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Who’s At Fault for an Accident Caused by Improper Turn Signal Use

Legal Team

The general rule is that drivers must use turn signals to indicate their intention to turn or change lanes. Therefore, the failure to do so can lead to liability if improper turn signal use contributes to or causes an accident. 

New Mexico Law on Turn Signal Use

In New Mexico, state law mandates the use of turn signals to indicate a driver’s intention to turn or change lanes. According to New Mexico Statutes § 66-7-325

“B. A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. 

  1. No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.”

This law states that drivers are required to signal their intention to turn or merge at least 100 feet before making the maneuver unless the vehicle is traveling at a speed that makes signaling impractical. 

Failure to use turn signals as required by law can result in citations, fines, and potential civil liability in the event of an accident. 

How to Prove Another Driver Is At Fault for an Accident Caused by Improper Turn Signal Use

Proving another driver is responsible for an accident caused by improper signaling involves gathering evidence and establishing a clear link between the driver’s actions and the resulting collision. Here are steps to prove liability in such cases:

Document the Scene

Immediately after the accident, if possible, document the scene by taking photographs or videos. Capture the position of the vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible damage. This visual evidence can help reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the accident.

Obtain Witness Statements

If there are witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and statements regarding what they saw. Witnesses can provide crucial testimony corroborating your version of events and confirming the other driver’s failure to signal properly.

Police Report

Contact law enforcement to report the accident and ensure that a police officer arrives at the scene to document the incident. The police report will include details such as the officer’s observations, statements from drivers and witnesses, and any citations issued, which can serve as valuable evidence in establishing fault.

Medical Records

Seek medical attention immediately after leaving the scene. Then obtain copies of your medical records as they can help establish the extent of your injuries and the medical treatment required, strengthening your claim for compensation.

Seek Legal Advice

Consult a knowledgeable Albuquerque car accident lawyer. They can review the facts of the case, assess liability, help you gather evidence, and guide you through the legal process. An attorney will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf while you focus on recovering. They will advocate for your interests and ensure you recover the compensation you need for your injuries and other losses.

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