Assessing who is at fault when a car accident occurs is vital. This will help to determine liability for the damages that result from the car crash. At an intersectional accident, the first step is often determining who had the right of way at the time of the accident.
Determining who had the right of way can be especially complex when the accident occured at a four-way stop. Many four-way stops rely on stop signs rather than traffic lights to guide drivers on who should proceed into the intersection first. These situations can be confusing for the drivers to determine who has the right of way. These intersections create a high risk for car accidents.
Determining the Right of Way
In most states, the driver who arrives at the four-way stop first is determined to have the right of way. That driver should enter the intersection and proceed through first. However, when two or more vehicles arrive at about the same time, it can be difficult to determine who should pass through first. In such cases, most state laws dictate that the driver who is furthest to the right should be given the right of way.
Yielding to Others
Motorists in four-way stops are required to yield in various circumstances including the following:
- When a pedestrian is in the intersection on a pedestrian crosswalk
- When there is traffic in the intersection in a position that could result in an accident if another vehicle enters the intersection
- If an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens on enters the intersection
- Postal vehicles and buses reentering the intersection after a stop
- Trains that are going through the intersection
- When mobility devices such as motorized scooters enter the intersection.
Proving negligence is a vital part of seeking compensation for a personal injury following a motor accident. Negligence in accidents at a four-way stop can be shown if the at-fault party disregarded traffic laws including failure to yield the right of way. Negligent behavior may include:
- Running red lights
- Speeding through the intersection
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving e.g. texting or talking on the phone while driving
If you were injured in an intersection, it is always best to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer before talking to your insurance company. Please call us today for a fee case evaluation.