians and motorcycles sharing the road. The driver turning left must be aware of the other vehicles that have the right of way.
Often, drivers do not account for the bicyclist (even when riding in the marked bike lanes) they must yield to as well. In the City of Chicago, the city Municipal Code states, Chicago drivers must adhere to the following:
“(e) Right-of-way to a bicycle on the left turn. The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a bicycle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(f) Turning right in front of a bicycle. When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or an alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, ยง 1)”
Bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians can be more difficult for drivers to spot. Pedestrian and motorcycle accident victims are more vulnerable to injury, making it essential for drivers to take the time to see them approaching the intersection before making that turn.
How We Can Help You With a Left-Turn Auto Injury Case
Insurance companies will frequently attempt to delay and deny legitimate personal injury claims by arguing fault for the collision should be partially attributed to the injured party. Under Illinois’ comparative fault laws, an injured person’s damages should be reduced by the percentage of their fault.
For example, if you are deemed to be ten percent responsible for a crash, your award would be reduced by ten percent. However, if you are more than fifty percent responsible for a collision, you are entirely barred from financial recovery.
Consequently, immediately after we are retained in a left-turn case, our personal injury attorneys begin gathering evidence to support the liability and damage aspects of your case. Most frequently, this means:
- Ordering police reports and other documents created by investigating law enforcement officials
- Taking photographs of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles involved
- Obtaining copies of medical records and medical bills for past medical treatment
- Getting reports of treating physicians as to permanency and future care along with anticipated future medical costs is necessary in car accident cases involving catastrophic injuries
Hire a Chicago Left-Handed Turn Accident Lawyer
Were you the victim of a left-hand turn car crash while driving, walking, or riding a bike? If so, you might need a personal injury attorney to ensure you are financially compensated for your injuries.
The auto accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC our knowledgeable in both state and local personal injury tort laws that pertain to these accidents. We will fight to make sure you or a loved one receive adequate settlement compensation to cover your injuries and property damage.
Contact our Chicago car accident lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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