You are driving east on PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens, and you are in the process of making a left turn into the Garden Square Shopping Center and you believe you are doing it safely but a vehicle driving west on PGA Blvd crashes into the rear of your vehicle.
Florida Statutes 316.122 states as follows: The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or alley, private road, et cetera, shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
What does that mean? It means that a driver who is making a left turn must do so safely to avoid an accident. Normally, when a driver makes a left turn, and an accident occurs the driver making a left turn is found to be a fault. However, there are exceptions to this finding of negligence for the vehicle making a left turn.
When is a Driver Making a Left Turn Not at fault or Comparatively at Fault?
If you are making a left turn and you are involved in a crash with the vehicle driving in the opposite direction an officer will likely find that you did not make the turn safely, but the following are situations where a vehicle coming from the opposite direction will be a fault:
• The vehicle driving in the opposite direction gave the driver making the left turn the impression they were turning right because they were in the right-hand turn lane with their right turn signal on but at the last second changed lanes and decided to travel straight.
• The driver traveling in the opposite direction quickly changes lanes without signaling.
• The driver traveling in the opposite direction is traveling at an excessive speed.
• The driver traveling in the opposite direction does not have their vehicle lights on.
The state of Florida has a Comparative Fault system which means that fault can be allocated to all drivers according to the level of fault given to them. For example, the driver making the left turn can be found to be 0% at fault or 80% at fault and likewise, the driver traveling in the opposite direction can be found to be 10% at fault or 75% at fault. A determination of fault is very fact-intensive and largely based on sworn statements, black box data, and at times accident reconstructionists.
Contact the Ledezma Law Firm at 561-454-9727 or email attorney Renier Ledezma at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you if you are involved in an accident and help you understand the law in making left turns and how it will affect you and your family. We can help you whether you are in Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, Okeechobee, or anywhere in South Florida.