Right turns are both convenient and legal in Texas. But when drivers fail to take proper precautions, other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists may be injured in the process. If a crash occurs, the driver turning right is often liable. However, proving liability for a right-turn crash is often complex. As an injured victim in this situation, you have the burden of proving negligence to recover the compensation you need for your medical costs and other losses.
At Anderson & Cummings we discuss right turns in Texas, including how they are supposed to happen and who can be liable when another party’s negligence during a right turn leads to a crash.
Injured by another driver’s negligence? If so, we are prepared to discuss your situation and help you navigate the complicated legal process. Our experienced car crash attorneys in Fort Worth have the experience, knowledge and resources to fight for the compensation you need. Call today to learn about your potential legal options.
Request your FREE case review today. (817) 920-9000
What Is a Right-Turn Crash in Texas?
A right-turn crash in Texas refers to an accident that happens when a vehicle executing a right turn collides with another vehicle, person, cyclist or stationary object. This type of crash may occur at intersections controlled by traffic signals, stop signs, or even when entering a roadway from a private drive.
How Does Texas Determine Liability for a Right-Turn Collision?
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence system to assess liability for right-turn collisions. This means that investigators evaluate each party’s actions leading up to the accident to determine their share of fault. They gather some evidence traffic camera footage, if available, and what witnesses have to say. They also examine vehicle damage, as well as the crash scene.
For a right-hand turn, police responding to the scene will check to see if the driver violated any traffic laws, such as failing to yield to oncoming vehicles.
If you are the injured party and contributed to the crash in some way, you may still have a case. However, you cannot be more than 50 percent liable. If you are 51 percent or more at fault for the crash, you will not be eligible to recover any damages.
Who May Be Held Liable for a Right-Turn Collision?
It is important to point out that a right turn that leads to a crash does not automatically mean the driver turning right is at fault. Statistically speaking, that is often the case. However, police and crash scene investigators must still examine all the evidence to determine who may be liable.
The reality is that multiple parties can be found either fully liable or partially liable for a right-turn crash, including:
- The Driver Making the Turn: Drivers who violate their duty of care, such as by failing to yield the right of way, ignoring traffic signals, or turning without ensuring the lane is clear, could be held liable for the damages if a crash occurs.
- Other Drivers: Sometimes other motorists may share liability or be fully liable. For instance, if they were speeding through an intersection, disobeying traffic laws or driving under the influence.
- Pedestrians and Cyclists: If vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, cross against signals or move unpredictably, they may contribute to the cause of the accident. Depending on the situation, these individuals may share at least partial liability if their negligence contributes to a crash.
- Government Bodies: Municipal or state entities could be liable if poor road conditions or inadequate signage played a role in the crash.
How Do Right-Turn Crashes Happen in Fort Worth?
These accidents often result from a failure of the right-turning driver – or other motorists – to properly check for oncoming traffic. However, right-turning crashes can also result from negligent pedestrians or cyclists.
Common types of driver negligence that may cause a right-turn crash include:
- Failing to yield to traffic before proceeding to turn
- Misjudging the distance of oncoming vehicles
- Turning from the wrong lane (such as crossing over other lanes to turn)
- Failing to yield to cyclists, pedestrians and scooter riders
- Not fully stopping before starting to make a right turn
- Not properly checking blind spots before turning
- Beginning to turn while distracted by a call, texting or something else
Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users may also contribute to a right-turn crash by:
- Crossing when the “do not walk” signal is displayed
- Darting out into the street without looking
If you or someone close to you suffer injuries from a right-turn collision, we strongly recommend seeking legal help as soon as possible after the crash.
The knowledgeable attorneys at our firm are prepared to fully investigate the crash that caused you harm, identifying the cause of the crash, along with any other contributing factors involved.
How Do I Prove Fault for a Right-Turn Collision?
Proving fault involves gathering concrete evidence such as photographs from the scene, your police report, medical records and other documents. Dash cam or traffic cam footage, when available, is hard to refute and can help to show what happened. Credible witnesses may have seen more of what happened leading up to the crash.
Demonstrating that the actions or negligence of one party directly led to the collision is key to establishing liability. If there is no negligence, there is no case. Our experienced lawyers know what evidence is needed and how to get it.
Steps Drivers Can Take To Avoid a Right-Hand Turn Crash
To prevent right-turn crashes, drivers making this maneuver should always:
- Be sure it is safe to proceed: Always check mirrors, the road and any blind spots before turning.
- Adhere to traffic laws: Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians as required by law.
- Use turn signals: Signal well before making a turn to alert others of your intentions.
- Reduce speed: Lower your speed to have more control and reaction time during the turn.
- Exercise patience: Only make the turn when you have a clear and safe opportunity; do not make rushed decisions.
Pedestrians, Cyclists and Scooter Riders Can Also Help To Avoid Right-Turn Crashes
Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or other vulnerable road user, you have a legal duty to help prevent crashes. The good news is that taking proper precautions also protects you. It is not a good idea to put all the responsibility for safety in the hands of drivers you do not know.
To protect your safety, be sure to:
- Always check both ways for traffic, even if you have the right of way
- Do not get distracted by your cellphone or other conversations
- Wear reflective clothing at night to make it easier for drivers to see you
- At crossing areas, be sure traffic has fully stopped before stepping onto the road
By following these guidelines, drivers and others sharing Texas roads can help to minimize the risk of right-turn collisions. If you get injured by another’s negligence, despite your best efforts, it is vital to seek legal help.
Injured in a Right-Turn Crash? Call Our Trusted Law Firm for Help
At Anderson & Cummings, our priority is to get our clients full and fair compensation so they can get back to living their lives. We are deeply committed to holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligent actions.
If you have legal questions or are unsure if you have a case, we want to hear from you. We are prepared to review your situation and help determine potential legal options.
There is no cost for a legal consultation. There are also no upfront fees to pay. We only get paid when your case concludes if we win you compensation through a settlement or jury-awarded verdict.
Schedule a FREE consultation to learn more (817) 920-9000.