Lawyer for Left Turn Accidents in Miami, FL
Left-turn collisions occur when a car, truck or motorcycle initiates a left turn in front of an oncoming driver. For obvious reasons, these accidents primarily happen at intersections. Left turn accidents usually occur when one driver is trying to pass another vehicle that is waiting for oncoming traffic, is driving into an intersection without proper authority, or is trying to beat a turn signal that is changing colors. If you have been injured in a left turn car accident, you can claim compensation by filing a car accident injury claim. You may recover damages such as your medical expenses, any wages that you may have lost because of your injuries and recovery, and any pain that you have suffered.
Left Turn Accidents and Collisions in Miami, FL
Florida law states that the driver of a vehicle intending to turn right at an intersection shall make the turn as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. As for left turns, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle, and, after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered. A person riding a bicycle and intending to turn left in accordance with this section is entitled to the full use of the lane from which the turn may legally be made. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
Additionally, Florida law states that if any governing authority (state, county, or local) installs a traffic control device at an intersection, then the driver must obey that traffic device. This is true even if that device directs the drivers to take a different course than what is provided in Florida Statute 316.151. In sum, Florida law determines how a driver is to turn at an intersection unless a traffic light instructs otherwise.
Negligence for Violating Florida’s Left Turn Law
In Florida, we have statutory traffic laws that govern how drivers are to make left turns on all public roadways. If a driver does not abide by these road rules, then the law dictates that a driver should be issued a ticket, or even fined. However, driving is also governed by Florida common law, which is created by our judicial system from previous court decisions. Thus, any driver making a left turn who crashes into another vehicle may be held liable under Florida common law or court-created negligence law, as well as statutory motor vehicle laws. Florida’s traffic statutes dovetail with common law to assist a car accident victim in recovering compensation for his or her injuries. The key for finding liability in these car accidents is to establish that the driver failed to meet his or her “duty of care” to oncoming traffic while making a left turn.
Damages in left turn accident cases fall into two major categories which are generally described as economic and general non-economic damages. Economic damages are, generally speaking, out-of-pocket damages. They are damages that can be measured and calculated, and they are typically represented by expenses actually incurred or those which can be reasonably anticipated in the future. Economic damages are easier to calculate accurately because documents and medical bills and records are used to determine the amount of damages and prove them. On the other hand, non-economic damages compensate injured victims for both physical and mental losses. Non-economic damages usually include the physical and emotional distress resulting from the accident that affects a person’s very quality of life. These are commonly stated to as damages for pain and suffering and mental anguish. Noneconomic damages may include significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; permanent injury within a justifiable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; and permanent scarring or disfigurement. Types of Noneconomic Damages include physical pain, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and loss of consortium.
What you should do If You Have Been in a Left-Turn Car Accident
Get Medical Treatment:
Florida has Personal Injury Protection (also called “PIP” or “no fault”) automobile insurance. Under Florida’s PIP laws, drivers are required to carry insurance to cover the driver’s own injuries and lost wages, regardless of whether the accident was the driver’s fault or the fault of the other driver. Under Florida’s new PIP law, an injured driver must seek treatment within fourteen days to receive PIP benefits. If you have PIP automobile insurance, you should consult your family doctor or go to an emergency room as soon as possible—even if you do not think your injuries are severe. Some injuries do not manifest themselves immediately after an accident. You do not want to be prevented from recovering PIP benefits because of this technicality.
In Florida, you must immediately contact law enforcement for accidents involving an injury, death, or property damage greater than $500. See Fla. Stat. § 316.065. The police officer will submit a report for these types of accidents. For accidents that do not require a police report (such as minor car damage), or where no police investigation is conducted, the driver must file a crash report within ten days. See Fla. Stat. § 316.066. The reports can be obtained at the DMV or online on the DMV website. Like any type of car accident, you should call the police if there’s significant damage and once it’s safe to do so. The officer will file an official report, which will be crucial evidence if you intend to pursue damages against the parties responsible.
Gather Evidence of the Accident:
The police will gather evidence in an official report, but you should also make note of what happened for your own records. Again, when it’s safe to do so, write down or record a message or video explaining what happened and all other details relevant to the accident. If issues arise when you file a claim, the information that you collect can be very helpful in proving your case.
Take Pictures of the Scene of the Accident:
It is important to take photographs of the damage to your vehicle following a left turn car accident in Florida. If you are able to take photographs of the other vehicle(s) involved, do so. Most cellular phones have cameras built in. If it is safe to do so, take a picture of the accident scene prior to the vehicles being towed away.
Notify Your Auto Insurance Company:
If you have any claim, you must contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. The insurance company should provide you with the appropriate forms for the claim. Ensure that the forms are filled out correctly and completely and take a copy for yourself. An insurance agent will assist in filing the claim. Once you’re home safe after a left turn car accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible, but you can check your policy to see what the exact deadline is.
Left Turn Accident Claims and Settlement
An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the claims process and offer expert insight on how to proceed in every aspect of your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is a very important decision. Your lawyer will represent your interests in settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company and may have to represent you in court should you and your attorney decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is in your best interest. You should make sure that your attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.
Call our Lawyers to Discuss your Left Turn Accident Case
Left turn accidents can lead to serious injuries. After any type of accident, you should consider talking to a car accident lawyer to learn what your rights and obligations are under the law. Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gap insurance is not required by Florida law, but some drivers are required to pay for gap insurance as a condition on their lease or auto loan. If you loaned or leased a fairly new vehicle, gap insurance can be valuable because you may owe more money on the car than the car is currently worth, as measured by the vehicle’s actual cash value. As your car ages, its value drops quickly, and most policies only cover a vehicle’s current value. Once you have gap insurance, make sure to periodically monitor your vehicle’s change in value over time and compare that to your loan balance. As soon as you’re no longer “upside down” (you owe less than your car is worth) you can go ahead and remove gap insurance coverage from your vehicle.
Not always. You should never reveal provide a statement to a claim’s adjustor, whether the at-fault party’s or your own, without first speaking with a lawyer. If you’ve filed a lawsuit, offering a voluntary statement serves no purpose. Your statement will be given at deposition. In less serious cases where a lawsuit probably won’t be filed, many attorneys will only allow their clients to give a recorded statement with the attorney present. That way, the attorney can keep their client from saying anything that may hurt their claim.
The overall purpose of an interview that follows a car accident is to determine how the accident was caused and the extent of your injuries and any property damage. In these interviews with insurance representatives, it is important to be as honest, but do not make assumptions or provide information if you’re unsure. Some of the most common questions insurance adjusters will ask you after a left turn car accident are: When did the accident occur? Where was the accident? Who was involved? Did you have passengers? How did the accident take place? Who do you think was at fault? Which direction were you heading? Did you see or hear anything that can help determine the cause? Were you hurt? If so, what injuries did you sustain? Was a police report filed?
Gaps or delay in receiving medical treatment for your injuries can decrease the value of your personal injury settlement. This allows the defendant’s insurance company to downplay the severity of your injuries by arguing that you delayed in receiving medical treatment. TIP: Remember, in Florida, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage will not pay medical bills if the patient waits more than 14 days to receive treatment.