Left-turn collisions happen when a moving vehicle (e.g., car, truck, or motorcycle) makes an unexpected left turn in front of an oncoming driver. In St. Petersburg, car accidents like this tend to occur at crossroads, when one driver attempts to pass another driver that is waiting to be clear of oncoming traffic. It is also common for these accidents to happen when a driver is turning into a road or an intersection without right of way or is trying to beat a traffic signal that is about to change color.
Drivers in Florida automatically have a duty of care when on the road. They are required to drive responsibly and in accordance with the law to keep other drivers and everyday people safe. In a situation where drivers act carelessly by making improper turns and put other lives at risk, they should be held accountable for their reckless behavior.
If you or a loved one were injured in a left-turn car accident in St. Petersburg, then you can file for a personal injury claim. Car accidents can result in serious injuries, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost wages, and medical expenses. At The Law Place, we know how hard it can be to recover after a car accident, and we are here to assist you with your case.
Contact us now on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation, and one of our experienced personal injury lawyers will help you every step of the way.
Left Turn Accidents and Collisions in St. Petersburg, FL
According to the law in Florida, all drivers intending to turn right must make the turn as close as they possibly can to the right-hand curb or edge of the road.
When it comes to making left turns at an intersection, the driver of a vehicle must approach it with caution and in the extreme far left-hand lane. After entering, the left turn has to be made effortlessly in order to leave the intersection clear and available for oncoming traffic to move in the directions that they need to go.
It is also important to note that if a person riding a bicycle intends to turn left, then they are entitled to full use of the lane, but only if the turn can be made legally. If it is possible, the left turn must be made on the left of the center of the intersection, as stated by law.
As dictated in Florida law, if a governing official installs a traffic control system at an intersection in St. Petersburg, then all drivers must comply and act in accordance with the signals and the rules of the road. It is also stated in Florida Statute 316.151 that if the device redirects the drivers onto a different route, then they must still obey the traffic system.
In other words, Florida law resolves the right to determine how a driver must turn at an intersection unless the traffic light system orders you to drive otherwise. When driving in St. Petersburg, you and everyone else must abide by these laws and rules of the road. Sometimes, the laws can become a little complex if you are involved in a left-turn accident in St Petersburg. But this is where The Law Place would be able to clarify and talk you through the details during a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
Negligence for Violating Florida’s Left Turn Law
St. Petersburg follows Florida’s statutory traffic laws that govern how drivers should take left turns on all roads throughout the state. If a driver fails to act in accordance with the rules of the road, then the law prescribes that a driver should be issued a ticket or even be fined for their negligence.
It is worth noting that driving laws in St. Petersburg are also controlled by the common law in Florida, which was established by the judicial system from previous court rulings. In other words, if a driver is making a left turn and ends up crashing into another vehicle, then they can be held liable under Florida statutory or common law.
Florida Statute Chapter 316, together with common law, decrees the traffic laws in St. Petersburg and across Florida. In a car accident, the laws will be able to assist you in acquiring compensation after being involved in a left-turn crash. If you can find liability and prove that the driver failed to abide by the duty of care when making a left turn, then this will greatly help your case. Contact The Law Place now for a free consultation, and we will help you to build your case and advise you on how best to proceed.
Grounds for Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If you were injured in a left-turn car accident in St. Petersburg that wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. A lawyer in St. Petersburg will help you in specifying the types of damages and their maximum value in your fight for compensation.
There are two important categories, economic and general non-economic damages, that left-turn car accident cases fall into.
Economic damages are known as out of pocket damages, which means they are measured and calculated by providing evidence of a bill, receipt, or bank statement. They could be past, present, or future bills. Economic damage expenditures include medical expenses, travel costs to and from the hospital, loss of wages, potential lost earnings, and car damage repairs. Economic damages are easier to accurately calculate and add up as documents, medical bills, and records are used to determine the amount of damages and prove them.
Non-economic damages compensate for both physical injuries and mental anguish. After a left-turn car accident, injuries could include emotional trauma, physical pain, and changes to quality of life. These are commonly known as damages for pain and suffering. Non-economic damages also include loss of bodily function and permanent injuries like scarring or disfigurement. It can be hard to measure or quantify damages without an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to help assist you. If you faced serious injuries following a left-turn car accident in St. Petersburg, then you deserve to be compensated.
Personal Injury Protection in St Petersburg, FL
Florida is a no-fault state, as outlined in Florida Statute 627.7407, which means that you must seek compensation from your own insurance company after a car accident, regardless if you were at fault or not.
As a driver in Florida, the minimum insurance required is decreed in Florida Statute 627.736. It is essential to have as it protects drivers and passengers. The minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to carry is $10,000 and another $10,000 to cover property damage. An injured driver in St. Petersburg must seek medical attention within fourteen days to receive PIP benefits under Florida law. It is also important to note that your insurance company will cover 80% of your medical expenses and other damages, but only up to limits of your policy.
