In Atlanta as elsewhere in the United States, a vehicle making a left hand turn is almost always held liable in an auto accident that involves a vehicle approaching in a straight line from the opposite direction. Sometimes, however, liability is not a clear-cut issue.
A June 13 crash on Old Ga. 5 left four people injured after a woman driving a Mini-Cooper entered the intersection at East Cherokee Drive just as the light was changing at the same time that a pickup truck hauling a trailer was attempting to make a left-hand turn. The woman swerved to avoid the pickup truck, which threw her into oncoming traffic. Her Mini-Cooper then hit a Ford pickup truck head-on, according to police reports. The Mini-Cooper driver, a 30-year-old driver from Canton, sustained serious injuries and had to be extricated from her vehicle with the Jaws of Life. She was transported to an area hospital in critical condition, according to authorities. The driver of the Ford and his two children also sustained minor injuries.
The Georgia State Patrol is still in the process of investigating this accident. The timing of the truck and Mini-Cooper’s traffic maneuvers may play a considerable role in determining liability. In most cases, drivers contemplating a left-hand turn must yield to oncoming traffic. That driver must wait until the intersection is entirely clear before commencing a left-hand turn. It is not clear whether or not the Mini-Cooper driver began to cross the intersection after the truck had already begun its turn, but it could be an important detail that the police consider in their investigation.
An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to assist individuals involved in a traffic accident that results in a serious injury by evaluating their cases, including the results of accident investigations conducted by police, to pinpoint liability and possibly secure compensation for their medical expenses and other costs.
Source: The Cherokee Ledger-News, “GSP investigating Old Ga. 5 crash,” Jessica Wagner, June 19, 2013