Who is at fault when one driver is passing another on the left? That depends on the specific facts of that case. Passing on the left is considered a dangerous maneuver, and a driver of a passing vehicle is held to a higher degree of care. The left turning driver and overtaking driver collisions represent the classic comparative fault scenario. In the case of a crash between the two, the law imposes a duty on both drivers. The driver turning left must use their turn signal and not turn until it has been determined it is safe to do so.
Facts needed when a left turning driver collides with a driver passing them on the left
Imagine a driver slowing down to make a left turn and at the same time another driver is attempting to pass the “slow moving” car in front of them. The two collide. Who is at fault? That is very fact specific. Facts needed:
• Did the lead vehicle put their blinker on to indicate a left turn?
• Did the lead vehicle have working brake lights and turn signals?
• The following vehicle, how far back was it?
• How many cars was the following vehicle trying to pass?
• Was the following vehicle completely in the oncoming lane of traffic?
• Did the following vehicle blow its horn?
Proving fault in such cases can be complicated and it is fact driven. Often, stories do not match and there is some confusion of fact. Each case is fact intensive and must be properly evaluated. Documentation is key in such cases. When possible, taking photos at the scene are extremely important because it can show the point of impact based on where the debris falls on the road. Having a skilled attorney working with you is necessary to explain the law, its complexities, and help to maximize your recovery.
In Louisiana, hit and run laws address the legal obligations of individuals involved in vehicle crashes. The law requires drivers involved in crashes to stop immediately at the scene, provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to any other involved party, and render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. Additionally, if the crash involves injury or death, drivers must also provide aid or summon medical assistance as needed.
What Happens If A Driver Runs?
Failure to fulfill these obligations constitutes a hit and run offense, which can result in serious legal consequences. Penalties for hit and run offenses in Louisiana vary depending on the severity of the accident and whether it resulted in injury or death. In cases involving injury or death, hit and run can be classified as a felony, carrying potential imprisonment, fines, and license suspension or revocation.
Misdemeanor hit and runs, those where the victim does not have serious injuries or the need for immediate medical care, can be either or both a fine of up to $500 and jail time of up to 6 months. Felony hit and runs occur when there is serious bodily injury or death and fleeing the scene endangered the health of the victim. To be a felony, the driver must have known that they were in or caused the crash and should know that the victim was seriously injured or had died as a result of the crash. The fines for a felony hit and run can be jail time of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Remember, Louisiana law requires drivers to report crashes to law enforcement. Failure to report such accidents can also lead to legal penalties.
Do I Have A Claim Against the Driver Who Fled?
If that driver caused the crash, YES! Sometimes it is hard to find the driver who leaves the scene of a crash and that is why taking photos, video, and capturing any other evidence is key in helping law enforcement locate the fleeing driver. Vehicle make, model, color, size, and any description are very useful, but nothing is better than photos or videos that capture these details and hopefully a license plate number as well. I addition to economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages may apply.
In summary, Louisiana hit and run laws emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions after a crash, aiding those in need, and complying with reporting requirements to ensure accountability and public safety on the roads. To learn more, give us a call to discuss your legal rights.
Following a crash, victims often find themselves dealing with physical pain, emotional distress and smothered by financial burdens. When faced with the complexities of personal injury law, hiring a skilled attorney is key. You deserve quality representation that will ensure justice and maximize your recovery. In the unique legal landscape of south Louisiana, the nuances of personal injury law and litigation demand the expertise of a skilled attorney who understands Louisiana law, excels at negotiations, is not hesitant to bring your case to trial – you deserve such an attorney because you deserve the best representation from an attorney who will take the time to understand who you are, your injuries, how you have been affected, and will fight to recover what you are legally entitled to, whether in settlement or in court.
In South Louisiana, the aftermath of a crash or injury can be a challenging and overwhelming time. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney is not just a legal necessity but a strategic decision that significantly influences the outcome of a case. From navigating the local legal landscape to conducting thorough investigations and negotiating fair settlements, a seasoned attorney plays a crucial role in securing justice and ensuring the well-being of their clients in the aftermath of a personal injury.
Car crashes can be traumatic experiences, and in the aftermath, emotions run high. Amid the chaos and confusion, it’s crucial to remember the significance of preserving evidence. The steps taken immediately after a car crash can greatly impact the outcome of legal proceedings, insurance claims, and overall road safety. In this post, we’ll explore the importance of preserving evidence in a car crash and how it plays a pivotal role in seeking justice and ensuring the safety of all road users.
