Rear-End and Left Turn Accidents in Florida: Who’s At Fault?

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Every rainy season is the season for accidents. Every year at this time, there does seem to be an influx in the number of fender-benders and full-on collisions that occur. Whether it is the warm weather that entices people to drive faster, the longer days that encourage partying, or the simple fact that more people are out-and-about, there is no doubt that the roads are busier and there is risk to be assumed by all drivers. As such, there will be those facing the difficult circumstances that arise after a crash. Unfortunately, in Saint Petersburg that often turns into a need for a personal injury attorney. The most asked questions generally involve left turn and rear-end accidents.

Assigning Liability After a Left Turn or Rear-End Collision 

Unfortunately, police and the courts are quick to assign judgment in cases involving left turn accidents or rear-end collisions. Generally, the person turning left, in the first instance, and the person in the back car, in the second instance, is at fault. It seems the obvious deduction, but there are always exceptions to every rule.

Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?

Is the person doing the hitting from behind always at fault in a rear-end collision? Most often, but not always. The reason for the assumption is the simple fact that it is the responsibility of the driver to leave enough space between his car and the vehicle ahead of him to come to a safe stop.

There are cases in which the fault can be placed elsewhere:

  • When the front car is put into reverse just before the accident or when a third vehicle pushes the front car backward, in which case negligence is not so easily decided upon.
  • When a vehicle hits the back car, propelling it forward into another vehicle. Often, in that situation, fault will be placed elsewhere.
  • It is possible that the driver of the front car may be partially negligent as well.
  • When tail lights or headlights are out; and/or
  • When the car has come to a stop or been put into reverse for mechanical reasons and has not been properly moved out of oncoming traffic.

What You Need to Know About Left Turn Auto Accidents

Making a left turn means entering someone else’s lane of traffic. Doing so is risky and the maneuver should be made with the utmost care. In the vast majority of cases, the person turning left is at fault in an accident because he or she is disrupting the natural flow of traffic by cutting into someone else’s lane. However, there are exceptions.

Exceptions to Left Turn Auto Accidents

It should be noted that if you are involved in a Pinellas Park car accident and you were the driver making a left turn, it is going to be very difficult to prove that you are not at fault. That being said, there are ways to show that the negligence falls on someone else’s shoulders.

  • Speeding! When you look at the oncoming traffic and there is a clear opening, you take the turn; but what if someone in that oncoming lane is traveling 15, 20, or even 30 miles per hour over the speed limit? Not only is that other vehicle going to reach you faster than expected, the impact is likely to do a vast amount of damage. Often, it is the damage that will tell the story in a case like this.
  • Failing to Abide by Traffic Signals. Fault is cast on the driver making a left turn in most instances because the driver going straight has the right-of-way, but when traffic lights come into play, that can all change. If the driver traveling straight ahead runs a red light, then the fault falls on him or her.

If you’ve been in an accident, and need a personal injury attorney, contact Herman & Wells today