Unsafe Left Turns & Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana

Unsafe left turn motorcycle accident lawyer

Motorbike Accident on the road with a car

More than 40 percent of all fatal motorcycle-vehicle accidents stem from a passenger vehicle making a left-hand turn in front of the motorcyclist. Unfortunately, many motorists simply do not pay enough attention to other roadway users –especially bikers — and the results are often life-shattering. Distracted or unaware drivers are the primary concern in serious motorcycle crashes where bikers go unnoticed as motorists pull out of a driveway or make a left hand turn.

If you have been injured in an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, or lost a loved one because of another driver’s negligence, the law is on your side. Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer Bart Bernard can help protect your rights after such a catastrophe, and extends free case evaluations to residents throughout the Lafayette, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles areas.

Motorcycle accidents involving left turns

According to research on motorcycle collision causes commissioned by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), in the majority of these incidents vehicle drivers did not detect the motorcyclist or registered them too late to prevent the accident. Law enforcement say that the bulk of “left-hand turn accidents” involving motorcycles happen at intersections, when drivers make their move after incorrectly calculating the speed of the oncoming motorcyclist, or did not see the biker after looking both ways.

Even those bikers wearing helmets and protective clothing are lucky to escape such an accident without crippling injuries. This is because there is far less metal structure protecting a motorcyclist from impact. In some cases, the vehicle driver’s line of sight may have been compromised by another car or the sun’s glare but regardless of the circumstances, these accidents can turn deadly when a motorcycle is involved.

In too many of these situations, the accident could have been prevented entirely if drivers had only paid more attention to their surroundings. Beyond negligent or careless driving, unsafe left turn accidents may be caused by:

  • A driver who is trying to beat a stop light and turns left without looking
  • A driver who ignores traffic rules
  • A driver who negligently passes another car that is yielding to oncoming traffic
  • A driver who is inattentive or distracted

Proving liability in left turn crashes

You would assume that the left turning vehicle driver would always be responsible for damages and injuries in such an accident. Even in scenarios where the driver failed to notice the motorcyclist or was speeding through an intersection, establishing liability in left turn crashes is not without its challenges.

For this reason, it is crucial to have a skilled personal injury attorney at your side – an advocate who can prove what really happened by marshaling compelling evidence, eyewitness testimony and reports from accident reconstruction experts.

Right to sue after a left turn motorcycle accident

Victims of serious personal injury have the right to sue for monetary damages (both economic and non-economic) if another party’s wrongdoing or negligent actions caused their injuries. In Louisiana, you have up to one year from the date of injury to file suit against the defendant. While no amount of money can erase the traumatic consequences of a motorcycle crash, a settlement or jury verdict can recover appropriate damages to cover losses such as:

  • Medical and hospital bills: past, present and future
  • Lost income
  • Reduced capacity to earn
  • Out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the crash
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of spousal consortium
  • Wrongful death

How to avoid left turn collisions

Given the risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries, motorcyclists must take extra precautionary measures to avoid collision with vehicles and objects. Once a biker notices a driver about to make an unsafe left hand turn, he or she has just seconds to take evasive steps.

If you are driving a motorcycle, here are some ways to avoid left turn collisions:

  • Always stick to the speed limit. A shorter stopping distance can mean the difference between life and death
  • Wear bright, high visibility colors so that motorists are more likely to see you
  • At two and four-way intersections, be extra vigilant and prepared to take evasive measures
  • Pay attention to vehicle actions, with focus on the front tire
  • If you see a driver about to make a left hand turn in your path, attempt to swerve if there is space, or apply your brakes quickly but evenly

While a safety helmet and protective gear may save your life in a collision, it may not save victims from disfiguring injuries, broken bones, deep lacerations and road rash.

Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer

After any kind of motorcycle crash, you are encouraged to seek the counsel of an experienced injury lawyer who can determine if you have a claim for compensation. Attorney Bart Bernard has the expertise and negotiating skills to settle cases swiftly and favorably, and has a long track record of significant recoveries for his clients. More importantly, he only collects legal fees if you win or settle your claim.

To learn more about your legal options, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at our Lafayette or Baton Rouge office locations by calling today.

Additional Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accident Resources:

  1. RideApart.com, 10 Common Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them https://rideapart.com/articles/10-common-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them
  2. Motorcycle Central, How To Avoid Left Turn Collisions http://motorcycle-central.com/how-to-avoid-left-turn-collisions/

Last modified: March 03, 2017

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