Each year, people are injured in car accidents involving intersections. When a collision occurs in a four-way intersection, it can be complex to determine exactly who is considered at fault. This can complicate an injured person’s ability to have a strong personal injury claim. However, there are tips to help determine who’s at fault for such an accident.
What Are the Right-of-Way Rules?
Many car accidents occur at intersections. If you know the right-of-way rules, you can stay safer and avoid trouble. The order of arrival applies and is easy to remember. It means that the first vehicle that stops is the first one that gets to proceed. At a four-way stop sign, all drivers must stay alert and yield the right of way to the first vehicle that arrives.
The same rules apply when the intersection has traffic lights. Whoever has the green has the right of way, but those proceeding straight get precedence over vehicles making turns.
Another thing to remember is that the driver on the right has the right of way first if two vehicles arrive at a four-way intersection at the same time.
The driver going straight always has the right to proceed first. That means that if a vehicle is making a turn, it must wait until the driver who plans on going straight has safely gone. If there are two lanes with two drivers going straight, they both have the right of way because there’s no risk of an accident in that situation.
If a driver signals that they want to make a right turn onto another road, the driver going straight has the right of way first. However, the vehicle making the right turn has the right of way before one that wants to turn left.
Regardless of which way you wish to proceed, it’s crucial to be cautious at all times and use good judgment. Never assume that a driver is going to do the right thing even if you know who should get the right of way.
Common Causes of Intersection Accidents
There are a variety of factors that can lead to an intersection accident. One of the most common is distracted driving. When a driver is paying too much attention to another activity rather than the road, it can lead to a crash at an intersection. For example, if a driver is using their cell phone to read a text and the car directly ahead has suddenly stopped at a stop sign, the distracted driver could cause a rear-end accident.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and fatigued driving are other factors that can result in an intersection accident. Although being overly tired is not the same as being intoxicated, fatigued driving is often compared with being impaired because of the effects it has on a person’s ability to safely control a vehicle. DUI and fatigue can cause significant danger at intersections, in particular, with multiple cars involved in an accident.
Sometimes, there may be a mechanical problem with the car. This can also cause an intersection accident. However, drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained. This means they should periodically visit their auto mechanic to get the vehicle inspected. If any parts are determined to be in poor condition, they should be repaired or replaced.
Determining Fault for an Intersection Accident
If you have suffered a personal injury after an intersection car accident, you will have to ensure who is at fault and should be held liable. Your Stockton car accident lawyer can help you determine the responsible party.
The driver who didn’t use the right-of-way rules correctly should be the one at fault for the accident. This might include a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign, a driver who failed to signal while making a turn, or a driver who failed to yield the right of way. Your attorney can look at the evidence in your intersection accident to prove negligence on the part of the other driver. If necessary, they can even use an investigative team to recreate the accident to prove liability.
If you were in an intersection accident that rendered you injured, contact an experienced Stockton car accident lawyer at your earliest convenience.