Failure to Yield Accidents in Arizona
Our Arizona Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Failure to Yield and Right of Way Accidents in AZ
Why are Failure to Yield Accidents so Serious?
Failure to yield accidents can be especially serious for many reasons. Depending on the circumstances, one or both drivers may be driving at a high speed in a failure to yield collision. These accidents also frequently impact areas of the vehicle with less safety features. Failure to yield accidents can also cause compounding accidents, where the force from one collision due to failure to yield causes the other vehicle to strike a third vehicle. Failure to yield accidents can involve heavier vehicles like fire trucks and construction machinery, making them more dangerous.
Causes of Failure to Yield Accidents
There are many reasons people fail to yield, leading to car accidents. Perhaps the most common is failure to pay attention. Cellphones, navigation, playing music, other passengers, and more can distract the driver from the road. Some drivers are improperly informed on traffic laws, and mistakenly believe that they have the right of way. If a driver is speeding, they may not be able to adequately slow down before attempting to turn and yield. Poor vision could cause a driver to miss signage indicating an upcoming duty to yield.
Yielding the Right of Way in Arizona
There are a few general rules concerning right of way while driving in Arizona. When two vehicles come to an intersection, the vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right. When entering an intersection, the driver who is turning must yield to any drivers who aren’t required to stop at the intersection. Finally, when turning left in an intersection, the turning driver must yield to oncoming traffic.
Circumstances where Right of Way is Important
There are plenty of times you must remember to yield besides when you’re in an intersection. You are required to yield when a school bus stops to let off children, so the consequences to properly yield could be fatal and tragic. Another special instance where you are required to yield is when an emergency vehicle has its sirens on. Failing to pull over can cause ambulances, fire trucks, and police officers to be delayed. Your failure to yield for emergency vehicles can cause an accident with other drivers who do properly yield. Many freeway entrances in Arizona require the oncoming driver to yield while entering, so both drivers will be traveling at a high speed in these types of failure to yield accidents.
Yielding to Pedestrians in Crosswalks
One time it is especially crucial that you properly yield is when there are pedestrians present. You have a legal duty to stop and let a pedestrian pass in a crosswalk. Some crosswalks have clear signage and flashing lights to indicate when a pedestrian wants to cross, while others simply exist. You should keep track of where crosswalks are in areas you are familiar with, and drive cautiously when there are pedestrians out in an unfamiliar area. Hitting a pedestrian can prove fatal, which will have lifelong negative consequences for the driver, whether or not they are held legally liable for the accident.
Consequences of Failure to Yield Accidents
Failure to yield accidents are often t-bone accidents, which can cause significant damage and bodily harm. T-bone accidents commonly result in injuries like lacerations, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. In turn, this can mean time off work, inability to perform household duties and maintain relationships with loved ones, permanent disability or disfigurement, emotional trauma, and other long term effects.
Why Assigning Liability in Failure to Yield Accidents in Arizona is Important
Assigning liability in a failure to yield accident is important because it determines who should be financially responsible for damages caused by the accident. The damages due to the accident victim could be offset if they were partially at fault for the accident, e.g., they failed to use turn signals or were speeding. In Arizona, you can collect damages from an accident even if you were 99% at fault. That’s why you want a personal injury attorney to represent you after an accident- to argue your case and make sure you are determined to have as little fault in the accident as possible. With the high judgments awarded in car accident cases, a few percentage points could mean a difference of thousands of dollars.
What to do if you are injured in a Right of Way Accident
After being in an accident, your first priority should always be attending to your immediate medical needs. In more serious accidents, you may be taken from the scene in an ambulance with little say in the matter. If you don’t need immediate medical attention, you should pull over to a safe area to assess the damage. You should exchange insurance information with the other driver and take pictures of the damage to each of your vehicles. Don’t admit any fault in the accident- just try to remain calm and keep communication with the other driver strictly focused on insurance.
Unless the damage to both vehicles was minimal (think less than $1,000 total), you’ll probably want to call the police to come to the scene of the accident. A police report can help establish facts regarding the accident, and the police may even assign fault in the report.
Once you are home and safe, you will need to call the other driver’s insurance to begin your claim. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster’s job will always be to get you to damage your own case and to settle for as low of a sum as possible. If you can, you should consult with an Arizona personal injury attorney before getting involved with insurance. An experienced attorney can help you with your demand letter, settlement negotiation, recorded calls and deposition, expert witnesses, preserving and presenting evidence, calculating your present and future damages, escalating to litigation, and more. When you strengthen your case in each of these areas, you have the best chance at a sufficient personal injury award to ensure you and your family’s future well-being.
Don’t Overpay Your Arizona Injury Lawyer
Don’t assume that you need to represent yourself after a failure to yield accident because you can’t afford an attorney. Our personal injury attorneys work on a guaranteed 25% contingency fee, compared to an industry standard as high as 33%. Our competitive contingency fee means more money for you if you win, and you pay nothing if you lose. Find out what our attorneys can do for you by calling for your free consultation today.