The incident occurred at the intersection of Alexandria Pike and Main. You were talking to your kids as you were going down Main and since you knew Alexandria was coming up, you put your left blinker on. When you approached the stop sign, you realized that you actually needed to turn right, so instead of switching your blinker you just decided to make the turn. At that point, you slammed directly into the car next to you, which was also turning right.
After you checked your kids to make sure they were okay, you went to talk to the other driver, who stated that since you had your left blinker on, he assumed you were turning left—which would have allowed him to turn right on the shoulder.
As you both assessed the damage and waited for the police to arrive, you started to get increasingly anxious over the report that would be filed. Will you be held accountable for the accident since you had the wrong turn signal on, or was it the other guy’s fault for trying to go around you?
Consequences of Misusing Turn Signals
The Traffic Code of Virginia states that once a driver has given a hand or light signal, he must continue the course he indicated until he changes that signal. Therefore, if a driver indicates that he will be turning or changing lanes in a particular direction, he must continue that action, unless he changes the signal. According to this mandate, if you accidentally turn on your right blinker, but then turn left, you could:
- Be fined anywhere from $30 to $100 in penalties
- Cause a severe pedestrian or vehicle accident
- Put your family at risk for injury as a result of an accident
- Be considered at fault or accused of contributory negligence
Who’s at fault for a car accident can change depending on circumstances, including the right of way, speed, and personal circumstances (for example, distracted or drunk driving). Because the Traffic Code is a mandated law with state penalties, a precedent is set that misusing turn signals can be treacherous. Therefore, an experienced car accident lawyer could argue that by disobeying the code, you could be at least partially at fault for the accident. This is why it is extremely important to always use your turn signals properly.
If you or a loved one has recently been in an accident as a result of another driver improperly or carelessly using a turn signal, don’t take the risk of not being fully compensated for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your Virginia auto and home insurance policy to make sure you get a justified settlement.