Posted On: May 30, 2009 by Breyer Law Offices

Arizona Auto Accidents and the "Left Turn Statute" ARS § 28-772

Arizona’s “Left Turn Statute,” ARS § 28-772, prohibits somebody from turning left when there is a vehicle that is so close to them that it constitutes an immediate hazard. In other words, you are not allowed to turn left at an intersection if the vehicle that's coming towards the intersection could end up being involved in an Arizona car accident with you. This is even true if the vehicle runs a red light. However, this statute is misapplied very often and it can be very confusing. On the one hand, bear in mind that Arizona is what is known as a "pure comparative fault state." In other words, even if the person turning left bears some fault under the statute, that does not mean they bear the entire fault. It does not even mean they bear most of the fault. You could have a situation where the person turning left is considered 1 percent at fault because the other person was going way over the speed limit and was nowhere near the intersection at the time it happened. Also, if it can be proven that the other car was speeding at a high rate of speed, it may be that this is not considered to be a violation of the statute.

However, when the police officer shows up at the scene, they are often very quick to give the citation to the person turning left. While this is appropriate in many – maybe even the majority – of auto accidents in Tucson, there are many times where the police officer simply did not have the time and resources to do a full investigation before giving out a traffic ticket.

Also, traffic tickets are not admissible in civil cases. Therefore, after a very serious auto accident caused in an intersection where one person turns left, it is not enough for anybody to assume that the person who was given a ticket for 28-772 will be at fault. They may be at fault. However, that may not prevent their insurance company from denying fault. Also, on the other hand, it would not prevent either side from trying to prove that the other actually bears complete responsibility.

As you can see the elements of Arizona’s left turn statute can be confusing due to its elaborate nature. This is why if you’ve been in an accident under these circumstances, it can be to your advantage to seek legal counsel from a skilled Tucson auto accident lawyer who can advise you on what steps to take in your case so that you or any injured loved ones can receive compensation. Call Breyer Law Offices, P.C. today for a free consultation. We will give you honest answers to your questions and help you during your time of need.