Hit by a Wide Turn? Our New Orleans Attorneys Will Steer Your Case to Success
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a wide turn in the vibrant city of New Orleans, our New Orleans wide turn accident attorney is here to guide you through the legal maze and ensure your rights are protected.
A wide turn accident refers to a collision or incident that occurs when a motor vehicle, often a large truck or bus, is making a wide turn and comes into contact with another vehicle, pedestrian, or property. These accidents often happen when a turning vehicle swings too wide during the maneuver, encroaching into the path of oncoming traffic, pedestrians, or nearby objects.
- A wide turn accident involves a collision when a vehicle executes a wide turn, often affecting pedestrians, other vehicles, or property.
- Common causes of wide turn accidents include failure to signal, misjudgment of space, inadequate checking of blind spots, speeding while turning, inattention, inexperience, impaired driving, poor road conditions, equipment failure, and lack of communication.
- Injuries resulting from wide-turn collisions can range from whiplash and soft tissue injuries to broken bones, head injuries, and psychological injuries.
- Multiple parties may be at fault in a wide turn accident, including the driver making the wide turn, other involved drivers, pedestrians, vehicle or equipment manufacturers, government entities, commercial vehicle companies, road construction crews, and property owners.
- Alabama follows a contributory negligence system, where even a slight fault on the part of the injured party may bar them from recovering damages.
- Proving negligence in a wide-turn accident involves establishing a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- Recoverable damages in a wide-turn accident case may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.
- There is a two-year statute of limitations in Alabama for filing a personal injury claim after a wide-turn accident.
Wide Turn Accidents
A wide turn accident is a traffic incident that occurs when a vehicle executes a wide turn and, as a result, collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, or property. Wide turns are maneuvers where a driver swings the vehicle’s front end outward to negotiate a turn more easily, often involving a larger turning radius.
Wide-turn accidents can involve various types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Large commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, are particularly associated with wide-turn accidents due to their extended length and the need for extra space to make turns safely.
Common Causes of Wide Turn Accidents
Wide turn accidents can result from various factors, often involving errors or negligence on the part of one or more drivers. Some common causes of wide turn accidents include:
- Failure to Signal: Drivers may fail to use their turn signals to indicate their intention to make a wide turn, leading to confusion for other road users.
- Misjudgment of Space: Drivers may miscalculate the amount of space required to complete a wide turn, leading to collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or fixed objects.
- Inadequate Checking of Blind Spots: Failure to check blind spots before initiating a wide turn can result in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians in the driver’s path.
- Speeding While Turning: Executing a wide turn at excessive speeds reduces a driver’s ability to control the vehicle, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Inattention or Distraction: Drivers who are distracted, such as by using a mobile phone or adjusting the radio, may fail to notice the need for a wide turn or miss other vehicles in their vicinity.
- Inexperience: Inexperienced drivers may struggle with proper maneuvering techniques, including executing wide turns safely.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can significantly impair a driver’s judgment and coordination, making it more likely to cause accidents, including wide turn collisions.
- Poor Road Conditions: Adverse weather conditions, poorly maintained roads, or obstacles in the roadway can contribute to wide-turn accidents.
- Equipment Failure: Malfunctions in a vehicle’s brakes, steering, or other critical components can lead to difficulties in making turns safely.
- Lack of Communication: In cases involving multiple vehicles, a lack of communication between drivers about their intentions to make wide turns can result in unexpected and dangerous situations.
Drivers need to exercise caution, follow traffic rules, and be aware of their surroundings to minimize the risk of wide-turn accidents. Additionally, being attentive to other road users and using turn signals can contribute to safer road behavior.
Injuries Resulting From Wide Turn Collisions
Wide-turn collisions can result in a range of injuries, varying in severity depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the size of the vehicles, and the use of safety features. Some common injuries associated with wide-turn accidents include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Head Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Cuts and Bruises
- Facial Injuries
- Seat Belt Injuries
- Psychological Injuries
If you’ve been involved in a wide-turn collision, consulting with medical professionals and legal professionals can help ensure your well-being and protect your rights. Documenting and treating injuries promptly is not only essential for health reasons but also for potential legal claims or insurance purposes.
Who is At-Fault in a Wide Turn Accident?
In a wide-turn accident, multiple parties could potentially be at fault, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the collision. Here are some parties that may be considered potentially at fault:
- Driver Making the Wide Turn: The driver executing the wide turn may be at fault if they fails to signal properly, misjudge the amount of space needed for the turn, or neglect to check blind spots, leading to a collision.
- Other Driver(s) Involved: The actions of other drivers on the road can contribute to the accident. For example, if another driver fails to yield the right of way, follows too closely, or engages in reckless behavior, they may be assigned a share of the fault.
- Pedestrians and Cyclists: If pedestrians or cyclists are involved in the accident, their actions, such as crossing the street against the signal or not using designated crosswalks, could contribute to fault.
- Vehicle or Equipment Failure: If the wide turn accident is caused by a mechanical failure, such as brake failure or steering issues, the manufacturer or maintenance provider of the vehicle may be held liable.
- Government Entity: Poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or faulty traffic signals can contribute to wide-turn accidents. In such cases, the government entity responsible for road maintenance and infrastructure may be considered at fault.
