Chicago Left-Turn Car Accident Attorneys
A lot of car accidents in Chicago 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 not only the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction but also bicycles and pedestrians that are crossing the street as well. With a lot of roadway activity, if the driver is distracted, misjudges the turn, or just not paying attention, any turn can result in severe injuries to oncoming motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
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 you the most favorable 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 where 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 for a free consultation.
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 22% 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 (44%) involved "inadequate surveillance." This means that 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.
When compared to other types of accidents, 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 that are traveling 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 and motorcycles sharing the road. While the driver who is turning left may be aware of the other vehicles they must yield to, often times they 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 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 at any 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. These accident victims are more vulnerable to injury, making it important 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 the comparative fault laws of Illinois, an injured person's damages should be reduced by the percentage of their fault.
As an example, if you are deemed to be 10% responsible for a crash, your award would be reduced by 10%. However, if you are more than 50% responsible for a collision, you are completely 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.
- In cases involving catastrophic injuries, getting reports of treating physicians as to permanency and future care along with anticipated future medical costs.
Don't Let A Driver Get Away With Making A Careless Left-Handed Turn In Front Of You
If you are the victim of a left-hand turn accident, whether you were driving, walking or riding a bike, you may need a personal injury attorney to ensure you are financially compensated for your injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are knowledgeable in both state and local personal injury tort laws that pertain to these accidents and will fight to make sure you receive a settlement that is in your best interest. We invite you to contact one of our Chicago car accident attorneys from our team for a free consultation to discuss your accident.