I wish I could tell you for certain, but there are so many variables, such as what each traffic signal said, the speed each driver was going, etc. It is almost impossible to tell. I would not speak to anyone other than an attorney about your case and not speak to anyone without an attorney present.
As with any intersectional collision, the statement of so-called "independent" witnesses are critical in attempting to determine who was a fault. Assuming you were injured in the collision, I suggest you contact a personal injury attorney to assist you. Your lawyer will be able to obtain the lighting sequencing for the traffic lights in question, which will clearly state if there are such delays.
My firm has done so many of these cases throughout California it is almost like second hat.
The general rule is that the person making a left turn must yield to oncoming traffic. In other words, they should not make their left turn until they see that there is no oncoming traffic. In most of these types of cases, it is person who is making the left hand turns fault for failing to yield.
Now, with respect to you hitting the white bar just after the yellow light came on, there are several schools of thought. Firstly, the yellow light indicates that you should slow down because the light is about to turn red. It sounds to me that there was no way for you to safely stop for the yellow. However, another school of thought is that you should be able to stop in time and if not you are speeding.
The real bottom line here is if the light turned red after you entered the intersection. If it did you would probably be at least 50% or more at fault. If it did not I would say that the person making the left hand turn was 100% at fault. This is with the limited information that you provided.
California is a comparative negligence state. Fault is apportioned like a pie. Who was what percentage at fault is the question that is asked and answered by a jury in the jury instructions. If you were less then 50% at fault you have a case!
If you want to discuss your case with me you can call me at 800-816-1529 ext. 1. We handle cases in your area!
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