who is liable in this accident?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Okay, my girlfriend was in an accident this past weekend, and the cop blamed her.



I won?t tell you which car is hers, so you can be unbiased. I will eventually tell you which is which. Please discuss what car you think is liable and why. Please provide any laws or anything that can help. I am from Texas, but most laws are the same.



This takes place at a stoplight on a 4 lane street, 2 lanes going north and 2 going south.



The light has turned green and there is no green left-turn signal. A tan car is going to turn left onto another street, but can not because there is traffic coming from the other direction. So the car waits out in the street until the traffic is clear.



The light turns yellow. The tan car has to get out of the lane, so they turn left.



Just then a white truck comes through the light going the opposite way and hits the tan car.



The light was yellow when the truck came through, then it turned red during the wreck.



The tan car had turned just in front of the white truck, but had to get out of the lane.



The white truck had its front damaged, and the back and side of the tan car was damaged.





Which car was liable and why????



(let me know if this doesn't make sense)

dxp
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    I don't know how it is in your state but in NC it's illegal to roll into the intersection prior to turning. You've got to wait at the stop line until you can safely get out of the intersection. So, here at least, it would the tan car's fault because they never should have been in the intersection waiting in the first place. Keep in mind, I'm no lawyer, so I could be wrong, but that's my interpretation. Take that for what it's worth.
  • Reply 1 of 54
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    as i see it, the tan car should've slowly (or more slowly) pulled infront or towards the lane with the oncoming traffic. the tan car should've taken extra precaution not to stand in the way of moving traffic. now, depending on how distant the turn was for the tan car from the truck, the truck possibly should've seen the tan car coming, and attempted to avoid the situation. i think ultimately tho, it was the tan car that was at fault. or at least, based on the way i interpret your relaying the scene.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Well it's no great mystery that your girlfriend wass driving the tan car, and yes she is at fault, as is the driver of the truck (if indeed the light was changing from yellow to red)



    But good luck proving any of it. The left turning car has to WAIT untill there are no cars coming, period. It may not be your fault technically, if they other guy was speeding, or decided to "make the light" at the last minute. But like I said, it's virtually impossible to prove.



    When ALL lights are red, you then have a window to clear the intersection if you could not do so before the yellow expired.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    I would have to agree that the tan car is at fault. Even though the light is yellow, the white truck still had the right of way ( hes going straight, the tan car is turning left ). The tan car should have waited until all vechicles traveling in the opposite direction have stopped.



    In my state ( NY ), it is NOT illegal to go into the intersection while waiting for an opportunity to turn left. This is because there is so much traffic and no left turn signals at some intersections. No one would be able to turn left if they didn't do it when the light is yellow or just turned red.



    BTW, Matsu is right, it is obvious your girlfriend was in the tan car from the way you slanted your first message.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    [quote]Originally posted by torifile:

    <strong>I don't know how it is in your state but in NC it's illegal to roll into the intersection prior to turning. You've got to wait at the stop line until you can safely get out of the intersection.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    [quote]Originally posted by MasterZeus:

    <strong>In my state ( NY ), it is NOT illegal to go into the intersection while waiting for an opportunity to turn left. </strong><hr></blockquote>

    I'm interested in this - I always thought you were supposed to go 1/3 of the way into the intersection when turning left. Maybe it just varies by state. Anyone got any links about this?
  • Reply 6 of 54
    tooltool Posts: 242member
    I didn't read any of the replies, and my answer is this:



    The tan car due to it entering the intersection before it was clear (when the light was green) and turning on a caution (yellow).



    You see that white line that you are supposed to stop at?

    Well, you don't cross it until you are going to complete your turn.



    (want to know why I know? Former police officer here)
  • Reply 7 of 54
    tooltool Posts: 242member
    Ok, read the replies and most people got it correctly.



    I bet that it is illegal in NY too, they just don't enforce it. Surprised there isn't a big lawsuit yet...



    and yeah, I agree..she's in the tan car.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I'm in Canada so I don't know if our laws are different, but I distinctly remember my driver's ed teacher telling me to enter the intersection cautiously on green and wait untill there are no oncoming cars. Sometimes that doesn't happen untill the light goes completely red (what with heavy traffic, or drivers trying to "make the light", but that's how we were taught. I honestly don't see how anyone would ever be able to actually make a left at many of our city intersections unless they did it this way. A lot of intersetions have left turn lanes, but no dedicated left turn light or flashing signal.



    It can't be right that you do not enter the intersection at all. Well, it can be the law, but it needs a little attention because there are plenty of intersections where a left turn is a virtual impossibility otherwise.



