Left turns, especially at intersections, can be intimidating. Without indication from a warning signal, tricky left-hand turns may be challenging to execute without some degree of risk. For one, left-hand turns entail crossing one or more lanes of approaching traffic. In addition, oncoming vehicles at a stoplight or intersection may be speeding. Consequently, left-hand turn accidents can be devastating and deadly.
Drivers in the Houston, TX area must remain attentive to road conditions at all times. When drivers misinterpret or fail to see the speed and distance of oncoming traffic, they are almost always considered at fault. If you were injured in a left-hand turn car accident, the left-turn accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout can help determine the liable party and secure maximum compensation for injury-related losses.
Texas Laws Regarding Left-Hand Turns
Under Texas Transportation Code Section 545.101, drivers attempting to turn left must yield the right-of-way to traffic approaching from the other direction. When a turn can be made without posing a hazard, the driver may then proceed. Unfortunately, this seemingly effortless maneuver increases the opportunity for a serious collision with a passenger vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist.
Drivers that are sitting in a designated turning lane with signal arrows may proceed without yielding. Otherwise, drivers must slow down substantially when approaching a light to determine whether it’s safe to turn. The possibility of a left-turn accident heightens when turning vehicles fail to slow down at an appropriate distance, leaving behind cars in danger of a rear-end crash.
Prevalence of Left-Turn Accidents in Houston
Left-turn accidents in Houston are a common occurrence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) traffic data reveals that nearly 50 percent of the annual 6 million car accidents occur at intersections due to left turns.
It’s unacceptable for drivers to initiate a left turn without ensuring the pathway is free of oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Making an illegal left-hand turn can result in large fines, as well as a T-bone accident with a driver crossing the intersection.
Causes of Left-Turn Accidents in Houston
While fault is generally placed on the driver turning left, sometimes liability may be imposed upon a pedestrian, bicyclist, or passenger driver who fails to follow their respective road rules. When a driver turning left is found at fault, it’s typically due to the following reasons:
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Misguiding oncoming traffic
- Failing to use a turn signal
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Turning with an obstructed view
Due to the various causes of left-turn accidents, these types of cases may entail an intricate investigation process. The experienced left-turn accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout will effectively analyze and reconstruct the scene of your accident, focusing on identifying property damage, skid marks, vehicle angles, and the speed of impact.
Like all car crashes, the outcome of a left-turn accident depends on the specific circumstances at hand and the injuries sustained by those involved are entirely unique. The main factor in left-hand turn accidents is speed and various other vehicle characteristics, like size and make. For instance, a motorcyclist that crashes into a car turning left will suffer worse injuries than a truck driver would in a similar situation.
In addition, factors such as the angle of the crash, the number of passengers in the vehicle, and the safety features in each vehicle will play a significant role in the nature and severity of injuries that someone might incur. Generally, common types of injuries in left-turn accidents include:
- Contusions and hematomas
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding and soft tissue injuries
It’s essential not to ignore or downplay any pain you feel. Not only should you receive an immediate medical examination and undergo a variety of diagnostic tests, but you must also be treated properly to avoid the possibility of any long-term health complications. Receiving an accurate diagnosis for your injuries can help construct a strong basis for your personal injury claim in Houston.
Win Your Houston Left-Turn Accident Case
If you or someone you love sustained an injury in a left-turn accident, don’t delay contacting the Houston personal injury and accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout. Our responsive legal team will help you overcome these unprecedented challenges. Our law firm is based on providing clients with personalized and zealous representation because we understand the stress of legal issues.
At Sutliff & Stout, we ensure our Houston clients are kept well informed with full access to our attorneys. After a left-turn accident, it’s your future that may be on the line. Put it in the hands of honest, professional, and intelligent attorneys who will represent your best interests. Request your free, no-obligation consultation by calling (713) 987-7111 or completing our contact form today.