What You Should Know After a Wide Right-Turn Accident

Sharing the road with large vehicles that require extra space and time to perform ordinary maneuvers is a common experience. These situations might not seem challenging until you find yourself the victim of a wide right-turn accident—a common but often overlooked type of traffic incident involving larger vehicles that take up extra space when making right turns.

By understanding the dynamics of wide right-turn accidents, you can better understand what to do if you get in one and how a personal injury lawyer in Long Island can help you get fair compensation. Fasten your seatbelt as we navigate the legal process following a wide right-turn accident.

Understanding Wide Right-Turn Accidents

In a wide right-turn accident, a larger vehicle swings out into the left lane to make a right turn, colliding with another vehicle in the right lane as it overtakes or squeezes it toward the curb. Unaware of the larger vehicle’s impending wide turn, drivers of smaller modes of transport may try to advance into the space it vacated, leading to an accident.

These incidents typically involve vehicles with larger turning radiuses, such as buses, semi-trucks, trailers, and construction vehicles. The possibility of such an accident dramatically increases in tight city streets and crowded intersections. They can also happen at highway exit ramps if larger vehicles fail to judge the available space accurately.

The drivers of these large vehicles generally have a higher duty of care due to the potential damage their vehicles can cause.

Common Scenarios Where These Accidents Occur

Wide right-turn accidents typically occur in tight urban areas and city streets where large vehicles struggle to negotiate the corners and curves without sweeping into other lanes.

Other common situations include:

  • Crowded intersections where traffic congestion leaves little room for oversized vehicles to make a wide turn.
  • Highway off-ramps and entrances, especially when traffic is merging at high speeds.
  • Large vehicles attempting to make wide right turns into driveways or commercial establishments with inadequate space.

Incidents often happen when bulky vehicles turn onto narrow streets or give inadequate warning of their intention to turn. Areas with poor visibility or confusing signage are also at high risk.

Typical Vehicles Involved in Wide Right-Turn Accidents

The vehicles involved in wide right-turn accidents are typically large and bulky, thus requiring a wide radius to perform a turn. These include big rigs, semi-trucks, and buses. Construction vehicles like dump trucks and cranes often fall into this category due to their oversized structure.

Wide right-turn accidents can also involve large recreational vehicles and trailers because of their length and width. These vehicles all require more space to maneuver, particularly while making right turns.

The Dangers of Wide Right-Turn Accidents

The hazards of wide right-turn accidents extend beyond immediate physical injuries. They can also cause emotional and financial distress and disrupt regular traffic flow. 

What You Should Know After a Wide Right-Turn Accident

Potential Injuries 

Wide right-turn accidents can lead to various injuries, which may be serious or even life-threatening. Their extent depends on factors such as the speed at which the accident occurred, the size and type of the vehicles involved, and the specific circumstances of the incident.

Occupants of smaller vehicles, for example, might suffer from whiplash, a common injury resulting from the abrupt, whip-like motion that can occur during a collision. This sudden movement may lead to neck pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, among other symptoms.

Head injuries are common and may present as mild concussions or severe traumatic brain injuries. These can have serious long-term effects, including cognitive impairments and emotional problems.

Other injuries that might result from wide right-turn accidents include broken bones, internal injuries, and lacerations. In severe cases, these incidents can lead to fatalities or permanent conditions like paralysis.

Mental and emotional trauma can follow such an accident. Victims frequently suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological issues after a wide right-turn accident.

Statistics on the Frequency and Severity of Wide Right-Turn Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths involve large trucks. While these were not all wide right-turn accidents, this statistic underscores the overall risk associated with larger vehicles on the road.

A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report reveals that 17.4 percent of large truck crashes involve the truck’s movement, including right or left turns.

About 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 27 percent happened on highways, and the remaining 13 percent were on rural highways.

The severity of these accidents can vary widely and may result in minor vehicle damage, extensive injuries, or fatalities. Regardless of the seriousness, all wide right-turn accidents carry a financial cost and an emotional and physical toll for the victims.

