If you’re involved in a left-turn accident, you probably already know that the person who turned left in front of you is likely to blame. In most cases, the person making a left-handed turn will be the one found to be at fault for a crash due to the way the road signals and layouts are designed; in fact, a 2007 study showed that around half of all crashes in intersections in Canada involved a left-turning vehicle.
They’re more common than you may think, and they’re particularly dangerous for some, like motorcyclists, who have little protection against the crash. When a vehicle turned left in front of you, the entire vehicle blocks the path, and it can be difficult or impossible to evade.
After you’re in an accident, it’s up to you and your lawyer to show who’s at fault for the crash. You can use police reports, witness statements and personal observations to create your claim. Insurance companies will analyze and determine fault, so if your determination doesn’t come out the same as the insurance company’s determination, you may want to press your case further.
The fault for an accident can be split. For example, if the vehicle turning left cut you off but only because you were speeding and unable to stop, you could both be said to be half responsible. Or, it may be determined that you’re 25 per cent at fault, while the other party is 75 per cent to blame.
Another important factor is if the driver pulled into an intersection where it says “Do not block intersection.” In some parts of Canada — Toronto is one — that driver would be breaking the law. Work through your case and determine all the different factors before you start to negotiate your claim.
Source: FindLaw Canada, “Left-turn accidents: what to know,” accessed Sep. 07, 2016