Since in a left turn accident the person making the left turn is always guilty, if the person making the left turn already made the turn and then was hit does it change the liability clause?

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Since in a left turn accident the person making the left turn is always guilty, if the person making the left turn already made the turn and then was hit does it change the liability clause?

Note that the person making the left turn only has damage in the front of the car, no side damage. The other vehicle has right front damage. Does this change the liability.

Asked on February 26, 2014 under Accident Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, the person making the left turn is not always at fault. There is a presumption, or assumption, that the left-turning driver was at fault (the same as there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear-end collision is at fault), since that person would not have right of way, but that presumption can be overcome if there is evidence that the turning driver was being careful and obeying the law, but the other driver was careless. Examples: it was a night collision, and the other driver had no lights on, and could not be seen; the other driver was traveling at an excessive rate of speed, and the turning driver would have cleared the intersection without problem if the other driver had been obeying the speed limit; or the turning driver was forced to stop short or swerve to avoid a car in front of him or her which stopped without warning, leading to the crash.


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