Birmingham intersections such as US Highway 280 and State Highway 119 are known hotspots for car accidents. Intersection-related crashes often occur due to drivers failing to complete their left turns safely. According to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, left-turns contributed to 22 percent of all intersection-related accidents.
No matter how experienced a driver is, turning left at an intersection can be very risky for a number of reasons. A driver making a left turn not only needs to be aware of vehicles coming from different directions but must also go against the flow of traffic to complete the turn. It only takes a moment to misjudge the distance or timing and end up in a devastating accident.
If you have been injured in a left-turn accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our Birmingham car accident lawyers have successfully helped victims and their families get the settlements they need to ease the financial burden and move on with their lives.
We know how to win what you deserve. Call us at (800) 477-7510 to find out how we can help you with your case.
Who is Liable for a Left-Turn Accident in Alabama?
Generally, the person turning left is usually held liable in a left-turn accident. This is because the left-turn driver must yield to others and ensure all oncoming traffic has passed before making the turn.
However, there are some situations when the left-turning driver may not be at fault. Although oncoming vehicles may take priority for the right-of-way, reckless drivers may be held responsible for the accident.
Some behavior that may result in liability include:
- Distracted driving, including texting
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Driving through a red light
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Common Factors That Contribute to Left-Turn Accidents
In a right-hand driving country like the United States, left-hand turns are much more dangerous than right-hand turns since a driver must complete the maneuver against oncoming traffic. Turning left at a busy intersection requires patience and good judgment. There are many variables that must be calculated with precise timing.
Common factors that may contribute to a left-turn accident include:
- Speeding – Whether it is the driver turning left or another vehicle approaching the intersection, driving at excessive speeds can cause serious accidents. According to the 2020 Alabama Crash Statistics, speeding is the top contributing factor to fatal crashes.
- Failure to yield to oncoming traffic – It is the responsibility of the left-turning driver to yield to oncoming traffic before making the turn. Even if there is a green light at a light-controlled intersection, a driver turning left needs to be aware of oncoming traffic before making the turn.
- Incorrect acceleration – It can be difficult for left-turning drivers to accurately determine the speed of oncoming traffic. Turning too quickly or too slowly may result in the driver hitting an oncoming vehicle mid-turn.
- Turning into the incorrect lane – When a driver turns left, he or she must be careful to stay in the designated lane. Failure to stay in the correct lane may lead to a collision with oncoming drivers who are turning right onto the same road.
- Obstructed view – Visibility can be restricted if another waiting vehicle obstructs the view of the left-turning driver. If a left-turning driver takes a risk and turns without being sure of advancing vehicles, a collision can result.
Failure to check for pedestrians – Left-turning drivers not only have to yield to oncoming vehicles, but they must also give way to pedestrians at the crosswalk before completing the turn. Failure to check may result in the driver hitting a pedestrian on the crosswalk, or they may have to stop mid-turn causing an accident with oncoming traffic.
Type of Injuries That Can Occur From a Left-Turn Accident
Left-turn accidents can leave victims with debilitating injuries and in some cases may even result in death. Some injuries may require a car accident victim to take time off from work temporarily, but more severe injuries may lead to life-long treatment preventing an injured person from returning to the workforce. Injuries can vary in severity but still impact a person’s life on a day-to-day basis.
Types of injuries that may result from a left-turn accident include but are not limited to the following:
- Broken bones
- Bruising and lacerations
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Sprains and torn ligaments
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
Recoverable Damages for Injuries Caused by Left-Turn Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a left-turn accident, a team member of Norris Injury Lawyers can give you a free case evaluation to determine what compensation you might be able to get. When we take on a case, we do our utmost to recover the maximum amount of compensation available to our client. Our legal team doesn’t just look at our client’s economic losses, but we also assess the non-economic damages they have incurred.
What are economic damages?
Economic damages refer to monetary losses that a victim has suffered as a result of an accident. These types of damages often come with a receipt and can easily be assigned a dollar amount.
Economic damages can include but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses (past, current, future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity (past, current, future)
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses
What are non-economic damages?
Non-economic damages can be difficult to prove as they cannot be easily assigned a monetary value. Nevertheless, a qualified attorney can help you evaluate the distress you have experienced as a consequence of your injuries and seek fair compensation for your suffering.
Examples of non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss or diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Compensatory caps for damages in Alabama
Fortunately, there are no caps on economic or non-economic damages in the State of Alabama. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule:
- Punitive damages: According to the Alabama Code 6-11-21, the compensation limit for punitive damages is the larger of either 3 times the compensatory damages or $1.5 million for physical injuries
- Punitive damages against a small business: When a small business is found to be at fault for a victim’s injuries, it is not required to pay more than $50,000 or 10 percent of its net worth, whichever is greater.
