Santa Monica Left-Turn Accident Attorney

The law recognizes that a left turn is a dangerous maneuver because the left turning vehicle enters the lane of traffic for other vehicles. In fact, federal statistics show that a left turn is the most dangerous maneuver a motorist may execute, and thus great caution must always be undertaken.  Motorcyclists are particularly at risk with about 42 percent of personal injury accidents occur when a car is turning left and the motorcycle is going straight.

California requires that the left turning motorist signal the intent to make a left turn at least 100 feet before reaching an intersection. In addition to giving the proper signal, the driver is required to make a proper observation that the turn could be made without endangering a passing vehicle.  The burden placed upon a left-turning motorist is not discharged by the mere signaling of an intention to turn. The giving of a signal is immaterial if at the time the driver of the turning vehicle did not have the opportunity to make the turn in safety.

The left turning motorist also has the duty to yield to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.  The left turning motorist must also keep a proper lookout for pedestrian crossing the roadway.  Sixty percent of the pedestrians injured in accidents are involved in left-turn collisions.

Once the evidence establishes that the turning motorist was attempting to make a left turn when the accident occurred, the burden of proof shifts to the motorist to absolve himself of liability. In other words, there is a presumption of negligence when it is proved that the driver executed a left-hand turn and crossed the center line at the time of the impact. If the left-turning motorist is faced with a green arrow left-turn signal, he must prove that he was making such a turn while the arrow was green, or that he had pre-empted the intersection.

Exceptions to this rule are difficult to prove, but they can occur if the car going straight was going well over the speed limit, the car going straight went through a red light, or the left turning car began its turn when it was safe, but something unexpected made it slow down or stop.  The left-turning motorist’s duty to yield is inapplicable where the intersection is controlled by an inoperative traffic signal. Any motorist approaching such an intersection is required to utilize a high degree of caution.

You need an attorney well versed in left turn accidents who will get you the right medical personnel to get you care you need and a settlement commensurate with your injury today and the consequences tomorrow.


Liberty & Associates has the experience and knowledge needed when encountering any left turn accidents. With over three decades of experience, Liberty & Associates has the resources and is the dedicated Santa Monica left turn accident lawyer you need to follow through with your claim.

Liberty & Associates will thoroughly investigate the facts of the accident or incident in order to determine the legal strategy to take in your particular situation. During your initial consultation, we will fully discuss your case, including potential sources of information not readily apparent, including potential witnesses, video and audio recording which must be acquired quickly before they are recorded over, law enforcement reports and investigation whose initial conclusions can be altered if quickly dealt with early on. Liberty & Associates will try to answer all of your questions. The firm is committed to providing you personal attention throughout the course of your claim and will pursue every possible means of compensation on your behalf. Whether you have medical costs, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, our efforts will be towards maximizing your potential settlement.

It is never easy to get through a difficult situation where you suffer a left turn accident. We strive to provide caring and compassionate representation.  Our goal is simple: resolve your claim fairly, effortlessly and as quickly as possible.  If your case requires that a lawsuit be pursued, rest assured that the experienced and successful attorneys at Liberty & Associates will still have the same goal.

Contact Liberty & Associates to discuss your left turn accident claim.


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