The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reported that the United States sees about 2.5 million car accidents at intersections where drivers take either a left or right turn and crash with another vehicle. In these situations, particularly right-turn accidents, who is at fault is usually given.
General Rule: The Driver At Fault in a Right Turn Accident
When turning right in an intersection, it’s a general rule that the driver must conduct their due diligence and ensure that the intersection is clear. The driver is responsible for gauging the distance of oncoming vehicles and entering when it is safe to do so. This rule also applies to roundabouts.
The driver turning right is usually the person at fault in an accident of this nature. Even if the vehicles at the intersection are speeding, the turning driver can be said to be at fault for not correctly judging the speed of the vehicle and failing to enter the new traffic flow at the safest opportunity.
While the general rule is that the driver turning right is usually at fault, an exception is made if the intersection had a right turn light, which the driver observed.
Most busy intersections have right turn lights that halt the incoming traffic for the safe entry of vehicles in a perpendicular lane. If a right turn crash happened with the turning driver observing the right turn signal, it’s highly likely that the other vehicle failed to observe traffic signs and caused the crash.
What to Do When Involved in a Right Turn Accident
If you are involved in a right turn accident, you should be aware of what you need to do to ensure that fault is properly determined.
Contact Emergency Services
After the accident, call the police to the scene and file an official police report. This document is required for your insurance claim later on.
If anyone is severely injured or requires urgent medical attention, request medical services immediately.
If you don’t require urgent medical attention, make it a point to gather evidence of the car accident. Take photos of the scene from all angles and write down any witnesses’ information, like their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Doing this can help you defend your insurance claim or give you enough evidence for a possible trial later on.
Get a Medical Evaluation
The strong impact of a car crash can pose significant risks to your health. Even if you feel fine after the crash, symptoms of serious problems can present themselves hours or days after. It’s important that you get checked immediately, no matter how minor you think your injuries are.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Shortly after a car accident, you are required by law to notify your insurance company. However, you should be careful here. Simply tell your insurance provider that an accident has occurred, but don’t provide a full detailed statement just yet.
Your insurance company may pressure you into making a statement, and if you do so, you might say something that will end up harming your claim. Politely decline and tell them that you will provide a full statement after speaking to your car accident attorney.
(Also check out this blog to learn how a lawyer can help with claiming insurance benefits)
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Perhaps the most important thing to do after being involved in a car accident is to contact an attorney. Having an experienced lawyer guiding you through the process and representing you in your claim will go a long way in protecting your rights and ensuring you get the compensation that you are entitled to.
If you or anyone you know has been involved in a right turn accident, consult with our car accident lawyers today.