Florida drivers are no strangers to the dreaded right turn onto high-traffic roadways or crosswalks that seem to magically fill with pedestrians as soon as you look away. Despite the caution exercised by drivers, right-turn crashes still happen. That makes it important to know who’s at fault for a right-turn crash.
Florida law requires drivers who are making a right turn to turn as close as possible to the right edge or curb of the roadway. This ensures that you stay in the appropriate lane when you merge onto the target street or highway.
Who has the right of way?
One of the most important things to remember when making a right turn is that through traffic has the right of way; That means you have to yield to oncoming traffic, regardless of how long you’ve been waiting at the intersection.
Arguably the most important right-of-way rule is the right-turn drivers must yield to bicyclists and pedestrians. Whether you are turning right at a green, yellow, or red light, all drivers must yield to those using a crosswalk. In instances of jaywalking, the turning car must still yield.
Who is at fault for a right-turn crash?
In many right-turn crash cases, the driver who made the right turn is found to be at fault. According to Florida law, a driver must slow or, if required, stop at an intersection before making any turn.
As such, the law states that any driver involved in a crash with a pedestrian or bicyclist is considered to be at fault for failing to yield unless there is evidence proving otherwise.
Right-turn crashes can be caused by the turning driver:
- Misjudging the distance between oncoming cars
- Not entering the flow of traffic at the required speed
- Not staying in the proper lane when turning
- Not yielding to pedestrians or bicyclists
- Not completely stopping at an intersection before making the right turn
However, the turning driver is not always found to be at fault, such as in cases in which the turning driver was hit by a through driver running a red light.
With Florida law often assuming drivers are at fault for a right-turn crash, you must work with an experienced Florida traffic crash lawyer who can successfully challenge that assumption in court.
What do I do if I’ve been in a right-turn crash?
While at the Crash Scene
Take stock of the situation and check yourself and passengers for injuries. If you need emergency medical attention, stay where you are and call 911. Emergency authorities will provide further instruction.
Consult with the other person(s) involved in the crash and then move your vehicle(s) out of the path of moving traffic; Florida law requires you to do your best to clear the roadway for oncoming vehicles. Make sure to call authorities to get an official accident report, which can be used when filing an insurance claim and in any related right-turn crash lawsuit.
After Leaving the Crash Scene
Once that’s complete, contact a seasoned Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Car crashes can cause serious injury and death. A right-turn crash lawsuit can help you pay for car repairs or a replacement vehicle, medical expenses, loss of income, and other costs that start to add up as soon as one car touches another.
It’s essential that you have a Florida car accident lawyer who will help you to get the compensation you deserve. Don’t let an auto insurance company — yours or the other driver’s — force you to settle for less.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey, & Fronrath today for a free right-turn crash case consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.