Failure-to-Yield Car Accidents in Chattanooga
Knowing when to yield the right of way is one of the most important rules of the road. Tennessee drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists are all expected to know the right-of-way laws and follow them. When these rules are disregarded, the potential for a failure-to-yield car accident is high.
When failure-to-yield crashes happen, whoever neglected to stop can be held legally responsible for the harm they cause through a personal injury claim. At Davis Firm, LLC, our Chattanooga car accident lawyers fight for full and fair compensation for crash victims. We believe that no one should be forced to pay for their medical treatment and lost wages because someone else broke the law. If you’ve been hurt, let our legal team help you hold the at-fault party(s) accountable for their recklessness.
The first step towards compensation is knowing what you’re entitled to. Call or contact Davis Firm, LLC, for a free consultation today.
Our Lawyers Have Inside Knowledge of How Insurance Companies Work
Before starting Davis Firm, LLC, Attorney Scott Davis spent 15 years representing insurance companies in all kinds of accident claims. He knows all of the tactics that insurers use to push blame onto injured parties to avoid making a fair payout. Having been on the other side of the negotiating table, Scott also knows what works when it comes to getting a maximum settlement offer. But if negotiations break down, the legal team at Davis Firm, LLC, won’t hesitate to take your case to trial and fight for the best possible results for you.
Put our Chattanooga lawyers to work for you. Call us today.
What Is a Failure-to-Yield Accident?
In Chattanooga, traffic controls and signs are in place to let people know when it is safe to move in traffic. Tennessee law specifies who is allowed to go first in certain driving situations. Breaking those rules can cause a failure-to-yield accident.
Let’s say you approached an intersection and had the green light to proceed straight through. All of a sudden, another motorist turns right into your lane despite a “no turn on red” sign indicating that he or she should remain stopped. The driver who disregarded the sign would have caused a failure-to-yield accident. If you or anyone else was hurt, it’s possible to file a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
When the law obligates a person on the road to yield the right of way in a particular situation, their failure to do so can serve as strong evidence of their negligence and support your case for compensation.
What Is the Right of Way?
The right of way refers to the rules that determine who has the authority to move first in different traffic scenarios. Knowing who has the right of way at intersections, crosswalks, entrances, exits, and highway on-ramps and off-ramps is critical to avoid crashes. Right-of-way laws apply to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike.
Keep in mind that the law does not “give” the right of way to anyone. Instead, right-of-way laws merely require a person to yield the right of way to others on the street. This is a significant distinction. Since a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian cannot assume or seize the right of way, they must wait for another on the road to yield. Barreling through an intersection assuming that you have the right of way could lead to you being held at fault for a collision.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
Under Tennessee law, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections and driveways. However, where intersections and driveways have pedestrian or traffic signals, pedestrians are expected to follow those signals and cross an intersection or driveway responsibly. Pedestrians also have the right of way at all marked crosswalks.
If a pedestrian crosses a road anywhere other than a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, they must yield the right of way to all vehicles on the road.
Proving Liability in a Failure-to-Yield Car Accident
Establishing liability for a failure-to-yield auto accident requires looking at several factors, including:
- The laws and customs governing the right of way given the situation
- Traffic signs and controls at the scene of the accident that instructed one party to yield the right of way to others (e.g., stop signs, yield signs, “no right on red” signs)
- Whether one party could have reasonably taken steps to avoid the collision
Ultimately, liability in a failure-to-yield car accident requires determining which party acted negligently and to what extent their negligence contributed to the accident.
As with all negligence claims, proving liability in a failure-to-yield car accident requires first proving that the other party in the case owed you a duty of care. In car accident cases, this can be relatively straightforward, since everyone on the road has a responsibility to behave carefully and follow the traffic laws.
Next, you must prove the other party breached, or violated, their duty of care to you. If you can establish that the other party had a duty to yield the right of way to you, their failure to do so may constitute a breach. Even an innocent error or omission can serve as a breach of the duty of care.
Third, you must prove that the other party’s breach directly caused the accident. This means that the accident would not have occurred if the person had not failed to yield, and there was no other cause more responsible for causing the crash. Finally, you must show that you have suffered injuries and damages that you can be compensated for.
In many failure-to-yield cases, the police may cite one or more drivers for violating traffic laws. These citations can be strong evidence to establish negligence and determine fault in a failure-to-yield accident.
Role of Road Signs in Right-of-Way Accidents
In many locations, road signs indicate who is expected to yield the right of way. For example, at a four-way intersection with only one stop sign, the vehicles in the lane approaching the stop sign would be expected to come to a complete stop and wait for any crossing traffic to clear the intersection before proceeding.
Other locations, such as on-ramps to highways or areas where two roads merge into one, may have a yield sign on one of the two roads. Drivers in the road or lane with the yield sign must yield the right of way to traffic on the other road. In some locations where the road narrows, signs will indicate which direction of travel must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and allow it to pass over the narrow stretch of road.
When persons or motorists fail to follow the instructions on road signs, they can be held responsible for a collision and any injuries and damages.
How Can Davis Firm, LLC Help Me?
When you’ve been injured in a failure to yield accident, Davis Firm, LLC can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. We will:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident to uncover what happened and who should be held liable
- Gather evidence to support your claim, such as the police accident report, dashcam or surveillance video, vehicle damage reports, accident scene photos or video, and witness statements
- Collaborate with traffic engineering, medical, vocational, and/or financial experts to reconstruct how the accident happened and its impact on your life
- Aggressively negotiate with the insurance company(s) to reach a settlement that provides you with the fair and full financial compensation you deserve
- Prepare your case to trial if necessary
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Chattanooga or a surrounding community and someone else is to blame, call the experienced failure-to-yield lawyers at Davis Firm, LLC to arrange a free consultation.