Austin Left-Turn Car Accident Lawyers
Were you hurt in a collision in Austin caused by a driver making a careless or reckless left turn? If so, you’re not alone, and you have the right to take legal action if you were severely hurt, or worse, if you lost a loved one in a crash. Call the Austin car accident attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury to understand your rights and options.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association studied the primary causes of car accidents throughout the country. They found that 61% of crashes occurred while a motorist was making a left turn, as opposed to only 3.1% involving turning right. That statistic shows the dangers of turning left, whether you’re at a traffic light or crossing multiple lanes into a parking lot.
If you or your loved one was the victim of a left turn accident in Austin, you should call Gibson Hill Personal Injury today. We dedicate our time and attention to seeking justice for our clients. When someone else’s careless behavior causes you to sustain an injury, you should receive financial compensation from him or her. We believe in fighting for our clients’ rights and holding those responsible for your suffering.
The dangers of making a left turn exist because they require the appropriate judgment of an oncoming car’s speed, the duration of green and yellow lights, and whether other drivers will obey traffic laws. Turning left is more complicated than turning right because various factors exist that could lead to an issue if anyone involved makes a mistake.
Our attorneys will be ready to discuss your accident and how we can help you get justice when you call (713) 659-4000 or reach out to us online. Our consultations are always 100% free, and we won’t charge you anything until we win your case.
What Does “Right of Way” Mean When Driving in Austin?
The right of way describes which driver yields and which driver can continue driving. This type of law exists in many different scenarios. In the state of Texas, you must yield the right of way when you’re attempting to turn left in the following situations:
- If you’re traveling on an unpaved road towards an intersection, you must yield to any motorists driving on paved roads.
- If you’re approaching an intersection with drivers already stopped at it, you must yield to traffic to the right of your car.
- You’re required to yield to pedestrians crossing the street, as well as any drivers in the opposite lane.
- If you’re on a private road, driveway, or alley, you have to yield to any traffic already on the main street you’re attempting to enter.
- When an emergency vehicle approaches with their lights and sirens on, you’re required to pull over and allow them to pass.
Failing to observe the right of way laws when turning left in Texas can result in a moving violation ticket. You could face a fine up to $200 and two points on your driver’s license. If you fail to yield and it causes injury to another person, you could potentially pay up to $2,000 in fines and receive three points on your license. For severe injuries caused by failure to yield, the penalty goes up to as much as $4,000.
Any criminal action taken against the driver will be separate from your civil injury claim. The person doesn’t have to be found guilty in criminal court to be held accountable for your injuries in civil court.
Are Drivers Making a Left Turn Always at Fault for an Accident?
The short answer: not necessarily. It all depends on the specific traffic laws in place and if any of the other motorists involved created a hazardous situation. If another driver attempting to make a left turn crashed into you, you should follow these steps before leaving the scene.
- Call the police;
- Write down the other person’s name, vehicle information, and auto insurance information;
- Take pictures of the scene, including damage to the vehicles;
- Seek medical attention from the EMS personnel or at the hospital;
- File an insurance claim with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company; and
- Speak to an auto accident attorney.
If the officer at the scene determines the other driver involved in the accident caused it, you could seek compensation from them or their insurance carrier. Depending on the severity of your injury, it’s possible to get reimbursed for your expenses. In cases where the other person’s actions were significantly reckless, you could potentially file a lawsuit against him or her.
In some crashes, more than one person is to blame. If you share some degree of fault, that could negatively impact the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive. The modified comparative fault rule calculates the dollar amount of the injured party’s expenses and their percentage of blame for the accident. That formula decides the maximum amount of money you’re allowed to receive. For example, if your total expenses are $100,000, but you’re 40% responsible for the collision, you’re allowed to seek no more than $60,000.
How Do I Know What Compensation I’m Entitled To?
Texas law requires all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance with minimum bodily injury limits. You could seek compensation for economic and noneconomic damages up to the maximum bodily injury limit on the at-fault driver’s policy.
Generally, the more serious your injury, the higher your settlement could be. When reviewing the details of your insurance claim, the assigned adjuster will consider the following factors:
- The severity of your injury. Minor cuts and scrapes would generate a smaller settlement amount than a traumatic brain injury.
- Costs of medical treatment and other related expenses.
- Missed time from work.
- How modified comparative fault will apply.
- Insurance coverage of both drivers.
- Amount of evidence and documentation provided.
When your Austin left turn accident lawyer negotiates with the insurance company, we will try to get the full compensation allowed. If we can’t agree on an appropriate settlement amount, we’re fully prepared to take your case to trial. We’ll file a lawsuit against the negligent driver for punitive damages.
What Are Economic, Noneconomic, and Punitive Damages?
Three types of damages exist in car accident cases: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Economic damages are expenses resulting from the treatment of your injuries. In contrast, noneconomic damages are intangible losses, such as emotional pain. Both economic and noneconomic damages come from the insurance company to reimburse you for your losses, while punitive damages come from the individual who caused the crash.
The economic and noneconomic damages you could seek compensation for include the following:
- Medical bills: Costs related to medically necessary treatment, such as physical therapy, surgery, and home health care.
- Property damage: Repair or replacement of your vehicle involved in the accident.
- Household services: Payments made to another person to complete chores you’re unable to do because of your injury.
- Vocational rehabilitation: Training and assistance to find a new job if the injuries prevent you from returning to your current job.
- Lost wages: Pay you can’t earn because your recovery requires taking time away from work.
- Loss of earning capacity: The decrease in pay resulting from your inability to fulfill the requirements of your job.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering: Significant physical pain and emotional trauma experienced after the accident occurred, such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Loss of consortium: A spouse or child could claim this damage for compensation due to the negative effect the accident had on their relationship with the victim.
An experienced injury attorney can explain what compensation you’re owed, depending on the specifics of your case.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Auto Insurance?
In situations where the person who caused the accident doesn’t carry insurance, you could file a claim with your insurance. There are four kinds of coverage you could use to pay for your expenses. Under Texas law, you don’t have to purchase these coverages; however, they’re available as an addition to your policy.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: UM reimburses your medical costs and other losses if the liable driver doesn’t carry insurance or their bodily injury limit isn’t high enough.
- Personal Injury Protection: PIP pays for medical treatment upfront, much like health insurance, up to the limit you chose on your policy.
- Medical Payments: Medpay, which is similar to PIP, also covers medical costs upfront.
- Collision: Covers necessary payments for the repair or replacement of your car.
You should review your insurance policy after your accident to find out what coverages apply to your situation. If you didn’t choose any of the options above when you purchased your auto policy, you could end up paying out of pocket expenses. It may seem like unnecessary protection but could save you a lot of money in the long run if a motorist hits you without liability insurance.
Contact an Experienced Austin Left Turn Accident Lawyer
Our team of knowledgeable and skilled Austin car accident attorneys is available 24/7 to chat with you about your accident and answer all your questions. We believe in taking an individualized approach to each case to ensure we fulfill your goals.
If you’re worried about how you’re going to afford a lawyer, give us a call. We work on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront costs or fees when you retain our firm. We only get paid if you get paid. Additionally, we provide a free consultation so you can seek the legal advice you need with no risk or obligation.
Call (713) 659-4000 today if you or your loved one were hurt in a left turn accident in Austin. We’ll be ready to seek the maximum amount of compensation possible to help you recover and put this incident behind you.