Left turn from center lane of highway, t-boned by person turning left...

by Tanner
(Austin, Texas)

I am having trouble finding an example of this online, but this happened to me a couple hours ago; I was in the center lane waiting for traffic to pass as I was turning into my apartment complex. I was aware of another person exiting the apartment complex at the same time, with their left blinker on. My left blinker was also on.

As I see the light at the intersection up the road turn red, and the last car pass from that intersection, I take my turn as I have the right of way (person sitting in the middle of traffic is in most potential danger and should be allowed to get out first, right?).

The person taking a left turn out of the entrance turns left right as I've already gotten on the apartment complex's driveway, t-boning me in the side. It left a large dent on my driver's side, low, with about 1/4 of their bumper hitting my driver's door, and the other 3/4 embedding into the back left door.

I had already turned in front of them and I think the fact that they hit farther towards the back of my car proves that they had plenty of time to see at least the front half of my car in front of them and brake. They are obviously at fault, right? How does liability in this situation work? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Left turn from center lane of highway, t-boned by person turning left...":

Tanner (Austin, Texas):

The New York State Motor Vehicle Code Section 1143 states:

"Vehicle entering roadway. The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a roadway from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed."

New York State Motor Vehicle Code Section 1141 also states:

"Vehicle turning left. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard."

From the facts you present, it appears the driver exiting the apartment complex was wrong and in violation of Section 1143 and possibly 1141 of the NYS Motor Vehicle Code. The at-fault driver should not have turned into the roadway until you safely crossed traffic turning into the complex.

When discussing liability with the driver or his insurance company, be sure to cite Sections 1143 and 1141. If necessary, copy and paste the law and the link. Let the insurance company know you are aware of the law and of the clear liability of their insured.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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