In Los Angeles, one of the most common motorcycle accidents is a collision with a vehicle when making a left turn. Left-turn motorcycle accidents frequently occur at intersections where a motorcycle is riding straight through an intersection.
But a vehicle turning left crashed into it, causing injuries and property damage. Motorcyclists are at a greater risk of fatal accidents than motorists because motorcycles are small and are less visible to motorists, especially those making a left turn.
While driving on the road, all drivers have a duty not to cause any harm to other drivers, pedestrians, and bikers. In the event that a car negligently crashes into a motorcycle, causing injuries to the motorcycle, the injured victim can hold the driver responsible for the damage.
Ehline Law is a leading personal injury law firm that aggressively pursues injured victims’ claims to help recover the compensation they deserve. If you received injuries from a left-turn accident that was not your fault, our motorcycle accident lawyer will protect your rights and obtain a fair settlement for your loss.
How Frequently Do Left Turn Accidents Occur?
To understand how big of a problem left-turn accidents are in the state, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 42% of fatal motorcycle accidents are due to left-hand turns.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 36% of left-hand turn accidents are T-bone accidents. This is when a driver immediately turns left without checking for a motorcycle, causing a collision.
The Hurt report suggests that more than 60% of multi-vehicle accidents occur because a driver simply violates the motorcyclist’s right of way.
Where Do Left Turn Accidents Occur?
A majority of the left turn accidents occur at a four-way intersection, making it a dangerous place for motorcyclists. Left-turn motorcycle crashes occur not only in urban areas but equally in rural locations too. Almost half of the left turn motorcycle accidents occur due to distracted driving or obstruction of the motorist’s view, either due to oncoming vehicle headlights, the sun’s glare, or other cars.
How Do Left Turn Accidents Happen?
There are plenty of situations that can increase the risk of left-turn accidents or cause them, and these include:
- Without looking around for any pedestrians or motorcyclists, drivers pull out of their driveways.
- Riders riding their motorcycles in vehicles’ blind spots reduce their visibility to the driver.
- A driver acts recklessly by making an immediate left turn after overtaking a motorcycle to avoid missing a turn, resulting in sideswiping the motorcyclist.
Avoiding Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Left-turn accidents are pretty common, and here are some of the ways motorcycle riders can avoid left-turn accidents:
- Practice defensive driving to anticipate what the driver may be doing next. Monitoring the wheels of the car can give you an idea of where the driver is heading next.
- Wear protective clothing like gloves, leather jackets, long pants, and boots to protect yourself from any abrasions in case of an accident.
- Always be careful when approaching an intersection and slow down.
- Wear a bright helmet and bright clothing to maximize your visibility so the driver can see you before turning.
The tips mentioned are for motorcycle riders, but it is also important for drivers to practice safe driving habits. Drivers must refrain from using cell phones while driving, always follow traffic rules, and drive slowly to allow enough time for braking or evasion in case of an unfavorable situation.
Left Turn Accidents and California Comparative Law
When a collision occurs between a car and a motorcyclist, the motorist claims that they did not see the motorcycle. Whatever the situation, the California Vehicle Code is clear about the right of way, meaning ignorance is not an excuse to evade liability since drivers must follow the vehicle code.
As mentioned earlier, the motorist is responsible for driving carefully and exercising extreme caution when on the road to prevent any possible accident. Motorists have a duty of care to others on the road, and to establish a case of negligence, motorcycle accident victims must prove that the motorist did not exercise that duty of care.
An accident can leave victims with medical bills to pay, and, depending on the severity of their injuries, they may also experience a poor quality of life.
To receive compensation for the damages, motorcycle accident attorneys must prove:
- The motorist had a duty of care towards the biker.
- A motorist breached their duty of care.
- The breach of the duty of care resulted in injuries to the plaintiff.
- Breach of duty of care resulted in damages to the plaintiff.
A driver could be held responsible for the damage to the motorcyclist. Some of the factors that could work in the motorcyclist’s favor are if the driver was speeding, failed to yield the right of way, did not follow traffic laws, or was driving recklessly.
An experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney will go over the facts of the case to identify any negligent acts to help strengthen your left-turn motorcycle accident case.
How Ehline Law Handles a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident Case
42% of fatal accidents are because of left-hand turns, often when the passenger vehicle makes a left turn without carefully checking for motorcycles. Most left-hand accidents occur because the driver did not see any motorcycles or failed to estimate how fast the motorcycle was coming.
There are chances that traffic or sun glare could affect the driver’s line of sight. However, the majority of these accidents occur when the driver hastily makes a left turn in the hopes of beating a stoplight and thus is either distracted or ignores all traffic rules.
Under the California Vehicle Code, drivers looking to make a left turn must yield the right of way to all vehicles coming from the opposite direction if the vehicles are close enough to be a hazard. When all vehicles pass through and the coast is clear to make a left turn, the driver may then do so.
Drivers that refuse to yield the right of way or do not exert extreme caution before making the left turn are responsible for any accidents they cause. However, proving that the driver was at-fault and acted negligently could be challenging.
It’s very easy to submit a traffic accident report to the court and the relevant insurance company as evidence to prove the negligent party’s fault. However, the insurance company is not obligated to accept the traffic accident report as proof of evidence, nor is the court.
Because of this, it is crucial for you to have Ehline Law represent your left-turn motorcycle accident case. We will gather all the necessary evidence and investigate the facts of the case before creating a strong argument against the negligent party.
