The Florida Highway Patrol reported that a 32-year-old Sarasota woman was killed in a motorcycle crash in early June. The woman crashed into an SUV which turned left in front of her on 26th Street W., near the 52nd Avenue Drive West intersection. She suffered critical injuries and died later.
Causes of left-turn accidents
Left-turn accidents typically occur when a vehicle attempting a left turn collides with another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. A driver might misjudge the oncoming vehicle's speed, failure to yield right-of-way or be distracted while driving.
Due to the typically high impact and vulnerable areas of the vehicles involved, left turn accidents can lead to severe injuries, such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries and broken bones. The accident above was likely compounded by the fact that the woman was riding a motorcycle: they fail to offer the same protection as traditional vehicles.
Who’s liable for a left-turn accident?
Liability for a left-turn accident depends on the individual facts of the case. Generally, drivers making left turns have a legal duty to yield to oncoming traffic, making sure that it is safe for them to complete the turn.
In some cases, both drivers may share partial fault, depending on factors like speeding, running red lights or distracted/drunk driving. In that event, eyewitnesses, traffic camera or dash cam footage and accident reconstruction analysis can help establish liability.
If both drivers are at fault, they will be assigned a percentage of fault, and any compensation they receive will be reduced by that percentage. Under Florida’s pure comparative negligence laws, they’re both entitled to file a claim against each other and recover—but it may not be prudent to do so for the driver deemed to be more responsible.
If you’ve been injured in a left-turn accident, contact the skilled Manatee County, FL personal injury lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh as soon as possible.