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Who Has the Right of Way When Turning Left at an Intersection with Lights?

Who Has the Right of Way When Turning Left at an Intersection with Lights?

In the event of a left turn accident, where a left turning driver turns in front of an oncoming driver proceeding straight through the intersection, who has the right of way? Is it the driver driving straight through or the driver turning left? The answer is heavily dependent on the facts of each case.

Our team of lawyers at Doak Shirreff have the expertise and experience needed to provide personalized legal advice, depending on your individual circumstances. Collisions due to a left turn at an intersection are a common occurrence, and can result in serious injuries. Whether you have been hit while turning left, or going straight through the intersection, we can assist you through the legal process that will follow.

Learn more about British Columbia statutory provisions relevant to left turn accidents at intersections with lights.

Left Turn at Intersection with Light

It can often be difficult to apportion liability in an accident caused by a left turn at an intersection with lights. Varying circumstances and factors will determine which driver is liable. In certain circumstances, both drivers may share some portion of the liability.

In most circumstances, the driver proceeding straight through an intersection has the right-of-way and is generally entitled to continue. For instance, if a driver proceeding straight through, is faced with a green light that changes to yellow when they are at a distance from the intersection that does not allow them to stop safely before entering the intersection, then generally, they can proceed without fear of liability. However, in certain circumstances, even in this situation the straight through driver may be required to take evasive action or other steps to avoid or minimize the collision and may not be able to strictly rely upon their statutory right-of-way to exonerate themselves from liability.

However, a driver turning left has the right of way if oncoming vehicles do not pose an immediate hazard and they can safely turn before the oncoming vehicles arrive at the intersection. If a left-turning driver cannot complete their turn for any reason, the oncoming vehicle is required to yield to the vehicle turning left to prevent a left turn accident.

Kelowna Personal Injury and ICBC Lawyers

If you have been involved in a left turn accident, collect the names and numbers of as many witnesses as possible and contact a qualified lawyer. If you are issued a ticket by a police officer at the scene, consider disputing the ticket. If it is possible to get photographs of the scene with the vehicle still in their post-collision positions, this information can be very helpful in determining liability. If you are able, it is also very important to obtain the name, address and driver’s license number as well as the license plate number of all other vehicles involved in the collision. It is in your best interest to consult a lawyer before providing any statements to ICBC.

It’s important to provide an accurate and clear statement, as the information you provide ICBC can be used against you. Submitting an ICBC claim without legal help can put you at risk. Your lawyer will gather and analyze all evidence and negotiate on your behalf to ensure the statement you provide holds the reckless parties accountable and you receive the ICBC benefits you are entitled to.

We have represented individuals and families in Kelowna and throughout British Columbia who have been injured or wronged in automobile accidents for over 50 years. Our lawyers at Doak Shirreff have helped these individuals receive the compensation they deserve in ICBC claim cases.

Determining fault in a left turn accident depends on individual circumstances. As a driver in either position, you may be found 100% at fault, partially at fault or not at fault. Having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf will ensure you are properly represented.

Prevention is always the best course so be sure to exercise caution when making a left-hand turn or proceeding through a yellow light at an intersection.

If you have been involved in a left turn accident, contact your Kelowna, ICBC Team at Doak Shirreff at (250) 763-4323.