To determine the fault in a left-turn motorcycle accident case, the following are some of the most important questions to investigate:
- Did the other driver see the motorcycle approaching and still refuse to yield the right of way?
- Did the driver stop at the intersection?
- Did the driver use a turn indicator before proceeding to make a left turn?
If you’re pursuing a legal case against the negligent driver and their insurance company, you must also realize that they will use some evidence against you. The negligent driver’s insurance company might claim that the motorcyclist ran a red light or that they were overspeeding.
California’s comparative negligence law can hold both parties responsible for an accident. Maybe the other driver did fail to yield the right of way, but the motorcyclist was overspeeding too. In such situations, the comparative negligence law awards compensation according to the degree of fault.
Insurance companies use this law to reduce their payout as much as possible. If a motorcycle rider is 20% responsible for an accident resulting in $100,000 damage, they might receive $80,000 instead of the full amount.
What to Do After a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide
Any accident could be highly traumatic and disorienting, but what you do next after a motorcycle accident will determine the outcome of your case. Here are some of the steps our attorneys suggest taking if you’re in a left-turn motorcycle accident.
First, you should report the accident to law enforcement authorities. You may be in need of medical assistance, so don’t hesitate to call 911.
If you’re able to gather yourself after an accident, it is crucial that you move your motorcycle to the side of the road to avoid any further collisions. However, if you’re too injured to move about, ask a friend or an attending law enforcement officer to help you gather some evidence.
You want to have some pictures of the accident site as it can be very helpful for lawyers to recreate the accident. Pictures of the vehicles involved from all angles, the accident scene, any skid marks, and injuries are all important evidence to strengthen your case. If there are any witnesses in the area, you should take down their contact details. Witnesses can help bolster your left turn motorcycle accident case.
You should also collect the other driver’s personal and insurance details, including name, address, contact details, and insurance policy number. When a police officer arrives at the scene of the accident, you should request an officer’s report.
A police officer’s report has details of the accident, the parties involved, and the officer’s opinion on how the accident may have occurred. The police report is an important piece of evidence that you must hand in when filing claims.
Seek Medical Help
If you’re seriously injured, emergency services will take you to a nearby hospital in an ambulance, but if you managed to escape the accident with a few bruises, make sure you head to the hospital.
Some injuries can take time to manifest, while internal injuries are difficult to identify without a proper medical examination. Even minor injuries can turn complicated and become chronic later.
Collect Bills and Records
During this period, you want to collect all relevant bills and documentation, including medical bills, hospital receipts, doctor’s assessments, scheduled medical visits, and other documents that highlight the negative impact of the accident on your life.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
You must call a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney immediately. It is important for the accident site to be fresh to collect any necessary evidence. Hiring an attorney after a few days could mean losing important evidence that could help with the case. Remember, the other party may also hire legal services to cover their tracks and blame the accident on you.
Your accident attorney can collect evidence immediately and start the legal process on your behalf while you recover from your injuries. You don’t need to worry about legal fees, as our aggressive motorcycle accident lawyers won’t charge anything unless they secure a win.
Recover and Wait
If the victim faces serious injuries from the accident, they may want to wait a bit before filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. It can take some time to have an accurate prognosis, especially if the victim is at the point of maximum medical improvement.
What Types of Damages Are Awarded in Left Turn Accident Cases?
Depending on the severity of the injuries, the plaintiff can receive compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills and anticipated medical bills
- Lost wages and future loss of earnings
- Emotional trauma and suffering
- Physical pain
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages.
Some accidents could result in wrongful death, and in such situations, loved ones can file a lawsuit against the relevant party and recover damages such as:
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of support.
Surviving family members or spouses can also file a separate claim if the deceased lived on for a while after the accident before passing away due to their injuries. In such situations, eligible people can collect medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering.
Ehline Law has had a superior track record for protecting motorcycle accident victims’ rights and recovering compensation for their damage. With more than 30 years of collective experience, Ehline Law has successfully represented more than 3,000 clients and aggressively recovered over $150 million in damages.
Here are some of the victories our motorcycle accident attorneys secured in California:
- $10,500,000 – Lanham v. Doe Texas-Based Oil Company (illegal u-turn collision)
- $8,700,000 – Doe v. Doe (severe spinal cord injuries)
- $3,265,000 – Altamirano v. Harrison (motorcycle accident.)
Our attorneys work tirelessly with injured victims in investigating the facts of the case, gathering evidence to strengthen the case, and negotiating with the insurance companies for a fair settlement.
Motorcyclists are more likely to die from a fatal accident than drivers. We understand how devastating a motorcycle accident can be. A motorcycle accident can change a victim’s way of life depending on the injuries. Permanent disabilities can financially cripple a family if the victim does not decide to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Remember, the California statute of limitations requires injured victims to file claims within 2 years following the accident. Two years may seem like a long time, but with all the back and forth with the insurance companies, it may not be sufficient if you don’t plan the case properly.
Our attorneys will ensure that you get the best possible legal representation in California and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve to move on with your life. Contact us now for more information.
You may be eligible for compensation if you or your loved one received injuries from a left-turn motorcycle accident. Contact us at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation with our motorcycle accident attorneys today. During the free case review, our attorneys will listen to your case and provide legal advice on moving forward.
We also offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay our attorney unless they win the case for you. If you’re too injured to seek legal advice, don’t worry. We are available 24/7 and can come to you, in the comforts of your home or by the hospital bed.