NT Legal: Am I at fault for this car accident??

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Joined Jul 23, 2012
My question involves a traffic accident in Washington D.C.

My research into this has basically said that the person making the left turn is always at fault when there is a situation of yielding to make a left turn across an intersection. My circumstances are slightly different and I would appreciate any insight on this. Here is the story:

I am at an intersection making a left turn, there is an opening in the traffic for me to make the turn so I proceed. There is another car that is oncoming that begins to slow down because they see me crossing, it is a good distance away (I don't know the exact distance but it was far enough away for a safe turn to be made) and there was another car directly behind that one. The car behind  the one that slowed down to let me cross makes a hard right turn into the other open lane (I know this because I saw the weight of the car shift hard and dip on the right side's suspension) and began to quickly accelerate towards me (I also heard a loud revving after the hard lane change). So the car the made the quick lane change accelerated quickly toward me and hit the rear passenger side of my car behind the rear door.

I am trying to determine if the insurance company will find me at fault for this accident, I don't think that I am because I had an opening to cross and the other driver only hit me because they were trying to get around the other car that slowed down as they saw I was crossing the intersection. I don't think I should be held liable for the accident because the car that hit me only became visible at the time they swerved into the next lane, at which point I was already in the intersection having nearly completed my crossing before getting clipped in the rear bumper area. Up until the time it quickly changed lanes it wasn't visible at all.

I am thinking that the area of the damage to my car proves this point. How could I be liable for a failure to yield when I am nearly crossed and am hit by a driver that quickly switches lanes and accelerates aggressively? I found the security company that has footage of the accident from the surrounding buildings, I plan to use that to show the other car quickly accelerating past the one that slowed down as I crossed the intersection. Couldn't speak to anyone from there directly yet (left a voicemail), but would I need a subpoena from a traffic lawyer to obtain the video of the accident occurring? Or can that just be sent to the insurance companies? Is this evidence that I can use to prove that I am not at fault?

I am still waiting to hear from my insurance since I just filed the claim last night, so I do not yet know how my insurance will deem who is responsible but everything I've looked into so far says that I would be.

Thank you for any help.
 
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ohmygosher

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I had a similar accident 2 hours after I got my permit. Except there was no second car, just the first. Hit in the same exact spot too. You are at fault.
 
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yea... they gonna say its your fault. 

prolly gonna hit you with the "next time wait until there is NO cars coming"
 
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I'm thinking it might be different because the other car quickly changed lanes and aggressively accelerated toward my car. It was never visible when I began the turn AND I was 90% across the intersection when he struck me. Sounds like a situation where the other driver is being negligent for accelerating like that and not looking for cars that are in the process of turning. 
 
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i'm not a lawyer so take with a grain of salt.  when turning left at an intersection the actual rule is to let any cars coming straight go first, period no matter the distance away.  nobody follows this rule because it's stupid to wait when a lot of times those timed lights don't stay green for long and traffic would be even more awful.  then at the same time, something like this happens and the guy making the left turn gets screwed when he is not at fault.  hopefully the footage you have coupled with the damage to your vehicle will be enough for you to come out ahead.
 
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it's your fault even with the evidence, unless you or the video can prove that the driver that hit you was going the speed limit.

He prolly didn't know you were making a left because there was a car in front of him, so that may have skewed his view of the road. Even if his view was blocked, he was still going straight, in which he has the priority of the road.

You can try getting a lawyer and somehow prove that he was going over 35 mph (im guessing thats the speed limit), which can significantly help you out.
 
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Your best bet is to call a lawyer and ask them, you may have a case because he was probably speeding when he hit you.  Don't talk to any claims adjustors from the other person's insurance company, they'll try to find holes in your story to make you at fault.  If the security place isn't willing to handover the footage then you're gonna need a subpoena...
 
9,505
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i'm not a lawyer so take with a grain of salt.  when turning left at an intersection the actual rule is to let any cars coming straight go first, period no matter the distance away.  nobody follows this rule because it's stupid to wait when a lot of times those timed lights don't stay green for long and traffic would be even more awful.  then at the same time, something like this happens and the guy making the left turn gets screwed when he is not at fault.  hopefully the footage you have coupled with the damage to your vehicle will be enough for you to come out ahead.
yup.... exactly what i was saying. 
 
