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Who's at Fault if a Driver Signaled but Didn't Turn?

You were sitting at an intersection waiting for through traffic to pass. A car that was approaching was giving a signal, so you assumed to go, and you pulled out. However, that other vehicle did not stop and you were hit by that car. The other driver might not admit he or she was giving a signal, so it could become a he said, she said argument. There is a chance that you have witnesses who support your claim and saw the other driver giving a signal, but how the entire scenario works out could depend on how liability is divided.

If someone hits your car, you should stay on the scene and call the police, even if you think damages are minor and if no one seems to be injured. You will need to file an accident report to prove what happened and to have success with your personal injury claim.

Be sure to state only the facts – not opinions. The officer will need a statement from you and from the other driver. Any occupants in the vehicles may comment as well. If there are witnesses to the crash, be sure to ask them to provide you with written statements.

Get the names of witnesses and their contact details, as they may need to be contacted later to provide additional facts.

Exchange contact information and insurance details with the other driver. If possible, get photos of the accident scene and of the damages to the vehicles. If your vehicle must be towed, keep the tow bill and keep any rental car receipts, so you can make sure you get reimbursed for all the losses that pertain to your property damages.

Have your car inspected by a qualified auto repair facility and have them prepare an itemized written estimate that details that cost of repairing the damages to your vehicle.


In some states, both drivers can be responsible for a crash. Depending on the law, you might be able to pursue a claim against the other party if you are no more than 50% at fault. However, in some states you can still pursue damages if you were 99% to blame. Whose fault the accident is depends on the overall circumstance. While turn signals are required to be used, you should never just assume that a car is going to actually turn because a turn signal is on. Traffic laws do not say that the use of the turn signal should help you determine when it is safe to proceed. You should not take the right of way just because an approaching car is using a turn signal.

The Scenario

Say you are waiting at a stop sign and a car is approaching from the left, giving a signal to turn right. You pull from the intersection to turn left, only to find that the car was not making a right turn and slams into the driver’s side of your vehicle. You could be at fault for the entire crash because cars at stop signs are required to yield to vehicles that don’t have stop signs. You should have waited until the vehicle had passed or turned. It could, however, be shared fault because one driver signaled improperly, and the other driver did not wait at the stop sign until that car passed.

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What Kinds of Damages Could Occur to Your Vehicle?

There are dozens of ways that a vehicle could be damaged, and of course the kinds of damages and the cost of repairing those damages can vary greatly. As an example, if your car was hit while it was parked, it will most likely have minor damages, but even those can be expensive to fix.

Your car could suffer scratches or chipped paint or minor dents and dings or a broken headlight or taillight.

If your car was rear-ended while you were at a stop sign, you may need to have the entire bumper replaced, you could suffer trunk and taillight damages, or you may even have transmission damage from the impact going through the entire vehicle.

A T-bone accident might lead to door, fender, and even frame damage. A head-on collision will deploy airbags, lead to broken glass, damage the hood, grille, fenders, lights, and bumpers.

Depending on your make and model of vehicle, the point of impact, and the severity of the damages, your car might need a few hundred dollars of work or it could require thousands of dollars in repairs. In some cases, the damages exceed the value of the vehicle.

When it would cost more to fix the car than it is worth, the insurance company will consider the car to be a total loss. They will pay you the fair market value of your vehicle based on your location as well as the make, model, and condition of your vehicle.

When negotiating the property damage portion of your claim, you will want to include the tow bill and the cost of a rental car while your car is inoperable.

Some of the more common damages claimed in such accidents include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damages
  • Mental anguish
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Long-term or permanent disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

You must maintain documentation to support your claim. Your lawyer will also help you gather up the supporting evidence so you can show that you suffered both economic and non-economic losses as a direct result of being hit by a driver who was asleep at the wheel. Here are some examples of the supporting evidence that will help prove your claim:

  • Medical bills
  • Proof of missed work and lost wages
  • Repair estimates
  • Tow bills
  • Rental car receipts
  • Witness statements
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Photos of the damages and injuries
  • Medical records including physician notes
  • The accident report

When determining your medical expenses, be sure to include all medical-related costs, such as hospital visits, physician visits, specialist care, prescriptions, medical devices, x-rays and scans, lab work, and surgical procedures.

Ask your doctor if you will need any additional medical care, and have your doctor write a statement as to the effect and detail any additional care that you might need. You will want to determine the cost associated with any future care so you can ask for compensation pertaining to those expenses.

There can be a variety of damages that result from such a crash. The damages usually include property damages, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental trauma, permanent scarring, and more. You need to maintain documentation and evidence, such as medical bills, medical records, damage estimates, proof of missed work and lost wages, and so forth. Documentation is the key to a successful claim.

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Consult With A Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been involved in an accident with a vehicle that gave a signal and did not turn, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will review the details, investigate the accident, and then determine if you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form today to get your case reviewed. Time is of the essence, so don’t wait until it is too late.

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