What Is an Unprotected Left Turn?

Suppose that a motorist has been signaling with the vehicle’s left rear light. If that same motorist were to approach an intersection where the traffic light did not have a turn arrow, then he/she would need to plan on executing an unprotected left turn.  

What are the rules for drivers that intend to carry out an unprotected left turn?

The rules for them are the same as the rules for any driver that wants to turn left at an intersection that has no traffic light. The motorist that intends to turn left must yield to any oncoming traffic. 

Like just all rules, that specific rule has certain exceptions. What are they? 

Imagine an oncoming car approaching an intersection while exceeding the speed limit. In that case the speeding motorist could be held liable for any damages that might have resulted, following a collision.  

Maybe the driver of the oncoming car chose to ignore the red light or the stop sign. A motorist that had entered the turning lane would be unable to avoid a collision with that same driver. 

Suppose that an oncoming motorist had been using a hand-held device, such as a cell phone. That distracted motorist would not notice the driver that had begun to negotiate a left-hand turn. Hence, the distraction would cause an accident. 

Perhaps the brakes in an oncoming vehicle failed to work properly. As a result, the person at the affected vehicle would be unable to respond to a sign or signal.   Here, a lawyer’s possible action would make this case different from the case created by the second exception. 

How would a personal injury lawyer deal with each of those situations?

If a speeding vehicle had hit the lawyer’s client, then the same lawyer would need to hire an accident reconstruction specialist. That specialist should be able to determine the speed of the oncoming vehicle by examining the nature and extent of damage to the client’s automobile.  

If a motorist had driven through a stop sign or red light, before hitting an attorney’s client, then that same attorney would need to search for an eyewitness. Such a witness might be able to verify the client’s claim.  

If someone using a cell phone had failed to obey a red light or stop sign, then the attorney for any affected motorist would need to consult the cell phone records for the allegedly liable driver. Those should confirm or refute the client’s claims. 

If failed brakes had caused an accident, during an unprotected left turn, then the personal injury lawyer in Fremont for the driver in the hit car could go after the car’s manufacturer or the dealership at which that same automobile was purchased. 

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