If you were injured in an accident because another driver failed to yield the right-of-way, then you could be entitled to compensation. Compensation is designed to cover expenses and losses related to the accident, such as hospital bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Failure-to-yield accidents often occur at speed and without any warning, giving drivers no chance to try to evade the collision or brace for impact. As a result, the injuries suffered in these crashes are often severe, involving painful and lengthy recovery periods.
The experienced Denver car accident attorneys at Olson Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience helping car crash victims seek the compensation they deserve. We know what it takes to build a compelling, comprehensive claim for our clients, and we’ll do everything we can to meet your needs throughout your case.
We’re ready to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is the Right-of-Way?
The right-of-way refers to which driver has the right to pass first when two vehicles’ intended paths intersect. When you yield the right-of-way, this means that you yield to the driver who has the right to go first.
Drivers must yield the right-of-way in a variety of circumstances, such as:
- At stop signs and red lights
- At yield signs
- When pedestrians are crossing at an intersection
- When visually impaired individuals are crossing a roadway
- At uncontrolled intersections when another driver has already entered the intersection
- When turning left through an intersection
- When merging with traffic on a highway
What Is Failure to Yield?
A failure to yield occurs when a driver ignores or fails to obey right-of-way laws, which can lead to accidents.
Failing to yield the right-of-way properly is a type of negligent driving behavior. If you were hit by a driver who failed to yield when you had the right-of-way, then you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver for your losses due to the accident.
How Do Failure-to-Yield Accidents Happen?
Failure-to-yield accidents can occur in a variety of settings. Many failure-to-yield accidents occur at intersections. For instance, when a driver wishes to turn left through an intersection and traffic is approaching from the opposite direction, the driver is legally obligated to yield to oncoming traffic before turning. If a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to the approaching traffic, they are not only violating traffic laws. They also could end up causing a side-impact or T-bone crash.
Failure-to-yield accidents also commonly occur when drivers fail to yield to oncoming traffic when:
- Pulling out of a parking lot or driveway
- Attempting to cross a roadway with no intersection
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Making right turns into the path of bikers or pedestrians who are attempting to cross
Failure-to-Yield Accident Statistics in Denver
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in a single recent year, 3,728 fatal crashes in the United States involved failure to yield the right-of-way as a contributing factor. The III also reported that a total of 596 motor vehicle accident deaths in Colorado occurred that year.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of death in Colorado, and failure to yield is one of the numerous reasons so many accidents occur.
Types of Failure-to-Yield Accidents
Failure to correctly yield the right-of-way causes many types of accidents, such as:
- Left turns – Motorists commonly fail to yield the right-of-way when making left turns across roadways or through intersections. As oncoming traffic approaches, a motorist may think they have enough time to “beat” the approaching vehicles, but too often, they end up causing a dangerous T-bone collision.
- Right turns on red – Some intersections prohibit right turns on red, but many drivers ignore the signage or fail to notice it. Even when “right on red” is permitted, some drivers fail to yield to oncoming traffic. That can cause dangerous side-impact collisions with other vehicles, and it can also endanger pedestrians and bikers who are crossing at crosswalks that run parallel to the motorist.
- Stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights – Motorists are required to come to a complete stop at intersections and to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic at yield signs. Sometimes drivers run red lights or blow through stop signs in an attempt to speed through an intersection, but they end up colliding with crossing traffic.
- Bicycles and pedestrians – Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must yield to bicyclists as they would any other vehicle. However, out of impatience, motorists frequently try to turn through intersections before pedestrians and bikers have completely traversed a crosswalk or intersection, which can cause accidents. Bikers and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to severe injuries because, unlike motorists, their bodies receive direct impact in a collision.
- Parking lots and driveways – Motorists sometimes fail to yield to oncoming traffic when they are pulling out of parking spaces or driveways, which can lead to collisions.
- Three-way and four-way stop signs – Generally, whoever arrives at a stop sign first has the right-of-way, but sometimes motorists will ignore this and proceed through the intersection anyway. That can cause dangerous T-bone accidents with other motorists.
- Merging – Drivers frequently cause accidents when merging directly in front of another vehicle on the highway.
- Emergency vehicles – Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on. Emergency vehicles often have to speed through red lights and weave through traffic to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Sometimes, motorists fail to yield to these vehicles, which can cause a crash.
Common Injuries in a Failure-To-Yield Accidents
Accidents caused by a failure to yield can cause devastating injuries to all involved. Depending on the severity of the crash, some of these injuries could even be life-altering. Some common injuries that occur in these types of collisions include:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic amputations
- Lacerations and bruising
Causes of Failure-to-Yield Accidents in Denver
Accidents resulting from a failure to yield have many causes, but most of them have to do with driver negligence. Some of the common causes of failure-to-yield accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to properly check blind spots
Liability for Denver Failure-to-Yield Accidents
To pursue a car accident claim in Denver or throughout Colorado, you will need to show that someone else was at fault for an accident and liable for the losses you suffered. To prove that someone is at fault for the crash, you need to show that their negligence, or failure to use reasonable care to avoid harming others, caused the accident that injured you. For example, in a failure-to-yield case, a driver would be considered negligent if they failed to yield to oncoming traffic when making a turn.
What happens, however, when multiple drivers are at fault and liable in a failure-to-yield accident? Colorado follows a comparative fault system. It allows a driver to seek partial compensation even when they’re partially at fault for an accident, as long as their share of fault is less than 50 percent. The courts will reduce compensation according to the driver’s percentage of fault.
Contact Our Failure-to-Yield Accident Attorney in Denver Today
If you suffered injuries in a car accident with a driver who failed to yield properly, you could be entitled to pursue compensation for your losses. Contact our dedicated failure-to-yield accident attorneys at Olson Law Firm, LLC today for a free case evaluation.