There are several legal factors to consider regarding wide right-turn accidents. These include:

Liability in the Accident

Determining liability in a wide right-turn accident can be complex. Responsibility may lie solely with the driver of the larger vehicle if they failed to signal their intention to turn, check their mirrors, or properly judge the space for the turn.

Other parties, such as the company that owns or operates the larger vehicle or the local government, may share liability if poor road design or inadequate signage caused the accident. You can hold the company that owns the larger vehicle responsible if it did not provide adequate training to its drivers or failed to maintain the vehicle properly, leading to equipment failure.

Role of Traffic Laws and Regulations

Specific rules dictate that large vehicles must make right turns from the rightmost lane or as close as practical to the right-hand curb. Violation of such laws can establish driver negligence.

Many jurisdictions also have no-zone laws that mandate smaller vehicles to stay out of the blindspots of large vehicles, particularly when they turn. Your lawyer can interpret these laws, build a solid case, and advocate effectively for you.

Importance of Evidence in Wide Right-Turn Accident Cases

Evidence can present a clear picture of what happened and establish fault.

Crucial information to gather might include physical evidence from the accident scene, such as vehicle debris, or photographs of skid marks indicating the speed and direction of the vehicles involved. Available footage from nearby security cameras can accurately represent the accident.

Communication between the involved parties, insurance companies, or law enforcement authorities, including text messages, emails, letters, or statements made at the scene, can serve as evidence. Medical documents that detail the injuries you sustained, the treatments you received, and your prognosis can play a significant role in demonstrating the effect of the accident on your life.

Testimonies from eyewitnesses to the accident can provide objective third-party accounts to corroborate your version of events. All this evidence can profoundly influence the outcome of a wide right-turn accident case, and you should gather and preserve these as quickly as possible after the incident.

What Must You Do After a Wide Right-Turn Accident

Protect your health and legal rights after a truck accident by following these steps: 

Seek Medical Attention

A healthcare professional can perform a comprehensive examination to detect any underlying injuries due to the accident. These medical records can also serve as crucial evidence should you decide to file a legal claim or lawsuit. If you haven’t already, seeing a doctor to check for injuries is a good idea.  

In the days and weeks following the accident, remain alert for any delayed symptoms or discomfort. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not immediately appear. If you experience any unusual symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.

Aside from addressing health concerns, prompt medical intervention serves two key purposes. It establishes a connection between the accident and your injuries, which you need for insurance and legal purposes, and it demonstrates that you’re doing everything necessary to recover and heal effectively, which may indirectly influence the compensation you recover.

Avoid Talking With Other Parties 

It is crucial not to discuss fault with the other driver or insurance adjusters who may contact you as they can use anything you say against you in future insurance negotiations or legal proceedings. Hire an attorney before making any statements about the accident. 

Having professional legal representation in a wide right-turn accident is substantially beneficial. A skilled attorney can navigate the complex legal process, protecting your rights and representing your interests.

They can gather evidence, speak with witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and argue your case if it goes to court. Your lawyer’s advocacy can significantly influence the outcome of your case, potentially resulting in a more favorable settlement or verdict. 

Damages Available in Wide Right-Turn Cases 

In legal terms, damages refer to the compensation you may be eligible for if you suffer injuries in a wide right-turn accident. These include economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages refer to monetary losses, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of earnings or earning capacity, and property damage. 

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are for intangible losses resulting from the accident. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. Calculating these damages can be complex and often depends on a judge’s or jury’s subjective assessment.

You might also seek punitive damages. These do not compensate you for your loss but punish the wrongdoer and deter them and others from committing similar acts.

The compensation you may receive will depend on your accident, the severity of your injuries, and the laws in your jurisdiction. A traffic accident lawyer can recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact a Lawyer To Discuss Your Wide Right-Turn Accident Case 

Matthew H. Bligh, Lawyer for Wide Right-Turn Accident in Long Island
Matthew H. Bligh, Long Island Wide Right-Turn Accident Attorney

Wide right-turn accidents can cause serious and ongoing injuries. If you are the victim of such an incident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Experienced attorneys can offer you valuable advice and protect your rights throughout the process. They can investigate the accident, gather vital evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not delay. Hire an attorney today to discuss your case and determine the best course of action.

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