If I was rear-ended by a woman while making an illegal left turn that I was not aware was illegal. can I still have my injuries covered?

It was Sunny midday with clear visibility for about a quarter mile. She didn’t know I was making an illegal left turn and she admitted right away that her foot slipped off the brake, as well as admitting “That was the hardest I ever hit anybody.” She moved my car approx. 8 feet and snapped my neck back and forth in the accident. I had a xray and was told that I had lost the curvature in my spine and would now need care to fix it and an injury lawyer to get damages/settle with the at fault insurance. Do I have a chance of getting my car fixed and medical cost covered?

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Personal Injury, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have a chance to receive money if you sue the other driver (which includes presenting a claim to their insurance, and seeing if the insurer will honor it without having to actually sue), and it would be worthwhile for you to consult with a personal injury attorney, but you will have an uphill battle and may either have the amount you can receive reduced and/or be unable to recover at all. The reason is that you were negligent, too--as you write you made an illegal left left. Thus, you made a turn which you were not allowed and which the other person would have reasonably expected you would *not* make. When a person is him- or herself negligent, then even if the other driver would be at fault, the would-be plaintiff's negligence will often reduce the available award, and in some cases can even preclude recovery altogether.

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