- Ensuring Accurate Liability Determination: Preserving evidence is paramount for accurately determining liability in a car crash. Critical pieces of evidence, such as witness statements, photographs of the scene and any visible damage to vehicles, can provide a clear picture of what transpired. This information is invaluable for insurance companies, law enforcement, and for me when establishing who is at fault.
- Supporting Insurance Claims: Insurance claims are a standard part of the aftermath of a car crash. Preserving evidence ensures that you have the necessary documentation to support your claim. This may include photographs of the damages, medical reports, police reports, and any other relevant information. Having documentation can expedite the claims process and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome without having to go to trial.
- Aiding in Legal Proceedings: In the event that legal action is necessary, preserved evidence becomes the backbone of your case. Courts rely on tangible proof in determining liability. This may include dash camera footage, photographs from the scene, expert testimonies, and any other evidence that sheds light on the circumstances leading up to the crash. Without proper evidence, it becomes challenging to build a strong legal case.
- Ensuring Accountability and Preventing Recurrence: Preserving evidence not only helps the individual involved in the crash but also contributes to broader road safety. By holding accountable those responsible for the crash, it sends a message that negligent behavior will not be tolerated. This, in turn, contributes to a safer driving environment, potentially preventing similar incidents in the future.
- Protecting Your Rights: Preserving evidence is about protecting your rights as a victim. Whether it’s obtaining contact information from witnesses, taking photographs of the scene, or seeking medical attention promptly, these actions safeguard your ability to seek compensation and justice. Failing to preserve evidence may weaken your position and limit your options in the aftermath of a car crash.
In the aftermath of a car crash, preserving evidence is not just a procedural formality; it is a fundamental step towards justice and safety. Taking swift and decisive action to document the scene, gather information, and seek medical attention ensures that you are well-prepared for any legal or insurance actions that may follow. By understanding the importance of preserving evidence, you will know what evidence following a crash is important so that when you meet with me, together we can work to maximize your recovery knowing we have the best and necessary evidence to establish a strong personal injury claim.
Drivers know that rear-end crashes are among the most common types of crashes.
Rear-end crashes happened daily and are often caused by a combination of factors like distracted driving, tailgating, sudden stops, and, yes, road rage. Distracted driving includes both physical and mental distractions.
Physical distractions include things like talking or texting on a cell phone, looking at the navigation system, putting on make-up, eating or drinking coffee or beverages.
Mental distractions exist when the driver is thinking of something other than the duty to drive safely and obey traffic safety laws.
When distracted, tailgating, sudden stops by the vehicle in front, failing to maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, poor visibility conditions like slippery or uneven roads, and reduced visibility caused by fog, rain, or darkness all can impair a driver’s ability to react timely and avoid a rear-end crash.
Damages to you and your car: Depending on a variety of factors like speed at the time of the crash and the weight of the vehicles directly impact the injuries to the driver in the front vehicle. Injuries can range from whiplash, to serious neck, shoulder, head, traumatic brain injury, low back, nerve damage that may include paralysis, and in the most severe crashes – death. Additionally, drivers may suffer emotional injuries that can lead to anxiety, distress, or fear of driving. And don’t forget about property damage that can range from minor cosmetic to significant property damage, or a totaled car.
Law enforcement officials and accident reconstruction experts talk about perception and reaction times and stopping distances. Perception means the process of seeing a hazard, and reaction means the driver’s physical act of reacting to the hazard, like applying the brakes. A typical driver’s best perception and reaction times are 1.5 seconds each, when not distracted. The perception and reaction times for the average driver who is driving a typical vehicle at 30 mph will travel an estimated 45 feet in 1.5 seconds or a total of 90 feet in 3 seconds. The average driver who is traveling 60 mph will travel 90 feet in 3 seconds. These estimates do not include stopping distance or time, which involves the condition of the tires, the road conditions, and other factors like the driver’s alertness and age, all of which expand the time it takes the average driver to perceive and react to a hazard and then stop to avoid a crash.
Understanding these matters can help drivers recognize the need to stay alert, maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead, anticipate sudden stops by being aware of the traffic flow and prepare for potential stops, ensure that the vehicle’s brakes and lights are working properly, and the need to drive defensively by being aware of the surroundings and anticipating other drivers’ actions.
Awareness and proactive measures are key in preventing rear-end crashes. By understanding their causes and adopting safe driving practices, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of rear-end crashes. Each state has traffic safety laws that are designed to prevent rear-end crashes. You can Google these laws for your particular state. You will find that the laws are strikingly similar in each state.
