who is liable in this accident?

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)



  • Reply 1 of 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    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 11
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    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 AppleOutsider.

    Click <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=001828"; target="_blank">here</a> to go to the moved thread.

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