Rear ended after I made a left into an intersection...

by Paul
(Baltimore, MD)

I made a left turn into an intersection from a parking lot. My visibility of oncoming traffic was not very good. I proceeded slowly with caution. Another driver had waved me to proceed. A driver who I had not seen coming in the lane into which I turned hit me in the rear shortly after I entered the intersection.

I believe he had enough time to see me and slow down to prevent the collision. I thought as long as he rear ended me it is his fault. He should drive slowly enough to prevent running into any vehicle suddenly in his way provided that vehicle was not speeding or running a red light.

Is this correct? Who is at fault here? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Rear ended after I made a left into an intersection...":

Paul (Baltimore, MD):

According to Maryland law, Title 21 Section 21-402:

"(a) If the driver of a vehicle intends to turn to the left in an intersection or into an alley or a private road or driveway, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any other vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and is in the intersection or so near to it as to be an immediate danger.

(b) If the driver of a vehicle intends to turn to go in the opposite direction, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any approaching vehicle that is so near as to be an immediate danger."

From the facts you present, if the driver who collided with you was already in the lane of traffic when he struck you, then you may be legally responsible for the collision.

Moreover, under Maryland's pure contributory negligence law, if it is determined a victim in a collision was even 1% liable for the collision, then the victim is completely barred from recovering any money from the at-fault driver.

While a harsh rule, Maryland still follows it. This means even if you believe the other driver had some fault in the collision, your contribution by violating Section 21-492 will likely fully bar you from any recovery.

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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