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  • Motorcycle accident...who's at fault?

    I am 25 years old and was recently involved in my first accident ever (car or motorcycle). I live in Hollywood, and called LAPD immediately to acquire a police report, but they never came. I was later told they tend not to respond to traffic accidents if there are no injuries or disabled vehicles. I'm not sure if this is true or not.

    Anyways, I really need advice on who was at fault, because the woman who hit me is changing her story and saying it was my fault.

    I was traveling southbound in the far right lane of a large 3 lane road. While I was stopped at a red light, 2 fire trucks came through with their sirens on. By the time they were gone, the west/east bound lights had changed from green to red, and my light had turned green. I accelerated, as did the other cars at my light, however, being on a motorcycle, I was first out of the gate. A woman from the east/west bound intersection believed she still had the right to finish her left turn and not only did so, but made a wide (illegal I believe) left turn, turning across all 3 southbound lanes and completely cutting me off causing my front tire to collide with her rear, right bumper, knocking my bike over.

    Am I correct in thinking that just because the fire trucks interrupted HER green light doesn't mean she gets to make a left turn after our light has turned green? Regardless, isn't she at fault for making a left turn into the far right lane?

    My trouble is that the mark my tire left on her bumped COULD appear as though I re-ended her. But any light shed on my situation would be GREATLY appreciated. I think it's really great that officers take time out of their already taxing days to answer civilian questions. Thank you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by jcrans20 View Post
    I am 25 years old and was recently involved in my first accident ever (car or motorcycle). I live in Hollywood, and called LAPD immediately to acquire a police report, but they never came. I was later told they tend not to respond to traffic accidents if there are no injuries or disabled vehicles. I'm not sure if this is true or not.

    Anyways, I really need advice on who was at fault, because the woman who hit me is changing her story and saying it was my fault.

    I was traveling southbound in the far right lane of a large 3 lane road. While I was stopped at a red light, 2 fire trucks came through with their sirens on. By the time they were gone, the west/east bound lights had changed from green to red, and my light had turned green. I accelerated, as did the other cars at my light, however, being on a motorcycle, I was first out of the gate. A woman from the east/west bound intersection believed she still had the right to finish her left turn and not only did so, but made a wide (illegal I believe) left turn, turning across all 3 southbound lanes and completely cutting me off causing my front tire to collide with her rear, right bumper, knocking my bike over.

    Am I correct in thinking that just because the fire trucks interrupted HER green light doesn't mean she gets to make a left turn after our light has turned green? Regardless, isn't she at fault for making a left turn into the far right lane?

    My trouble is that the mark my tire left on her bumped COULD appear as though I re-ended her. But any light shed on my situation would be GREATLY appreciated. I think it's really great that officers take time out of their already taxing days to answer civilian questions. Thank you!
    This is a civil matter, yes there are some traffic violations but all relatively minor. And its going to be her word against yours unless you can find witnesses. Its a fight for the insurance company and lawyers you should probably consult both.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your information is correct. LAPD does not respond to non injury TC's. It's that simple.

      Any vehicle in an intersection has the right to clear the intersection before other vehicles can enter the intersection. Basic physic's, two objects can not occupy the same space at the same time.

      As a motorcycle rider you should follow the "lug nut theory", vehicles with largest lug nuts wins. Who is in the right or wrong does not matter, you will be just as dead even if you were in the right.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 2wheeldep View Post
        Your information is correct. LAPD does not respond to non injury TC's. It's that simple.

        Any vehicle in an intersection has the right to clear the intersection before other vehicles can enter the intersection. Basic physic's, two objects can not occupy the same space at the same time.

        As a motorcycle rider you should follow the "lug nut theory", vehicles with largest lug nuts wins. Who is in the right or wrong does not matter, you will be just as dead even if you were in the right.
        Yup!
        "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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        • #5
          She is at fault...did you atleast exchange isnurance info? Some states have a website you can go on and file a report for insurance purposes.

          Comment


          • #6
            If she was in the intersection already and the fire trucks went by, then she wouldn't really be at fault, regardless of how wide of a turn she made. Just because you had the green light doesn't mean that you can go when it isn't safe to do so.