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Yes you are fault. There's plenty of times a car in front of me slows down and I switch lanes extremely quick and accelerate because I'm pissed they slowed down :lol: I'm assuming they're turning and just didn't put their blinker. I can't see what's happening in front of them and you're affecting the flow of traffic by trying to make a turn with cars coming
 
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If I understood what you were trying to say OP then it sounds like you're at fault.

Buddy had the right away no matter how fast he was going. And the guy playing good samaritan caused the accident. There's a reason we have lights that tell you when it's your turn to go and when it's not.

Best of luck!
 
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The footage and probably a competent lawyer might help. Did the car that hit you swerve into the right lane and did they signal? You may be able to prove that the other car was driving recklessly (speeding, switching lanes without signaling). Definitely get that footage though.
 
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A car that is going straight should never have to yield to a car that is turning left. That was an ill-advised left turn on your part. 
 
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th damage might help you because they hit yout rear which means they had a reasonable amount of time to prevent the accident. sorry to disrupt circle jerk.
 
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You're at fault. Similar thing happened to me when I was 16. Made a left turn at an intersection, oncoming was a good half a block away, but apparently going like 60 on a 35. I was damn near on the other street, the SUV hit the rear wheel and spun me around twice. His car was a block away by the time he stopped. But they said I was at fault since there was no green arrow just a green light so the other car the right of way.
 

do work son

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was your car in the intersection when the accident happened? if so, i would assume you're liable.
 

do work son

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Your best bet is to call a lawyer and ask them, you may have a case because he was probably speeding when he hit you.  Don't talk to any claims adjustors from the other person's insurance company, they'll try to find holes in your story to make you at fault.  If the security place isn't willing to handover the footage then you're gonna need a subpoena...
this doesn't matter one bit. i turned left out of a parking lot, almost got to the middle and got hit on my drivers side rear tire/door area. even though the other driver was speeding, i was held liable for not having yielded to oncoming traffic, although it felt like he was miles away when i was pulling out of the parking lot

th damage might help you because they hit yout rear which means they had a reasonable amount of time to prevent the accident. sorry to disrupt circle jerk.

The footage and probably a competent lawyer might help. Did the car that hit you swerve into the right lane and did they signal? You may be able to prove that the other car was driving recklessly (speeding, switching lanes without signaling). Definitely get that footage though.

 
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Mark Antony

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Both at fault, the one with the line of sight, ie the obstacle is ahead of him is as well. I don't really know the rules though, don't listen to me.
 
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Something about your story doesn't add up. Either the distance between you and the car that slowed down is not as far apart as you're inferring or you were turning left extremely slow. Also as far as I know you're supposed to only turn into the nearest left lane when making a left turn, from your story it seems like you made a slow two lane left turn
 
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Your def at fault.. he could be doing 150 mph he still has the right of way. Hes going straight on a green light he has absolutly no reason to yeild for you.
 
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Yeah your are going to be at-fault for this accident. The only thing that could change the liability decision is if you can prove the other party was speeding. Unfortunately without him being cited for it or a witness then speed can not be proven. Well, unless it could possibly show on the the security camera.
 
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Joined Jul 23, 2012
You're at fault. Similar thing happened to me when I was 16. Made a left turn at an intersection, oncoming was a good half a block away, but apparently going like 60 on a 35. I was damn near on the other street, the SUV hit the rear wheel and spun me around twice. His car was a block away by the time he stopped. But they said I was at fault since there was no green arrow just a green light so the other car the right of way.
basically what happened exactly, minus the spinning. probably gonna have to take this one once its all said and done. still getting the footage tomorrow to see if my lawyer can work something out
 
163
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Joined Jul 23, 2012
Yeah your are going to be at-fault for this accident. The only thing that could change the liability decision is if you can prove the other party was speeding. Unfortunately without him being cited for it or a witness then speed can not be proven. Well, unless it could possibly show on the the security camera.
a cop witnessed it, but of course he wasn't paying attention. traffic footage should show the sharp lane change and quickly passing the other car before hitting me. could be a way to estimate the speed of the car before it hit my bumper. i'll know more tomorrow.
 
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