Left turns can be tricky. When you cross traffic to turn left, there’s always a risk that another car could hit you from the side. This type of crash, often called a “T-bone” collision, is one of the most common causes of car accidents.
In Michigan, if you get into an accident while turning left, you may be legally responsible for causing it. That means the costs of fixing any damage or paying medical bills could end up coming out of your own pocket. And those costs can add up quickly whether it’s a fender bender or a serious injury.
Things like insurance claims and who’s at fault aren’t always straightforward. Let’s take a look at Michigan’s unique left turn laws and who may be at fault in a left turn accident in Michigan.
Left Turns In Michigan
When two vehicles collide in an intersection, one of them making a left turn, it can be tricky to determine who was at fault. In Michigan, left turn accidents are governed by specific laws and regulations. A car accident lawyer in Michigan will have in-depth knowledge of these laws and can help you figure out who should be held liable if you’re in a left turn crash.
Michigan’s left turn laws are somewhat unique and have been in use since the 1960s. Often confusing to visitors, our state practices indirect left turns in some situations.
Indirect left turns, or Michigan Lefts, are a common maneuver in the state. Traditional left-turn operations are not permitted at intersections with Michigan Lefts. At these intersections, all vehicles can either turn right and then conduct a U-turn at a designated crossover or they can proceed through the intersection.
Turning Left on Red
Yes, it is permissible to turn left on red in Michigan – but only in specific circumstances. Once they see that all traffic is clear, drivers are legally permitted to turn onto a one-way street on the red light. Whether coming from a one-way street or a two-way street, drivers are permitted to perform this turn.
Left-Turning Accidents and Potential Liability
Regardless of the signal type that permits you to make a left turn, you are obligated by law to give way to any cars traveling in the other direction. If you don’t, you risk receiving a ticket and additional severe consequences.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Determining Fault in Michigan Left Turn Accidents
When a left turn accident occurs, police will investigate and make a determination of fault based on traffic laws and witness accounts. If that initial determination is disputed, other evidence can help prove which driver should be held liable.
This evidence can include:
- Dash cam or traffic camera footage showing how the crash occurred
- Data from the vehicles’ computers, which can show speeds and functions prior to impact
- Skidmark patterns and post-crash vehicle positions
- Location of vehicle damage and point of impact
- Witness statements from passengers or bystanders
- Cell phone records indicating distraction, especially for the oncoming driver
Seeking Compensation If You Are Not At Fault for A Left Turn Accident
In many left turn crashes, the insurance company will find the left-turning driver predominantly at fault and pay for the damages. However, it’s important to review the evidence carefully and push back if you don’t believe the determination is fair. An experienced car accident attorney can help fully investigate the crash and make the best argument regarding fault.
If you were the victim in a left turn accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
An auto accident attorney can advise you on the best options given the strength of your case and the extent of your damages. Don’t just accept what the insurance companies determine – protect your rights by consulting a lawyer.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Proving Liability is Critical
Left turn accidents can be complex when it comes to determining fault and liability. While Michigan laws heavily favor oncoming traffic, exceptions exist when that driver behaved negligently. A thorough crash investigation and experienced legal help can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim if you were the victim of a left turn crash.
Don’t assume the left-turning driver will automatically be deemed 100% liable. Secure legal counsel and have your attorney look into the specific circumstances to build the strongest case possible.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer To Discuss Your Left Turn Accident In a Free Case Evaluation
Determining liability isn’t always easy if you’ve been hurt in a left-turn accident. The attorneys at White Law PLLC understand how stressful and complicated these situations can be. We’ve helped many clients in Michigan navigate the legal process after this type of crash.
The claims process can be complex, and recovering damages can be challenging. Our goal is to ensure you’re treated fairly, fight for the maximum compensation possible on your behalf, and make the entire claims process easier for you so you can focus on healing. Contact White Law PLLC today for a free consultation.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.