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In one form or another, failing to yield the right-of-way is the most common cause of motor vehicle crashes in and around Spokane. All drivers on our roads are required to use due care and caution for the safety of others who are on or about the roadway. Our traffic statutes are clear that drivers must yield when turning in front of oncoming traffic or coming off of side streets and onto larger thoroughfares. Yielding requires a driver to either slow down or come to a complete stop in order to allow other traffic to pass by. A driver who is required to yield can’t proceed until such time as there is an opening in traffic with sufficient space to proceed safely. When a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way as required by statute and causes an accident with injuries, he or she can be held liable for damages.

An Example

Failure to yield the right-of-way appears to be the cause of a crash on September 20, 2018 near Elk in northern Spokane County. Two vehicles were involved, and three people were transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. As per the Washington State Patrol, a 39-year-old man stopped his Nissan pickup truck facing westbound on Westwood at its intersection with Highway 2. He then tried to turn left onto Highway 2. He crossed the northbound lane in front of a Toyota Prius with a driver and a passenger, and the vehicles collided. Fortunately, all of the people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts. The man was charged with driving under the influence and failure to yield the right-of-way.

Comparative Negligence

In any intersection accident, insurance companies will evaluate the behavior of both parties in relation to each other. That evaluation is for purposes of determining who is primarily negligent and who might be comparatively negligent. If the insurer of the party who was primarily liable for the crash can show that the claimant was partially at fault for the accident, his or her partial fault will be translated into a percentage. That percentage will then be deducted from any gross award. For example, if a personal injury claimant’s gross award is $100,000, and he or she was determined to be 15 percent at fault, the net award would be $85,000. Washington is a what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state. What that means is that even if a person is 51 percent or more at fault for an accident, he or she can still pursue damages.

Contact a Local, Trusted Spokane Lawyer

The insurer of the person who failed to yield the right-of-way is likely to contact you in an effort to obtain a recorded statement from you. The law doesn’t require you to give any kind of a statement without an attorney being present on your behalf. Don’t provide any type of a statement. Politely refuse to give any type of a statement. That insurer will only try to use your own words against you in the future. Instead, contact us to arrange for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’re experienced, effective and successful Spokane personal injury lawyers. If we’re retained to represent you, our mission will be to maximize any recovery that you might receive. Contact us right away after being injured in any failure to yield accident.

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