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Who Is Responsible for a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident in California?

Picture of Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents are often the result of negligence of other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), left turn motorcycle accidents account for 42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle. Below, our San Jose motorcycle accident attorneys explain left turn motorcycle accidents. We also explain accident responsibility and how a lawyer can help after an accident.

What Is a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident?

A left turn motorcycle accident occurs when another motor vehicle turns left into a motorcyclist’s right-of-way. These accidents often happen at intersections. The motorist may hit the motorcyclist with his or her vehicle. However, even if an impact does not occur, the motorcyclist may suffer catastrophic injuries when trying to avoid the accident.

Many left turn motorcycle accidents occur because the motorist does not see the motorcyclist. It is the motorist’s responsibility to check for any oncoming traffic (including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists) and proceed with caution while turning. As a motorcyclist, you can follow important motorcycle safety tips to stay visible and to help protect yourself from an accident.

Who Is At Fault for a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident?

When making a left turn at an intersection, a motorist must give the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. Under California Vehicle Code § 21801, a motorist who intends to turn left must yield to oncoming traffic that poses a hazard until the turn can be made with reasonable safety. Generally, this means that the motorcyclist riding straight through a green light or intersection has the right-of-way.

It is not uncommon that the at-fault driver will try to place some of the blame on the motorcyclist. The motorist may claim that the motorcyclist was speeding or “came out of nowhere.” When a comparative negligence defense is pursued by one of the people involved in the accident, it is up to the judge or jury to determine the percentage of liability each party has for the injuries. It is important to have a San Jose motorcycle accident attorney on your side to make sure you recover the compensation you need after an accident.

How Can a Motorcycle Attorney Help After a Left Turn Motorcycle Accident?

Injuries after getting hit on a motorcycle can knock you out of work for a long time or cause permanent damage that makes life feel impossible. Our San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience using California motorcycle laws to help our clients recover. We can investigate the scene of the accident, gather important evidence, interview witnesses and build your case.

If you have been injured in a left turn motorcycle accident, contact a San Jose motorcycle accident attorney from our firm. During a consultation, we can help you understand your best legal options at no cost to you. Call us today at (408) 956-6949 or fill out our online contact form.