Can Drivers Be Held Liable for South Bend Car Accidents Caused by Improper Use of a Turn Signal?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on May 24, 2024

. Updated on May 24, 2024


right turn signal on dashboardUsing your turn signals at the appropriate time is a vital part of being a safe driver. Turn signals communicate a driver’s intention to make a turn, helping promote smooth traffic flow and reducing the risk of accidents.

Below, the experienced South Bend auto accident lawyers at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak address Indiana laws on turn signal use, the type of accidents caused by improper turn signal use and how to prove a crash was caused by failing to use a turn signal correctly.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we have decades of experience helping injured victims obtain compensation from insurance companies and other liable parties. If you sustained injuries due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim.

More than $200 million recovered for our clients. FREE case review: (574) 444-0741.

Indiana Law on Turn Signal Use

In Indiana, drivers must use turn signals when:

  • Changing lanes
  • Turning at intersections
  • Merging with other traffic

If drivers do not use a turn signal in any of these situations they could be cited by police. They could also raise the risk of a collision for which they might be held liable.

Indiana drivers should flip on a turn signal at least 200 feet before making a turn or changing lanes. If you are in an area where the speed limit is 50 mph or more, you must use a turn signal at least 300 feet before changing lanes or turning.

What Types of Crashes Are Caused By Drivers’ Failure to Signal?

Improper use of turn signals can lead to various types of accidents such as:

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions happen when one vehicle strikes the rear bumper of another vehicle. If a driver fails to turn on the turning signal before slowing down, the trailing driver may not have enough time to brake to avoid a crash.

Sideswipe Collisions

When a driver changes lanes without signaling, his or her car could swipe the vehicle in the adjacent lane. The risk of an accident increases if a driver goes over multiple lanes without signaling.

Intersection Accidents

Turning without signaling at a four-way stop or other intersection could lead to a dangerous crash, such as a crash with an oncoming car.

How Do I Prove Another Driver Is at Fault for an Accident Caused by Improper Turn Signal Use?

If you were injured in a South Bend collision, you may be able to obtain compensation for your damages. However, you must prove the other driver caused the collision, otherwise there is no case against that driver’s insurance company.

There are various types of evidence your lawyer may be able to use to prove the crash resulted from improper turn signal use or the failure to use a turn signal:

Witness Testimony

Eyewitnesses can provide crucial information about whether the driver used their turn signal or engaged in some other form of negligent driver. A witness could be another driver who saw the entire accident or a pedestrian who was nearby and had a clear view of the incident.

Traffic Camera Footage

Video footage of a crash can speed up the legal process, as it is very difficult to refute this type of evidence. For instance, there might be camera footage from a traffic camera or even a security camera from a nearby business. Camera footage could be used to confirm the victim’s and eyewitness statements about what happened.

Police Report

The police report can be thought of as the first official record of the crash. The report lists the important details about the accident, statements from the drivers’ involved, eyewitness statements and possibly the officer’s opinion about why the crash occurred. The report also lists any traffic citations issued by the police.

Vehicle Damage

The damage to the vehicles involved in the accident can also provide significant insight into how the crash occurred. For example, damage to the side of your vehicle could indicate you were sideswiped.

Challenges With Proving Turn Signal Negligence

Proving negligence requires solid evidence and a thorough investigation. This is not without challenges, such as:

Lack of Witnesses

If no one else saw the accident, and there is no camera footage, it is one driver’s word against another’s. This makes it difficult to clearly establish what happened. However, all witnesses are not equal. Some witnesses have a connection to those involved, putting their statements into question.

Limited Camera Footage

Some traffic cameras at traffic lights may not be working. Even if cameras are present, they may not capture everything that happened.

Disputed Facts

At-fault drivers and their insurance companies often deny responsibility for crashes. They may even claim the crash is your fault. In these situations, you can benefit greatly from hiring an experienced attorney to represent you and build a strong case.

Contact Our South Bend Office To Discuss Your Possible Legal Options

Improper use of turn signals can cause accidents that can result in serious injuries and damages. Victims of these collisions need experienced legal support, as insurance companies often take advantage of crash victims who try to manage the process on their own.

Our firm provides the support you need every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by improper turn signal use, call us today. There are no fees for our services unless we win.

Schedule a FREE case review today: (574) 444-0741.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases