Over this past weekend, a man was killed in a three-vehicle accident in Bloomington. According to a report by the Indiana Student Daily, the 67-year-old man was driving west in a Buick LeSabre near North Kinser Pike and the State Road 45/46 bypass. At about 10:40 a.m. Friday morning, the man was attempting to make a left turn when he pulled in front of a Ford F-250 that struck the passenger side of the Buick. As the two vehicles collided, they crashed into another vehicle, a Ford Explorer, which was stopped at the intersection waiting for the light to change.
The driver of the Buick was taken to IU Health Bloomington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. The cause of death was listed a blunt force trauma. The other two drivers were uninjured.
Traffic Laws Are Not Always Cut and Dry
Going back to our driver’s education class, we all know that a vehicle making a left turn must yield to a vehicle continuing straight on the same road. However, this rule does not apply in every situation. For example, in cases where a vehicle is travelling at an excessive speed, that vehicle loses its right of way to those vehicles turning left in front of it.
This makes sense because the driver turning left should be able to assume, by looking at how far away the other vehicle is, how much time they have to complete the turn. If the other vehicle is speeding, it is impossible for the car waiting to turn left to properly judge the time it has to complete the turn.
This is just one example of a traffic law that has an exception under certain circumstances. There are others as well.
Accident Cases Hinge on Negligence, Not General Rules
Civil cases stemming from traffic accidents are resolved on concepts of negligence, rather than generally applicable traffic laws. The above example illustrates this perfectly. Although generally the vehicle turning left must yield to the vehicle continuing on the same road, the crux of the determination is focused on which driver was negligent. In an example like the one above, it is difficult to say that a driver turning left was negligent when the vehicle continuing straight was traveling at an unsafe speed.
The bottom line is that civil cases based on traffic accidents are not always as simple as they may seem.
Injured in an Auto Accident?
Traffic accidents are rarely caused without at least one party operating their vehicle in a negligent manner. In such cases, victims of a driver’s negligence may be entitled to recover damages.
If you or loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries or loss. To find out what rights you may have, you should consult with an experienced Indiana injury attorney immediately. The Indiana law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson has experienced accident attorneys ready to meet with you to discuss the facts of your case.
Two Women in Custody for Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident in Indianapolis, Indiana Accident Attorneys, September 30, 2013.
Shocking Indiana Drunk Driving Accidents and Lawsuits – Summer 2013 , Indiana Accident Attorneys August 26, 2013