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Left Turns at Intersections: Negligence Per Se Under A.R.S. section 28-772 | Karnas Law Firm

Unfortunately, the attorneys at Karnas Law regularly encounter clients who were injured in a car crash that occurred at an intersection. One of the most common types of car crashes that occur at intersections involve a vehicle that made a premature left turn. This blog post discusses A.R.S. section 28-772 and the duty of left-turning drivers to yield.

Yielding Before You turn Left

Left Turns at Intersections: Negligence Per Se Under A.R.S. section 28-772 | Karnas Law Firm

With A.R.S. section 28-772, the Arizona legislature established a statutory duty for drivers turning left at an intersection to yield to oncoming traffic:

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn left shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(A.R.S. section 28-772)

In practice, this rule creates a duty for drivers turning left at an intersection to calculate when it is safe to make the turn and execute the turn safely. (Op.Atty.Gen No. 58-82 [A driver making a left turn must only turn when it is safe and assure the approaching traffic will not be endangered].) The driver must gain a clear view of the intersection and oncoming traffic when making the decision and may not rely on the excuse that his or her view was blocked.
(Smith v. Johnson (1995) 183 Ariz. 38 [Even when the left-turning driver was signaled by the driver of an oncoming vehicle to make the turn, the left-turning driver still had a duty of care].) Indeed, violation of A.R.S. section 28-772 constitutes “negligence per se”, which is generally easier to prove than negligence. We will save a deeper discussion of “negligence per se” for a blog post at a later date.    

If You Have Been Injured Due to a Car Crash, Call the Karnas Law Firm

Left Turns at Intersections: Negligence Per Se Under A.R.S. section 28-772 | Karnas Law Firm

Car crashes involving left-turning drivers at the intersection often injure both drivers and passengers. When a driver makes a left turn, he or she exposes the passenger side of his or her vehicle to oncoming traffic. Accordingly, when the collision occurs, the passenger in the left-turning vehicle is often injured from the impact. Alternatively, the oncoming vehicle often strikes the left-turning vehicle head-on, causing a T-bone scenario. Thus, even a mild impact will often cause whiplash to the driver and passengers in the oncoming vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a left-turning vehicle at an intersection, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Karnas Law Firm have years of experience representing drivers and passengers injured in such crashes. Contact Karnas Law Firm for your free consultation today.

  

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