I was stopped at a green light waiting to turn left on a busy street, with left blinker on. Lots of traffic. A car pulled out from being parked on the street coming towards me about 100 feet away (about three or four parking spots on other side of lights) there was a bit of a gap until that car who he had his left blinker on indicating he was going to turn left, and of course not going very fast. From being stopped I accelerated to turn the corner, then the oncoming car (having his left blinker on as in to indicate a turn) speeds up and drives straight into me while I was making the turn and hits me in the back wheel area, basically a T-Bone. The jeep amazingly had little damage, but big Mercury had worse. The police arrived and took our statements, as well as one witness's statement that seen the car with the blinker on as well as me with mine and how it hit me. The witness and I assumed it was the other driver's fault but it turned out I got the charge. The officer said it is a stupid charge but he needs to put the fault on someone and it is me in this situation. It was later that another witness that the officer did not question said it was wrong I was charged because the other driver could have prevented the crash especially being he accelerated to hit me (I don't think he did on purpose and I don't mean to have it sound like that). It was a very elderly driver with a bad leg and can barely walk. If the driver did not speed up I doubt I would have been hit. It is possible he meant to hit the brake but hit the throttle.
I don't know why the officer did not question the other witness that stayed around for a little while that was standing on the side of the street waiting for the light to change. She could not have seen either blinkers, but still the info is relevant as she definitely noticed him accelerate.
No one hurt at all.
Should I plead not guilty, try to get a lesser charge with no points? Any advice would help. It will make my insurance go up for sure if I just take it..
Thanks for any help!
Given the witness evidence that the other driver had his signal on, if he was not intending to turn in the immediate proximity, he should have been charged under section 142(7)--Use Turn Signals Improperly. However, that would have no bearing on YOUR case----the fact still remains that you proceeded to make your turn without ensuring it could be done safely, which will be very difficult to refute (especially since there was an accident). If another driver has to take any steps to avoid a collision due to your action (even braking qualifies!), then it cannot be said to have been done in safety. So, in your case, the accident speaks for itself.
As such, if I were you, I'd seek a Resolution meeting and hope for a lesser fine. They likely won't change the charge (so points will remain as is), but you might get a cheaper fine. Trial is always an option for everyone, but I wouldn't gamble too much on you winning this one. Regardless, under insurance fault determination rules, you'll be fully at fault since you were the one who turned left on to the other driver's path---the signal issue is irrelevant.
It was not necessary for him to brake or even slow down to avoid the contact, but being that he accelerated it caused it to be unsafe and the contact.
That part does not make sense to charge me for being unsafe. I am in fault for someone else's mistake? It was a witness that told me he sped up and caused the crash.
That witness was not asked for her statement by the officer even though she had the best view..
Right of way trumps all. He was free to go straight, signal or no signal. He can just say he changed his mind and accelerated to make up for his slowing down for the turn.sumo wrote:Does the fact that the driver needed to speed up to hit me make any difference?
It was not necessary for him to slow down to avoid the contact, but being he accelerated caused the contact?
That part does not make sense to me.
I don't doubt the other vehicle had their signal on. That being said, Highwaystar is correct. The courts are going to see it as your problem, whether he signaled or not. It's a hard lesson to learn, but even if someone signals their intent to turn, you're still going to be seen as the worst offender should an accident happen. Whether the other driver changed their mind or they just forget to turn off their signal a km down the road, you'll end up taking the hit in more ways than one.
Maybe you'll catch a break somewhere else if you decide to challenge the charge, but it wont be because of the signalling.