Determining Fault for a Right-Turn Crash in Wisconsin

right turn arrow on roadRight-turn accidents can cause serious injuries, especially when the oncoming driver is traveling at high speed.

Victims of these crashes have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party who caused the collision. However, they must prove the other driver is at fault.

Do you know how fault for a Wisconsin right-turn collision should be evaluated? Our Oshkosh auto collision attorneys discuss the factors that must be considered when establishing fault for a right-turn collision.

To protect your rights, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process. We offer a free legal consultation, and there are no upfront fees if we take on your case.

What is a Right-Turn Crash?

Right-turn crashes are those that happen when one driver is attempting to make a right turn. These collisions often take place at intersections with traffic lights or stop signs. Right-turn crashes may also happen in parking lots.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Right-Turn Accidents?

One of the main causes of right-turn accidents at red lights is the failure of drivers to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles. Drivers are supposed to come to a full stop at the light and yield to any oncoming traffic before making the turn.

Drivers making right turns at red lights may also misjudge the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles. This can cause drivers to think they have enough time to make the turn when they clearly do not. This often results in a collision with an approaching vehicle.

Distracted driving can also be a contributing factor in right-turn accidents at red lights. Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio or engaging with passengers can divert a drivers’ attention from the road, making them unaware of the presence of other vehicles or pedestrians.

Some drivers may become impatient while waiting at a red light and attempt to make a quick right turn without adequately checking for oncoming traffic. Aggressive maneuvers, such as cutting off other vehicles or making abrupt lane changes, can also increase the risk of a collision during a right turn.

Certain environmental factors, such as obstructed views due to buildings, landscaping or parked vehicles can limit a driver’s visibility while making a right turn at a red light. Reduced visibility increases the chances of not noticing approaching vehicles.

Are Right Turns Always Legal in Wisconsin?

Most right turns are legal in Wisconsin, even if a driver is attempting a right turn at a traffic light that is red. Right turns are only illegal in the state if there is a sign posted prohibiting drivers from making right turns. For example, some signs prohibit making a right turn onto a one-way road.

How is Fault Determined After a Right-Turn Crash?

Fault for a right-turn accident depends on which driver acted negligently. Often, the driver making the right turn is at fault because he or she was required to yield and failed to do so. The driver may have failed to look at oncoming traffic or may have exercised bad judgment by trying to turn ahead of an oncoming car.

If a driver turns right where there is a sign prohibiting it and a crash occurs, that driver is likely to be held liable.

Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when making right turns, including signaling intentions and checking for pedestrians or cyclists in the crosswalk. A driver who fails to do this could be liable for the potentially serious bodily injury caused to a person in the crosswalk.

When Could the Oncoming Driver Be Held Liable?

If a driver involved in a right-turn accident violates traffic laws, such as by disobeying traffic signals, he or she is most likely to be held liable for damages. This includes speeding through the intersection to either make it through the yellow light or to prevent another vehicle from making a right turn, as this is sometimes the case with aggressive drivers.

Can Drivers Share Fault For a Right-Turn Collision?

Wisconsin follows a comparative negligence system, meaning fault can be assigned to multiple parties. If both drivers involved in a right-turn accident were negligent to some extent, their percentage of fault will determine the amount of compensation they may recover.

Both drivers may be partially at fault for a right-turn crash if both failed to observe certain traffic laws, including speeding through the intersection.

Partial fault for a right-turn accident may rarely fall on a cyclist or pedestrian in the crosswalk if he or she was crossing the road when there was a “do not cross” sign flashing. Although drivers owe these individuals a higher duty of care, they are still responsible for taking reasonable precautions to avoid a collision with a vehicle.

Call Us Today For Post-Crash Legal Help

If you were injured in a right-turn accident on a Wisconsin road, call our knowledgeable attorneys today. We offer a free legal consultation and there are no upfront fees.

Even if you think you may share fault, you may still be able to recover compensation. Our attorneys are prepared to help you.

Call (877) 888-5201 to get started.