Left turn car accidents occur more often than you might believe. There are various reasons why these types of car crashes can happen. That is why it is important to understand the cause of the accident so you can ensure you are not unjustly held at fault. If you or a family member was the victim in a left turn car accident, contact an experienced Fayetteville AR car accident lawyer. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, recognizes how a devastating car accident can affect the life of a victim, and he is here to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak is here to explain how Arkansas determines fault in left-turn car accidents.
Common Causes of Left Turn Car Accidents
To avoid being assigned a percentage of fault for a left turn car crash in an intersection in Arkansas, a plaintiff should ensure they document all of the details of the accident that can support their claim. A left turn car accident may occur under a variety of circumstances. One of the most common causes of left-turn car accidents is the failure to use a turning signal to notify motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians where a driver intends to go.
Other common causes of left-turn vehicle collisions include:
- Failure to notice other motorists or cyclists in a blind spot
- The obstruction of the driver’s view
- Misjudging the distance of the intersection
- Failing to notice pedestrians that are in the crosswalk
- Quickly attempting to make a left turn despite the proximity of oncoming traffic
This not an exhaustive list. There are other causes of left-turn car crashes like abusing alcohol prior to driving.
If you believe that you did not commit any of these actions listed above and should not be held at fault for a car accident, our firm can help you organize the details of your case. You should not lose thousands of dollars in damages because of the sole actions of a negligent motorist. Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible because your personal injury lawsuit is subject to the statute of limitations. This means you only have a limited amount of time to file your case with a court.
How Arkansas Determines Fault in Left Turn Car Accidents
If a driver is held at fault for an accident, they will be on the hook for a number of issues. For example, the negligent driver’s insurance company will have to compensate the victim, and the driver may also be sued in court to recover additional damages. That is why a victim of a car accident needs to document the accident to ensure they are not assigned any fault for the accident.
Personal injury lawsuits based on negligence require a plaintiff to prove all the following elements to win their lawsuit:
- The defendant (negligent driver) owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff suffered injuries or financial losses that can be compensated by a court.
To determine the level of fault to assign to a defendant in a negligence claim, the jury or the judge will look at the circumstances of the case. For example, if one or both parties were exceeding the speed limit when the accident occurred, this can affect the level of fault for both parties.
Accident Liability and the Arkansas Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Arkansas has adopted the “modified comparative negligence” rule to decide the level of negligence exhibited by a defendant or a plaintiff. Under the modified comparative negligence rule, each party will be assigned a percentage of fault. If a plaintiff is assigned any percentage of fault, their damages will be decreased by that percentage if they prevail. For example, if a jury decided a plaintiff was one percent negligent while a defendant was 99 percent negligent, the damages awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced by 1 percent.
It is important to note that Arkansas also follows the “50 percent rule” in claims based on negligence. The 50 percent rule states that if a plaintiff’s percentage of fault is equal to or greater than 50 percent, they will be barred from an award of damages for their case. There are various scenarios where a court may decide that a plaintiff was 50 percent negligent or exceeded 50 percent of negligence. For example, if a pedestrian had their head down texting and suddenly darted into the street while a motorist was making a left turn, they could share equal fault with the motorist that failed to watch for pedestrians.
While the 50 percent rule will bar recovery for a plaintiff, a plaintiff can still be assigned an enormous percentage of fault and still recover. For example, if a jury decides that a plaintiff was 49.9% liable for the left turn car accident, they are still eligible to receive 50.1% of damages for their injuries and other related expenses. While this rule may seem unfair, it allows plaintiffs to recover despite possibly being assigned an unwarranted level of fault.
Our Committed Arkansas Left Turn Car Accident Attorney is Ready to Work with You
If you were injured in a left turn car accident due to the negligence of another motorist, consult with an experienced Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer. With over 20 years of legal experience, Ken Kieklak has exhibited his commitment to helping victims of car accidents hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal situation, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact our firm online.
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