- Cases against a municipal entity: Under Alabama Code 11-47-190, a claim against a city, town, or government entity is capped at $100,000 per injured plaintiff or $300,000 per accident
We Can Deal With the Insurance Companies for You
Insurance companies may seem like they are in the business to help, but the reality is that your financial needs are not their first priority. If you are injured in a left-turn accident and you want to file a claim with your insurance provider, there are different tactics an insurance company may use to reduce or reject a payout.
All too often, we see how insurance adjusters try to minimize the extent of a victim’s suffering to lessen the settlement amount, or they may even try to assign blame to avoid making any payments. For this reason, we recommended seeking legal counsel as soon as possible, especially before accepting a settlement offer.
The team at Norris Injury Lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and insurance adjusters. We offer a free consultation to injured parties so they can access reliable legal advice when they need it the most. We strive to help Birmingham residents understand their rights so they can make informed decisions regarding their legal concerns.
Let us reduce your stress of dealing with insurance companies and complex legal procedures. If you decide to hire us, we can handle all correspondence and negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. We put our resources and experience to work so that you can spend less time worrying about the paperwork and focus more time and energy on your recovery.
Contributory Negligence Laws in Alabama
In cases of personal injury, the State of Alabama allows a victim to seek compensation from an at-fault party who acted negligently. On the other hand, the contributory negligence law may bar a victim from recovering any compensation if he or she was found to have contributed to the accident. Even if the at-fault party shares the majority of the blame, he or she may use the contributory negligence law as a legal defense to prove you shared fault in the accident, blocking you from seeking damages.
If you have been injured in a left-turn accident, it is vital to have an experienced car accident lawyer fighting for your rights. Even if you are sure you are blame-free, the at-fault party will likely have their lawyer trying to prove you contributed to the accident.
You can make facing the challenges much easier for yourself by hiring Norris Injury Lawyers. Our left-turn accident lawyers know how to examine every detail to establish the facts, gather the evidence, and build a strong case to prove your side of the story.
How to Establish Negligence for Left-Turn Accidents in Alabama
To seek compensation for a personal injury, Alabama law requires the plaintiff (victim) to prove that his or her injuries were caused by the defendant’s (at-fault party) negligent actions.
There are 4 legal elements that must be established in a personal injury case, including:
- Duty of care – It must be determined that the defendant owed you a duty of care, which is a legal obligation to act in a safe way so as not to cause harm to others. For example, all motorists owe a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and to abide by all traffic laws
- Breach – The defendant breached his or her duty of care by acting in a way that put other people at risk. For example, a driver broke the law by speeding through a red light.
- Causation – A connection must be established between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injuries caused to the plaintiff. For example, the driver ran through a red light and crashed into another car causing the other party to suffer a brain injury.
- Damages – The plaintiff must show that he or she suffered economic damages as a result of the injuries suffered. For example, the victims’ injuries led to expensive hospital treatment and loss of income.
Due to the strict contributory negligence laws in Alabama, it is crucial to have an experienced left-turn accident lawyer on your side to show that you were in no way negligent in your actions. A qualified Birmingham car accident attorney with Norris Injury Lawyers can aggressively advocate for your rights so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
How Much Does a Left-Turn Accident Lawyer Cost?
Norris Injury Lawyers offer free initial consultations, providing accident victims with a no-obligation case evaluation. Our law firm works on a contingency basis, offering all of our clients our exclusive No Fee Guarantee®.
This means that you don’t owe us anything until we successfully win your case and get you monetary compensation. There are no hidden fees or upfront costs to worry about.
Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars of compensation for our client’s personal injuries, and we want to help you too. We offer quality legal representation to all residents across Alabama. Our attorneys listen with dignity and respect, putting the interests of our clients first as we seek justice for their suffering.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our left-turn accident lawyers and find out how we can help you.
Statute of Limitations for Left-Turn Accidents in Alabama
The statute of limitations refers to a legal time limit for filing a personal injury claim. Time limits vary from state to state and can differ when a claim is filed against a government entity. In the State of Alabama, personal injury cases, including injuries caused by left-turn accidents, must be filed within 2 years from the date of the incident.
Failure to submit your claim within the set time constraints will result in your case being denied. It is important that you do not delay. Seek legal counsel as quickly as possible from a Birmingham left-turn accident lawyer to ensure your documents are filed on time.
The sooner you contact Norris Injury Lawyers, the more time we have to examine your case and prepare all the necessary documentation for your claim.
Why It is Important to Hire a Birmingham Left-Turn Accident Lawyer
Suffering an injury due to the negligence of another person is unfair. Car accident victims may be left with devastating injuries resulting in long-term hospitalization and costly medical bills. For many families, the financial strain can be too much to bear. We are here to make it easy for car accident victims and give them the legal support they need to seek the justice they deserve.
Norris Injury Lawyers understands how overwhelming it can be to tackle the complex legal system on your own. With more than 40 years of experience helping Alabamans with their legal matters, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of Birmingham residents in need of quality representation. If you decide to hire us, our left-turn accident attorneys will use their knowledge and experience to seek the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Contact us or call us at (800) 477-7510 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.