As Arizona personal injury lawyers who help so many people involved in the tragedies that occur at our intersections and on our roadways, we know all too well the great misconceptions when it comes to Arizona law. We also know how often people involved in accidents that occurr at our intersections throughout the state are misled by an adverse insurance adjuster, adverse insurance company, or even by friends and family who do not understand the law.
Arizona has a law that specifically regulates those who turn left at an intersection. However, the application of that law can be very confusing. A.R.S. § 28 772 precludes people from turning left when an oncoming vehicle is so close to them that they will be involved in an accident. Now, while these are not the exact words of the statute, this is probably the best way to explain the law. Everybody knows too many people run red lights. People who turn left at an intersection in front of somebody else who runs the red light does not lose the ability to point the finger for partial fault as to the person who ran a red light. However, a long time ago our legislature made the decision that those who are turning left were in the best possible position to help avoid the accident in many cases. Therefore, instead of getting into a big argument later as to whether or not somebody should or should not have turned left, this statute regulates that matter and says that drivers who turn left when the other car is so close to them that they are likely to be involved in an car accident in Phoenix will have violated a statute.
Now, there is a big difference between a traffic ticket and negligence. There is a big difference between the rights in a personal injury lawsuit as compared to simply getting a traffic ticket.
When a police officer comes to the scene and hands somebody a ticket, this does not mean they lose their right to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, traffic tickets are not even admissible in personal injury claims. We have seen many cases where the police officer showed up, gathered information quickly, and did not gather all of the information they needed when they gave a traffic ticket. We have seen people who have abandoned their rights to bring personal injury lawsuits because they got a ticket. When this happens it can sometimes occur because the only two people who are at the scene at the time the police officer arrives are the two people who were driving the vehicles involved in the Arizona auto accident. Sometimes, because of serious injuries, one person gets a ticket because they are not even at the scene to give their side of the story.
Where police make these initial pre-judgments without talking to people, it is very often because a left turn at an intersection was involved. Because of A.R.S. 28 772, it is easy for the police officer to simply give the ticket to the person who was turning left.
Because there is a law that regulates people who turn left, these cases can be very difficult on both sides. On the one hand, the person who was turning left and believes somebody else ran a red light or was speeding so quickly that they never would’ve believed that the accident was going to happen, will often need the help of a skilled Arizona personal injury lawyer to help them reconstruct the accident to show that the other vehicle was actually at fault. This can be particularly challenging where there are not witnesses at the scene.
On the other hand, the person who was going straight when the other person turns left can rely upon the statute to help them in their case. However, this will not prevent the person who was turning left from still bringing a case against the other driver nor will it prevent the insurance company from denying a claim saying it was still the other person’s fault for going straight. In addition, the person turning left can’t ignore the fact that they got the traffic ticket.
The reality is that left turns at intersections cause a lot of catastrophic car accidents. They often result in T bone collisions and many times result in the worst of all injuries. If you or anybody you know has been involved in a serious collision at an intersection and you have questions, contact the the most experienced Arizona accident lawyers you can find. Auto accident lawyers who are specialists in this area are available to provide answers to your questions.
The reality is that following these accidents, people should get more than just somebody telling them to bring a lawsuit. They need answers to their questions. They need to know how to handle either the traffic ticket that was given to them or whether they are supposed to appear for the traffic ticket as to the other person who was involved in the accident. They need to know what to do regarding their overwhelming medical bills. They need to know how to deal with the adverse insurance adjuster. They need to know what to do with the letters and documentations the other insurance company is asking them to fill out. They need to know how to handle their own health insurance company or, even worse, how to deal with the fact that they don’t have health insurance.
For anybody who needs answers after auto accidents in Arizona, the skilled Phoenix auto accident lawyers at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. are always happy to provide an honest assessment and give you the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and your family.