Who Is At-Fault When an Accident Involves A Left-Turning Vehicle

If Driver A tries to pass Driver B while B is making a left turn and a collision results, who is at-fault for the accident? At an intersection with a green light, when Driver B is turning left and collides with oncoming Driver A, who is traveling straight, who is at-fault for that accident? Under Louisiana Law it is Driver B, the left-turning driver, who is presumed to be at fault for both. However, the left-turning driver does have the opportunity to overcome this presumption of fault.

A left-turning driver may only be free from fault when he executed his turn after first ascertaining that the turn can be executed safely and without danger to the normal overtaking or oncoming traffic. Thus, the left-turning driver must always yield to the right-of-way of other vehicles. Accordingly, the left-turning vehicle must properly and timely signal that he is turning left and also check traffic behind him and traffic that is oncoming. Only then can he assert that he is free from fault if there is a collision between him and the passing vehicle. Ponthieu v. Dubroc, 108 So.2d 25 (La. Ct. App. 1958)

Further when the left-turning vehicle is at an intersection the following factors may relieve him from liability, in whole or in part:

1) The driver traveling straight is speeding, especially at an excessive rate:
2) The driver traveling straight did so during a red light; and
3) The left-turning driver began his turn and entered the intersection long before the driver traveling straight entered the intersection.

Thus, depending on the circumstances, the left-turning driver may not always be at-fault. If you were the left-turning driver and involved in an accident, you should consult an attorney, as you may be entitled to compensation.

Cliff Cardone has almost 40 years of experience handling all types of automobile accidents arising from a variety of circumstances. If you have been injured in a car wreck, Phone Cardone. It’s really that simple. We will assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.