If you have been injured by a driver who failed to yield, contact us for a free consultation today. We are experienced Spokane area car accident lawyers. CCD Law has been helping clients in Spokane, Spokane Valley and beyond with legal matters since 1948.
Failure to yield accidents
Yielding the right-of-way is a fundamental rule of the road. It’s most often required when approaching an intersection that isn’t controlled by stop signs or traffic control devices. When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, he or she might endanger himself or herself, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Sometimes drivers are called upon to make snap decisions on who has the right-of-way. When two cars are entering an intersection at about the same time, the law in the State of Washington requires the driver on the left to yield to the driver on the right. Many drivers don’t drive defensively though, and they fail to yield. That’s when crashes can result. Many of them are side impacts. Some examples of failing to yield the right-of-way might include:
- Disobeying a yield sign
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic when turning left
- Failing to yield to traffic on a main road when merging or entering it from a private drive
- Not yielding to pedestrian traffic at a crosswalk
When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way, he or she can be proved to be negligent. We’d be required to prove that:
- A duty to yield the right-of-way existed
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of duty caused the accident that the claimant was involved in
- The accident proximately caused the claimant’s injuries
- He or she suffered legally recognized damages
Damages in car accident cases
When an accident is the result of the violation of a statute or ordinance, we might even be able to prove that the driver was negligent as a matter of law. That operates to raise a presumption in favor of the injured person that results in a shift of proof from liability to damages. Those damages might consist of:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Any permanent disability
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
In a failure to yield case, the driver who failed to yield will often allege that the injured person was partially at fault for the accident. He or she will ask a jury to assign a percentage of fault for the crash to the injured claimant. That percentage of fault is then deducted from the claimant’s gross award. For example, if a claimant is awarded $100,000, but he or she was determined to be 30 percent negligent, the award would be reduced to $70,000. That’s known as the law of comparative negligence.
Pure comparative negligence
In some states, if the claimant is determined to be 50 or 51 percent at fault, he or she isn’t permitted an award of damages. Those states operate under the law of modified comparative negligence. Washington is known as a pure comparative negligence state. In a pure comparative negligence state, an injured claimant can be more than 51 percent at fault for an accident and still be awarded damages.
Never give a statement to the opposing insurer
Sometime after the crash, an insurance adjuster who is assigned to your case might phone you “just to see how you’re getting along.” He or she will then ask for a recorded statement from you. Never give a statement of any kind to an opposing insurer. That insurance company and its defense attorneys will only try to use that statement against you in the future to attack your credibility. Call us first, especially if you and the person who hit you are insured by the same company.
The statute of limitations
In the State of Washington, a lawsuit for injuries suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. There are very few exceptions to this rule. It’s highly likely that any failure to file that personal injury lawsuit in a timely manner will result in the permanent dismissal of your case.
Contact a Spokane Accident Lawyer today
Evidence can disappear or get destroyed, and witnesses can vanish into thin air. Don’t sit on your rights. You’ll want to get your personal injury case on file as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in the State of Washington, don’t give any kind of a statement to the opposing insurer. Preserve and protect your rights, and contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re dedicated, experienced and successful auto accident injury lawyers. If we agree to be retained, no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Insurance companies, their defense attorneys and judges all respect us. Victims of the negligence of others deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries. Invoke your rights, and contact us right away after any accident.