Left Turn Motorcycle Accident

Young motorcycle rider waiting at an intersection to turn left

Left-turn motorcycle accidents generally occur at intersections and pose a severe risk for motorcyclists riding on New Mexico roadways. When making a left turn, motorists must turn across one or more travel lanes. A devastating car accident can occur when drivers fail to yield to a motorcycle traveling through the intersection. 

If you or your loved one have been injured in a left-turn motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Hunt Law are prepared to pursue the full and fair amount of compensation our clients deserve. Contact Hunt Law today to schedule a free case evaluation and discuss your case with a skilled New Mexico motorcycle accident attorney.

How Common Are Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents?

Left-hand turn accidents are far too common in North Carolina and throughout the United States. According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by left-hand turns. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 36 percent of all left-hand turn accidents are T-bone accidents in which the vehicle making a left-hand turn strikes the oncoming driver at a perpendicular angle. These types of dangerous accidents can occur in urban and rural areas and usually happen at four-way intersections.

How Do Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents Occur?

Most left-turn motorcycle accidents are preventable and caused by negligence or recklessness. A collision can result if a driver attempts a left turn and doesn’t see a motorcyclist approaching the intersection. There are several reasons why a motorist may fail to see the motorcyclist when turning.

The driver may be distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or daydreaming. In other cases, the driver tries to rush and make the light. The driver may be passing another vehicle or changing lanes before the turn. Consequently, the driver may not be cautiously looking for oncoming traffic. It can be more challenging to spot motorcycles than passenger vehicles than larger passenger vehicles.

A left-turn motorcycle accident can occur when a driver attempts to make an illegal turn. The motorist may fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists. For example, a driver may turn left when the traffic light is red or from a lane from which left turns are prohibited. The motorcyclist who has entered the intersection may be struck and injured through no fault of their own.

Proving Liability 

Under New Mexico law, drivers must use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent causing injuries to others. When drivers fail to use reasonable care, and their negligence causes an accident, they can be held financially responsible for the victim’s injuries. Left-turn accidents generally involve a motorcyclist and a motorist. Depending on the circumstances, the biker and motorist could be held liable for injuries caused by the accident. If the driver who turned left did so in an unsafe or negligent manner, they would likely be found at fault for the accident. 

Factors that indicate the driver making the left turn was negligent may involve speeding, disobeying traffic laws, or driving while distracted. When the victim can prove that the driver who caused the accident violated a traffic safety law, they may be able to prove that the driver was negligent per se, making it easier to succeed. 

In many cases, the driver making the left-hand turn is liable for injuries resulting from the accident. However, motorcyclists can be fully or partially at fault for left-turn accidents. For example, when a motorcyclist was speeding, traveling in the wrong lane, or running through a red light, he or she may be at fault for the accident. 

The Doctrine of Comparative Fault

When both the driver and a motorcyclist were driving in a negligent manner, the legal doctrine of comparative fault may apply. Suppose the court determines that the motorcyclist pursuing a personal injury claim was 20% at fault for the accident and the driver is 80% at fault. In that case, the damage award will likely be reduced by 20%. If the court awarded the plaintiff $1 million in damages, the award would be reduced by $200,000. Working with a skilled attorney can help you prove that the other party was totally or majorly at fault for causing the accident.

Injuries Caused by Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Left-turn motorcycle accidents can cause severe, life-threatening injuries. Motorcyclists are always more vulnerable because they lack external protection, such as vehicle frames, airbags, and seatbelts. When a vehicle strikes a motorcycle, the force of the collision can cause the motorcyclist to suffer severe injuries. Even when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet and other safety equipment, he or she is still at risk of devastating injuries.

In some cases, the collision results in the motorcyclist becoming crushed by the vehicle or pinned under the vehicle making the left turn. In other cases, the motorcyclists may forcefully fly off the motorcycle, colliding with the asphalt. Motorcycle accident victims frequently suffer injuries requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars or even over a million dollars in medical and other injury-related expenses. Injuries commonly caused by motorcycle accidents include the following:

The experienced attorneys at Hunt Law are prepared to help you evaluate the full extent of your current and future medical damages and pursue the most compensation possible in your case. 

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in New Mexico

You aren’t alone if you’ve been seriously injured because of a driver’s negligent left turn. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Hunt Law are here to help. We will guide you through every step of the process of recovering compensation. We will carefully investigate the circumstances of your case and develop an effective legal strategy. We will advocate for the best outcome possible in your case, from your initial case consultation to the verdict or settlement. Contact Hunt Law to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.