Left-turn Accident, advice please?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JerseyFoo, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. JerseyFoo

    JerseyFoo 1/g = g-1

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    I read online that at an intersection, the driver making a left turn during a collision is at fault 99% of the time. I was just involved in such a accident last night. Both sides had a green light, a 25 MPH residential-commercial zone, I was required to yield to oncoming traffic. I stopped, left signal on, determined I had ample time to execute the turn and did so.

    I saw a flash of light; suddenly there's an airbag in my face, and something kicked me in the shin. A jeep smashed into the front-right side of the vehicle. I hurt my leg, my car is totaled, he was left relatively unharmed. After the accident I was in a complete state of shock, my hands were painfully cold and I couldn't think straight.

    I told the cop the first oncoming car I saw was at least 100 ft away, I had ample time to make the turn, and that I was shocked and didn't understand how it could have happened. The other driver said he had been looking down, looked up, saw me, and slammed on his brakes. There is no indication he even attempted to avoid or reduce the accident, no skid marks and his car was straight.

    I racked my brain for hours trying to figure out how I could allow this to happen... and finally as I was trying to sleep I re-visualized the accident in order and realized he didn't have his lights on. I couldn't see him, and he apparently wasn't even looking.

    I called about a dozen people this morning, and finally found a friendly business; Phantom Fireworks, who after 30 minutes of searching the tape found that the other driver did not have his lights on, and had turned them on immediately before the accident. The tape is of poor quality, and they are currently requesting permission from corporate to release the footage.

    I'm 19, from New Jersey, the accident occurred in PA. I don't believe the police officer gave it a second thought that the accident was entirely my fault.

    What should I do? Helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. I have contacted my insurance company; 4 times. I had just bought the car, and put a lot of effort into fixing it up, there's no way I can return to college if I'm deemed liable.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. monoVertex

    monoVertex I'm back!

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    I think that he is to be hold liable, but I am not familiar with the auto laws in your area. Your best bet is to talk to a lawyer. Here in Romania, that's the only way to change this kind of things, by bringing it to court.
     
  3. DDRtists

    DDRtists ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ ɹǝdns Staff Member

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    Sorry to break it to you, but the statement "the driving making a left turn is at fault 99% of the time" is completely true, as with if you are behind the car you're almost always at fault. This is because, when making a left turn, you're supposed to scan and look for obstacles and other vehicles before going, and as you went and got in a wreck, it is your fault for not checking long/good enough. The only thing that MAY aid in your favor is if that company releases the footage of him not having his lights on, that may (not will, mind you) help you out.

    It sucks yeah, but sadly it's true.
    Edit: Note, at least here in California that is how it is. I'm pretty sure it's like that in most states in the US, not sure about other countries...
     
  4. FireCat

    FireCat Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!

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    Left hand turns are the most dangerous of all situations and you should avoid it much you can.



    Well, I'm sorry to say, but it's your fault. Just be thankful that nothing serious has happened.
     
  5. DDRtists

    DDRtists ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ ɹǝdns Staff Member

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    You are not a lawyer, FireCat. That is if it was a basic turn, where both cars were in the legal state and one person made a operation mistake. In this case, the other driver was NOT in a legal state when the wreck occurred, his/her lights were off. Therefore, other variables come into play, and it isn't like a normal wreck case.
     
  6. JerseyFoo

    JerseyFoo 1/g = g-1

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    >Firecat
    He wasn't visible. He even had his windshield wipers on after the accident from when he was fumbling trying to turn the headlights on. Going by the damage to my car, he was also likely speeding.
     
  7. esb

    esb Because none of us are as cruel as all of us.

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    Take it to court if you can get the video. It would prove that his lights were off, and possibly that he was speeding.

    Good luck.
     
  8. FireCat

    FireCat Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!

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    Just have one question, Was it evening? dark?
     
  9. sqrage

    sqrage Moderator Staff Member

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    "last night," I would assume so.

