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Are all left lane turn drivers at fault ?

Rochester, NY |

A car was making a left turn when it was hit behind the back wheel by a motorcycle. Judging by previous comments the fact that he doesn't have a licence really means nothing, so I guess I was wondering if the motorcyclist was proven to gave been drinking and/or speeding...how does that effect the left turner?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Unless the left turning driver was found guilty of the Vehicle and Traffic Law section governing such turns (which would constitute negligence as a matter of law), then the answer is no, not all left hand turn drivers are at fault, at least not entirely at fault. NY has adopted pure comparative negligence which permits a judge or jury to assign percentages of fault to the drivers involved.

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  2. In New York one looks at the comparative fault of each driver. If the motorcyclist was speeding or impaired by alcohol this would considered in determing fault. The fact that the impact was on the back wheel leads me to believe that the car had almost completted the left turn and perhaps the motorcycle might and should have avoided the impact. Gnerally, the vehicle making the left turn in front of another vehicle has (unless there are other significant factors such as impaired operation or excessive speed on the part of the vehicle going straight) has more comparative fault for the accident depending on the circumtsances. Each case is fact specfic. Lack of a liscense has no evidentariary significance in determining fault.


  3. No, it depends on the circumstnaces. Drinking and/or speeding would make a big difference.

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