- Commercial Vehicle Companies: If the accident involves a commercial vehicle, such as a truck or bus, the company may be held responsible for factors like inadequate driver training, improper maintenance, or unrealistic schedules that encourage speeding.
- Road Construction or Maintenance Crews: If a wide turn accident occurs in an area undergoing construction or maintenance, the crew responsible for the work may be liable if their actions contribute to the collision.
- Property Owners: In some cases, property owners might be held partially responsible if their failure to maintain visibility or address hazards on their property contributes to the accident.
It’s crucial to note that determining fault can be complex, and Alabama’s contributory negligence rule could affect your ability to recover damages.
How Negligence Works in Alabama
Alabama follows a contributory negligence system, which is one of the strictest standards in the United States. In a contributory negligence system, if an injured party is found to be even slightly at fault for an accident, they may be barred from recovering any damages from other parties, regardless of the degree of fault of the other parties involved.
Here’s how negligence and contributory negligence work in Alabama:
Contributory Negligence Standard
Alabama adheres to a pure contributory negligence standard. This means that if a plaintiff (injured party) is found to have contributed in any way to the accident or their injuries, they may be barred from recovering damages.
Burden of Proof
In a personal injury case in Alabama, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence was the proximate cause of the injuries. At the same time, the defendant may assert contributory negligence as a defense.
Comparative Fault Analysis
When determining fault, the court may assess the actions of all parties involved, including the plaintiff. If the plaintiff’s actions are deemed to have contributed to the accident or injuries, even to a small extent, the contributory negligence doctrine may apply.
Impact on Damages
If the plaintiff is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering any damages from other at-fault parties. This is a significant departure from comparative negligence systems, where the injured party can recover damages proportionate to the other party’s fault.
In Alabama, where fault is crucial in determining liability for damages, insurance claims may be affected by the contributory negligence rule. The at-fault party’s insurance is typically responsible for covering damages, but the application of contributory negligence can impact the amount recoverable by the injured party.
How To Prove Negligence in a Wide Turn Crash?
Proving negligence in a wide-turn accident involves establishing that the at-fault party owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and that the breach directly caused the injuries or damages. Here are steps to help prove negligence in a wide-turn accident:
- Duty of Care: The first element involves demonstrating that the at-fault party owed a legal duty of care to the injured party. In the context of a wide turn accident, this would mean showing that the driver had a duty to operate their vehicle safely and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: The second element requires evidence that the at-fault party breached the duty of care. For a wide turn accident, this could involve demonstrating that the driver failed to signal properly, misjudged the space needed for the turn, or neglected to check blind spots.
- Causation: The third element involves establishing a direct link between the at-fault party’s breach of duty and the injuries or damages suffered. In the case of a wide-turn accident, this would entail showing how the negligent actions directly led to the collision and subsequent harm.
- Damages: The fourth element requires demonstrating that the injured party suffered actual damages as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. Damages may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other costs incurred due to the accident.
In a contributory negligence state like Alabama, it’s crucial to show that the injured party did not contribute to the accident in any way.
What are the Recoverable Damages Available?
In a personal injury case arising from a wide turn accident, the injured party may be eligible to seek various types of damages. The specific recoverable damages depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the injuries. Here are common types of recoverable damages:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Permanent Disability/Disfigurement
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages
The recoverable damages may vary based on applicable laws, and Alabama’s contributory negligence rule could affect the compensation you can recover.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Yes, there is a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury claim after a wide-turn accident. The statute of limitations sets a specific time frame within which legal action must be initiated.
Here are some key points related to the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Alabama:
- Two-Year Limitation: In most cases, individuals have two years from the date of the wide turn accident to file a personal injury claim. This means that the lawsuit must be officially filed with the court within this time frame.
- Discovery Rule: The “discovery rule” may extend the statute of limitations in cases where the injury or its cause was not immediately apparent. In such cases, the two-year clock may start ticking from the date the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered.
- Wrongful Death Claims: If the wide turn accident resulted in a fatality, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the person’s death.
It’s important to be aware of these time limits. Failing to file a claim within the statute of limitations may result in the loss of the right to seek compensation for injuries and damages.
Why Do I Need a Wide Turn Accident Lawyer in Louisiana?
If you’ve been involved in a wide-turn accident in Louisiana, there are several reasons why you may need a New Orleans wide-turn accident attorney:
- Establishing the probability of your claim
- Gathering evidence to build a strong wide-turn accident case
- Reviewing accident reports, medical records, and other evidence
- Assessing the contributory negligence aspects of your case
- Consulting with various professionals in relevant fields to strengthen your case
- Negotiating a fair settlement with insurance companies
- Representing you in court if settlement is not feasible
Seeking the assistance of a wide-turn accident lawyer in Louisiana can be instrumental in ensuring that your rights are protected, and you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Call Our New Orleans Wide-Turn Accident Attorney Now!
If you’ve been involved in a wide turn accident in Louisiana, the decision to seek legal representation from Hammond Law Firm LLC can significantly impact the outcome of your case. With a deep understanding of Louisiana’s traffic laws, experience in handling personal injury claims, and the ability to navigate the complexities of contributory negligence, our New Orleans wide-turn accident attorneys become valuable advocates in seeking the compensation you deserve.
Contact Hammond Law Firm LLC today to protect your rights and pursue the compensation needed to move forward after a challenging incident on the road. Call us at any time today to schedule a free consultation.