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 9 of 54
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I agree Matsu, and I was taught the same. At a lot of intersections no one would ever make a left turn if you didn't pull into the intersection a little.



    But we now have a cop telling us that's wrong, so...
  • Reply 10 of 54
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I am going to disagree with everyone.



    I'd give a 75% the fault of the truck and 25% fault of the tan car.



    The damage to the tan car was towards the back, indicating that the truck had ample time to evaluate the situation and stop (or otherwise avoid the collision), but didn't.



    If the damage was on the front of the tan car, 100% tan car driver's fault.



    Next case!



    (Someone move this to AO)



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 54
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    I was taught the same thing about left turns. In fact, I flip out when I get stuck behind a driver (almost always an old woman) stays way back at the stop light.



    There are intersections I know that don't have turn lights, and only 3-4 cars get to turn at each light change. This is because when the light turns green, the first couple of cars go out into the intersection to wait for a spot. MAYBE one gets to go, but that's it... you're basically sitting there waiting for a yellow. Then 2 or 3 cars get to go through AFTER ALL ONCOMING TRAFFIC HAS STOPPED.



    If no one left the stop line to get out in the intersection, and no one went through on the yellow, they'd be sitting there until traffic slowed down at 6pm.



    Your girlfriend normally should have been able to turn towards the end of that yellow, but she also should be watching the oncoming traffic. I don't know how you'd prove just how late the truck was running the light, etc. There were probably lots of witnesses, but since this thing happened in seconds, they'll all be conflicting, no doubt.



    Just be glad she's alive, dude.



    Oh, and I'm moving this to Apple Outsider.



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
  • Reply 12 of 54
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    [quote]Originally posted by murbot:

    <strong>I don't know how you'd prove just how late the truck was running the light</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Easy, the damage is towards the back of her car.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    [quote]I bet that it is illegal in NY too, they just don't enforce it.<hr></blockquote>



    Nope. I'm from NY, too, and they actually encouraged us to do this when I took driver's education. I'm guessing they wouldn't tell you to do anything illegal, but you never know... <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />



    -Mike
  • Reply 14 of 54
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    When I took driver's ed 10 years ago, they also told us that. The law changed some time in the last 7 or 8 years, probably to cover their asses. I agree, though, you've got to roll out into an intersection and it's not a very well enforced rule at all. But I'm sure it comes in handy in a situation like this. No guessing about seconds, etc. It's clear it was the tan car's fault.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    tooltool Posts: 242member
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    Easy, the damage is towards the back of her car.<hr></blockquote>



    Unless the tan car sped up..or slowed down. See..many variables. Best thing to do would be to get traffic reconstructionists who specialize in skid marks and all that. But since there were no deaths or serious injuries, doubt they would do that.
  • Reply 16 of 54
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    She could have blatantly cut the guy off and gunned the car, even if he immediately hits the brakes to avoid hitting her, it'd be easy for him to hit her towards the rear of the vehicle.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    g4dudeg4dude Posts: 1,016member
    Here in Oregon, we are taught to pull out about 30-40% of the way into the intersection. So here it is legal. If the damage had been on the front of the car, it would have clearly been the tan cars fault. BUT, since the damage was in the back, it is the trucks fault because they clearly ran the red light.



    I witnessed the exact same type of wreck when I was in Dallas just a couple of weeks ago. The car turned about half way through the yellow, and on came a truck flooring it and going through the light on the red. He hit the back part of the turning car and it was clearly the trucks fault.



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: G4Dude ]</p>
  • Reply 18 of 54
    chaleschales Posts: 16member
    From the DMV website of California:



    "When you turn left, give the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching you that are close enough to be dangerous. Look for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. On divided highways, or highways with several lanes, watch out for vehicles coming in any lane you must cross. Turn left only when you can see that it is safe."
  • Reply 19 of 54
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    are you people on drugs??? It was the dude in the WHITE UNMARKED VAN, maaan! He's the one ... he's the one who caused it all to happen that way. CIA, maaan. They're freakin' everywhere!



    <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 54
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    [quote]Originally posted by murbot:

    <strong>She could have blatantly cut the guy off and gunned the car, even if he immediately hits the brakes to avoid hitting her, it'd be easy for him to hit her towards the rear of the vehicle.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    How fast can you "gun it" while turning and maintain your turning radius?



    There isn't much speed to be gained through a turn like that. It's not like she could've gone from 15mph to 80mph while turning in the same radius, I'd like to see a car that can do that (that would be painted tan, no less!).



    There's no way the truck didn't see the tan car coming and "I have the right of way!" is no defense when you doing do everything you can to avoid a collision.



    Basic physics tells us it's (mostly) the truck's fault.



    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
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