Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
One of the most common motorcycle accidents in California involves collisions with vehicles making left-hand turns. The turning vehicle will typically strike a motorcycle rider who is traveling straight through an intersection, passing or trying to overtake the car. Riders are at a greater risk of being involved in left-turn accidents because motorcycles are smaller and less visible to a left-turning vehicle. All drivers, including car and truck drivers, have a duty not to cause injury to others, however, and can be held accountable for causing motorcycle accidents.
J&Y Law is highly regarded for providing aggressive personal injury legal representation to clients throughout in Northern and Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a left-turn motorcycle accident, we will help you obtain just compensation that considers all of your future financial and medical needs.
How J&Y Law Handles Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Cases
According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 40 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities involve a passenger vehicle making a left turn in front of a motorcycle, often at an intersection. In the majority of left-turn accidents, the driver did not see the motorcyclist in time or failed to estimate the speed of the oncoming motorcycle. While the driver’s line of sight may have been affected by sun glare or traffic, left turn motorcycle accidents typically occur when a driver tries to beat a stop light, turns left without looking, ignores traffic rules, or is inattentive or distracted.
Under the California Vehicle Code, vehicle drivers attempting to make a left turn must yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction that are close enough to be a hazard, and wait until the turn can be made with reasonable safety. Therefore, a driver who hits a motorcyclist may be found to be at fault in a left-turn accident. Nonetheless, proving that the other driver was negligent can be complicated.
While the traffic accident report may indicate the driver was responsible, such reports are considered hearsay in California and cannot be used as evidence to prove fault in court. In addition, insurance companies are not required to accept them as proof of fault. This is why it is crucial to have J&Y Law handle your left-turn motorcycle accident case. We will take the time to conduct a thorough investigation to understand the facts related to your left-turn motorcycle accident.
Did the driver of the other vehicle see your motorcycle and fail to yield the right of way? Was the driver stopped at an intersection? Did the driver use a turn signal?
The answers to these questions will go a long way in determining who was a fault for the motorcycle accident. At the same time, the other driver and his or her insurance company may claim that the turn had already commenced and that you failed to yield, or that you were speeding or ran a red light. In some cases, both the driver and the motorcyclist may share partial responsibility for causing the accident.
In this situation, California’s comparative negligence law applies, meaning that damages will ultimately be determined by the percentage of fault assigned to each party. If a motorcycle rider is found 20 percent at fault, and the amount of damages was determined to be $10,000, for example, then the award or judgment would be reduced to $8,000.
How to Avoid Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists can take a number of steps to avoid collisions with drivers making left-hand turns, including:
- Anticipate the driver’s behavior, look at the wheels to see if the vehicle is turning
- Pay attention and slow down when approaching a gap in traffic near an intersection
- Wear protective equipment, including a motorcycle helmet, gloves, long pants, boots
- Wear bright gear to improve visibility to other drivers
Similarly, drivers of cars, SUVs and trucks should avoid using cell phones (talking and texting while driving is illegal) and other distractions, proceeding through an intersection with extreme caution, and always use a turn signal when approaching the turn.
Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Although California law requires drivers who intend to make a left turn to yield the right of way, thousands of motorcycle riders are injured or killed each year in left-turn collisions. At J&Y Law, we are dedicated to keeping the roads safe for everyone, and holding negligent drivers accountable. If you were injured in a left-turn motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation, which includes economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are meant to cover your lost wages, medical expenses, property damage and other financial losses, while noneconomic damages are designed to compensate you for pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and similar harm. Although being injured in a motorcycle accident is an overwhelming experience, you are not alone. It takes a skilled personal injury attorney to fight for your rights. Call J&Y Law today or fill out the online contact form to set up a free consultation.