If a car accident happens as a result of an illegitimate left turn, damages could potentially surpass these quantities, especially if you have lost wages from being unable to work. Most of the time, left-turn car accidents end up in side-on collisions, which causes a lot of damage. If you are involved in a situation like this, it is possible for you to claim from the other driver’s insurance if your damages exceed the limits of your own PIP policy.
Sometimes insurance companies can be difficult to handle on your own, and it is important to be aware of what you tell them as their main priority is to make a profit from your accident. Share only the facts, do not admit fault, and avoid giving insurance companies any information in regard to the extent of your injuries. It is advised that you talk to one of our car accident lawyers at The Law Place, as we can help you with what to say to your insurance company or even speak to them on your behalf.
What to Do After an Accident in Florida
- Remain on the scene – After the car accident, stay on the scene. If you leave, it could be seen as a hit and run, even if you were not at fault for the accident.
- Get to safety – If it is possible to do so, move away from oncoming traffic to a safer location.
- Call the police – According to Florida Statute 316.062, it is mandatory for you to call the police to the scene of the accident that caused injury and damage. A report from the police can also greatly impact your personal injury claim.
- Call an ambulance – If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of the car accident in St Petersburg, immediately call for an ambulance.
- Get contact details – get the contact details of the other driver, which includes their name, phone number, insurance, and vehicle information. If anyone was a witness to the car accident, then collect their contact information as it can be used to help your claim.
- Collect evidence – If you are able to do so, take pictures of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles, the state of the road, all injuries, and anything else that could be used as evidence in helping your claim.
- Speak to a St. Petersburg lawyer – For a free consultation, contact an accident attorney at our law firm and receive the best legal advice to help you in your case.
- Contact your insurance company – It is required that you contact your insurance company following a car accident within 24 hours in order to make a claim, but the time period will be specified further in your policy. It is highly recommended that you speak to one of our esteemed car accident lawyers at The Law Place, as we can walk you through the conversation with your insurance company or even speak to them on your behalf.
- Keep a journal – Keep notes on symptoms, pain and suffering, and any adjustments that you have had to make to your daily life as a result of the car accident. A journal can be used as evidence in the hands of one of our lawyers, especially to make a claim for non-economic damages.
- Paperwork evidence – Collect any essential paperwork such as medical invoices, receipts for travel expenses, the costs of any changes that you have had to make to your home life, and other expenses as a result of the car accident. One of our accident attorneys can use this as evidence to make a claim for economic damages.
- Report to the police – You have exactly ten days to report the car accident to the police, as outlined in Florida Statute 316.066. You can file a report online at Florida Highway Motor Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHMSMV) or at your local police station.
Left Turn Car Accident Claims and Settlement
After a left-turn car accident, you could be left with serious injuries, and you should consider talking to an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your rights under the law. An attorney at The Law Place can help to guide you through the legal system, offer insight into the process of making a personal injury claim, and assist you with your case. Your attorney will represent your best interests and settle negotiations with insurance companies. Even if that means deciding to go to court, your attorney will fight for your rights every step of the way.
Is a Car Making a Left Turn Always at Fault?
It tends to be the car making the improper left turn that is at fault in the case of an accident. But, it is possible that the other driver failed to stop at a traffic light, or they could have been speeding, or an unexpected situation caused them to turn left.
If you were the driver that turned left at an intersection but do not believe that you are to blame for the accident, then your case will likely be complicated. Even in this situation, one of our injury lawyers will be able to assist your case.
In accordance with Florida Statute 768.81, Florida functions under a comparative fault system. It is possible for you to still claim compensation, even if you were partially at fault for the accident. In the end, your settlement will be deducted by the amount of fault that you hold.
For example, if you were speeding, but the other driver suddenly turns without signaling or warning, then you are partly to blame for the accident. If you are found to be 10% at fault, then your settlement will be deducted by that amount. An accident attorney at The Law Place will be able to clarify and help support you in your fight for compensation.
Call Our Lawyers to Discuss Your St. Petersburg Left Turn Car Accident Case
If you were involved in a car accident where the other driver was making an improper left-turn, then you could be entitled to compensation. At The Law Place, we will review the circumstances of your case and discuss what the best move for you is. Our diligent team of lawyers are skilled in pursuing claims and ready to fight and protect your rights if you choose to be represented by our law firm. It is our duty to strengthen your case and make sure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Contact us now at The Law Place for a free consultation, where we will explain all the details of how we can best help you. Our personal injury lawyers are ready to assist and support you with your case. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day at our St. Petersburg office and across the state of Florida, so call us now on (941) 444-4444.