FALSE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES AND WHY SEATBELTS ARE IMPORTANT
Many people, if not almost all, believe most crashes that result in deaths happen at high speeds and well away from our homes. Wrong. The facts do not support these assumptions or beliefs. Rather, the data shows that 80% of deaths occur in cars traveling less than 40 miles per hour, and 75% of crashes occur within 25 miles of our homes.
Louisiana law makes it mandatory for all drivers and passengers in cars, vans, and pickup trucks to wear seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of serious injury and death by 50%. Those less likely to wear them are teens, commercial drivers, males in rural areas, pickup drivers, people driving at night, and people who have been drinking. The bottom line is simple. “Buckle up.” Studies show that wearing a seatbelt is the smartest move that drivers can make to prevent injury or death. Here are some facts:
- Your chances of being killed are 25 times greater if you are thrown from your vehicle.
- Non-belted fatalities have been recorded at speeds as low as 12 miles per hour.
- The force of an impact at just 10 miles per hour is equal to the force of a 200 pound bag of cement dropped from a first story window.
- If everyone who is involved in a crash wore a seatbelt at the time of the crash, 60% more lives could be saved.
- 1 in 7 adults choose not to wear seatbelts.
Concerning children, the Louisiana Child Passenger Restraint law requires that all children must be properly restrained and secured in an age- or size-appropriate passenger restraint system that meets the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Here is that information:
- A child 6 years or younger or under 60 lbs. may not be transported in the front seat of a vehicle with an active airbag.
- Birth or less than 20 lbs. at any age – rear-facing, federally approved car seat
- 1-4 years, at least 20 lbs. but less than 40 lbs. – forward-facing, federally approved car seat
- 4-6 years, at least 40 lbs. but less than 60 lbs. – booster seat with restraints
- 6 years, more than 60 lbs. – booster seat with restraints or seat belts
- Booster seats are an appropriate option for a child of any age.
If you remember one thing it is wearing seatbelts saves lives and reduces the risk of serious injuries. To repeat, “Buckle up” and make sure that your passengers and children also are buckled up and in proper restraints.
If you have been injured in a crash and have questions, call us today! The sooner we meet, the faster we can evaluate your case and, if you choose to hire us, the faster we can begin to help you maximize your recovery.
Roundabouts are also called traffic circles. Roundabouts are one-way, circular intersections designed to improve safety and efficiency for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In a roundabout, traffic flows counterclockwise around a center island. A roundabout redirects some of the conflicting traffic, such as left turns, which cause crashes at traditional intersections. This is because drivers enter and exit the roundabout through a series of right-hand turns.
Roundabouts replace regular intersections. They do not have stop signs, which eliminates the cost of electric traffic signals. Drivers must yield when entering and exiting a roundabout and must travel in a counterclockwise direction. Greater safety is achieved primarily by slower speeds and the elimination of more severe crashes and operation is improved by smooth-flowing traffic with less stop-and-go than a signalized intersection. Aesthetics are enhanced by the opportunity for more landscaping and less pavement, according to the DOTD. Roundabouts were first introduced in the U.S. in the 1990s. And since September 2003, some 174 more have been built in Louisiana according to the DOTD.
While intended to improve traffic flows and increase safety, roundabouts do not eliminate all traffic crashes. Many of the roundabout crashes are caused by drivers who are unfamiliar with them and the traffic rules that govern them. It is important to know that roundabouts may have two or more lanes, so know which lane you need before you enter the traffic circle.
Common Reasons for Crashes At Roundabouts
- Failure to yield to traffic that is already in the circle.
- Failure to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Drivers who stop abruptly in the circle because they are confused or missed their turn.
- Speeding when entering the circle.
Preventing Roundabouts Crashes
You cannot control the actions of other drivers. But if you obey some basic rules for roundabouts, you can help prevent a wreck:
- Slow down as you approach a roundabout.
- Yield to traffic that is already in the roundabout.
- Use your turn signal when exiting the roundabout.
- Give trucks and larger vehicles enough space to maneuver and exit the roundabout.
- Do not stop once you are in the traffic circle.
- Know which exit you need to take before you enter the circle.
Roundabout Crash Legal Timeline
Under Louisiana law, an crash victim has one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit or, if possible, settle the case. When this one-year period expires, the crash victim loses the right to sue the wrongdoer for both economic and non-economic damages.
If You Need An Experienced Attorney
Call us today. We have been helping those injured for over 50 years. We work for our clients, explaining the laws that protect them, the laws that were broken, understanding the facts and our client’s injuries and how those injuries have impacted their daily lives, their goals, and their dreams. So, if you need a great lawyer, call us at (337) 232-1934 to get started.