            Yes, LAPD usually does not respond to non-injury, non-disabled vehicle accidents. They are usually exchange of information and thus a civil matter. In your situation, if she was already in the intersection when the fire trucks came, then she should have the right of way and thus you would be at fault. When making a left turn, you don't have to go into the far left lane, you can go into any of the lanes as long as it is safe to do so. That doesn't apply to 2 left turn lanes though.

            Regardless, it's a civil matter and let your insurance companies deal with it. It's a he said, she said situation unless there are witnesses.

            Comment


            • #7
              From the California Vehicle Code.

              21451. (a) A driver facing a circular green signal shall proceed
              straight through or turn right or left or make a U-turn unless a sign
              prohibits a U-turn. Any driver, including one turning, shall yield
              the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within
              the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk
              .

              You had the duty to yield the right of way as she was already lawfully in the intersection
              Today's Quote:

              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
              Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Too many variables to make a determination as to who is at fault. We are hearing only one side of the story. Contact your insurance company and they will make the assessment of blame based on both driver's statements and those of any witnesses who may be provided.

                In my experience this incident will be given 50-50 blame for both parties and the insurances will split the costs - each taking care of their own.

                Good luck!
                Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                Comment


                • #9
                  http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/07/...ion/index.html
                  Last edited by Nobody; 10-08-2009, 10:35 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A vehicle negotiating a left turn may use any lane available. A vehicle negotiating a right turn shall use the nearest lane.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nobody View Post
                      so in california, the vehicle isn't required to turn left into the nearest lane (ie the #1 lane in this case?)

                      vehicle 1, if in the intersection already, can complete her turn - but should've driven into the #1 lane - not the #3 lane

                      where's the damage to her car? Is it on the back bumper of the car / back of the car - or is it on the passenger rear quarter panel?
                      Left turns have lane options.

                      Turning Upon a Highway

                      22100. Except as provided in Section 22100.5 or 22101, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn upon a highway shall do so as follows:

                      (a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except:

                      (1) Upon a highway having three marked lanes for traffic moving in one direction that terminates at an intersecting highway accommodating traffic in both directions, the driver of a vehicle in the middle lane may turn right into any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

                      (2) If a right-hand turn is made from a one-way highway at an intersection, a driver shall approach the turn as provided in this subdivision and shall complete the turn in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.

                      (3) Upon a highway having an additional lane or lanes marked for a right turn by appropriate signs or markings, the driver of a vehicle may turn right from any lane designated and marked for that turning movement.

                      (b) Left Turns. The approach for a left turn shall be made as close as practicable to the left-hand edge of the extreme left-hand lane or portion of the roadway lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle and, when turning at an intersection, the left turn shall not be made before entering the intersection. After entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered, except that upon a highway having three marked lanes for traffic moving in one direction that terminates at an intersecting highway accommodating traffic in both directions, the driver of a vehicle in the middle lane may turn left into any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in that direction upon the roadway being entered.
                      Amended Sec. 353, Ch. 183, Stats. 2004. Effective January 1, 2005.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Was she past the stop bar? If so, she needs to complete her turn in order to clear the intersection.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2wheeldep View Post
                          Your information is correct. LAPD does not respond to non injury TC's. It's that simple.

                          Any vehicle in an intersection has the right to clear the intersection before other vehicles can enter the intersection. Basic physic's, two objects can not occupy the same space at the same time.

                          As a motorcycle rider you should follow the "lug nut theory", vehicles with largest lug nuts wins. Who is in the right or wrong does not matter, you will be just as dead even if you were in the right.
                          X-2.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                            X-2.
                            First off thanks for all your input. I really don't need to be told not to battle it out with a car...I think that's pretty obvious. There's not much one can do when a car suddenly enters your lane directly in front of you and hits your front tire. I wasn't trying to "win", I was trying to stay off the pavement...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jcrans20 View Post
                              First off thanks for all your input. I really don't need to be told not to battle it out with a car...I think that's pretty obvious. There's not much one can do when a car suddenly enters your lane directly in front of you and hits your front tire. I wasn't trying to "win", I was trying to stay off the pavement...
                              Sounds like you we're successful. Just trying to make the point. BTDT.

                              Comment

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