    I think if you get the video showing his lights off you'd win the case. I don't have any experience with this stuff though, but that's the way I see it from a layman standpoint.
     
  10. JerseyFoo

    JerseyFoo 1/g = g-1

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    I can't believe I didn't establish that, sorry. The intersection was pitch black, besides of course the dim traffic lights.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...d=8gG0EY02lnNz7UaD4Gf1Pw&cbp=12,40.48,,0,0.96

    It's hard to tell in the daytime, but this is where the main avenue transforms into the highway, there are no street lamps besides the ones in the parking lot.
     
  11. Samael88

    Samael88 Evil always finds a way

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    The video will likely help you a bit, but there are a few factors that way in here:
    Distance: How far out you where when you was hit, if you had time to go out halfway on a 25Mph street he should have had time to break if he was paying attention.
    Break lines: How long and how far away they are.
    Damage: The damage on your car, where and how much damage.

    The reason why you are most likely to lose is the dead angle thingy sadly enough.

    Even though there are a lot of factors determining the outcome of this you are most likely boned, I am sad to say that.

    I wish you luck and hope that that mess can be solved in your favor.
     
  12. JerseyFoo

    JerseyFoo 1/g = g-1

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    He had time to brake if he was paying attention, there's no mystery there.

    There were no brake lines, and he smashed my car about 2 feet in starting from the corner. Enough to bust the radiator wide open.

    There is a mark showing where the collision occurred, and a spill showing where I landed, he rotated my vehicle about 60 degrees. I had a 93 cadillac deville; a large sedan, he had a 91 jeep wranger; a small 4 x 4.
     

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  13. FireCat

    FireCat Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!

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    Okay Well, driving in the dark without lights that's insane. I think we all agree.
    And he should not get away with this.

    and if he did speeding. You must have an evidence to prove that.

    But both sides had a green light. hmm Anyway, I really do wish you good luck
     
  14. DDRtists

    DDRtists ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ ɹǝdns Staff Member

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    If it was only 2 feet away from you leaving the corner, sorry to say, even with his lights off, it's still going to probably end up being your fault as they're going to pull the whole "You didn't look enough" bull...

    I know all about this stupid legal system with wrecks, trust me there. I got in a wreck on my bike with a truck that did an illegal u-turn RIGHT in front of me, and despite doing the illegal u-turn, it was still my fault because I was behind the truck...
     
  15. azareus

    azareus And you know it.

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    As far as I understand, he stated that he looked down while driving through the intersection, AND had his lights off. That should make him liable for the accident. I don't know your countrys laws though.

    EDIT:
    Also, was the light a full circle or an arrow?
     
  16. DDRtists

    DDRtists ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ ɹǝdns Staff Member

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    That is the case...if he was to say the in court. Just because he said it to you, unless it's on tape or video of him saying that, you can't prove he ever said that...
     
  17. azareus

    azareus And you know it.

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    Wasn't the policeman there?
     
  18. Sajin

    Sajin User title under construction.

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    First thing, if the dude didn't have his lights on, it is entirely his fault
    second thing, you car wouldn't have been totaled in an accident where the colliding car was only going 25 miles an hour
    third thing, if his story is "true" which is most likely false according to the video, then why was he looking down? Most likely if he was younger, he was texting, which in my part of PA, is illegal

    So if you can't get the video, plead that there is no way that the accident would've resulted in that much damage is the man had been going the speed limit
    If you can get the video reinforce your case with saying he was most probably texting.

    also if anyone doesn't know
    edit:
    Also if it was a legit green light (not an arrow) then you didn't have to yield

    Your best chance is to get that video
    you might get help from this ->
    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/how-do-i-get-copies-of-evidence--i-e--video--photo-395517.html

    and this
    get an attorney to get the video for you my advice, otherwise it might be dismissed as inadmissible evidence
     
  19. FireCat

    FireCat Oh Shi.. Don't wake the tiger!

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    Seriously, Just be extra careful when you want to turn left.
     
  20. sqrage

    sqrage Moderator Staff Member

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    .
     

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