This article deals with California’s Left Turn/Failure to Yield law, and explains what typically happens in the event you are involved in a collision in Los Angeles where another driver makes a left turn in front of you.
California Vehicle Code Section 21801(a)
California’s Left Turn/Failure to Yield law, otherwise known as California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21801(a), states the following:
“The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left or complete a u-turn upon a highway or turn left into public or private property or alley shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement and shall continue to yield the right of way to the approaching vehicles until the left or u-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
So, basically the collision occurs when you are driving straight through a green or yellow light, and the driver coming from the opposite direction decides to make a left turn, or a U-turn, in front of you. Looking at the law as written above, the driver making the left-turn or U-turn in front of you would always be at fault and their insurance company should always accept 100% liability, right? Not so fast. The driver who made that turn in front of you may have defenses available to them.