Other drivers must yield to you when you have the right-of-way on the road. Even though all drivers have learned about yielding the right-of-way, it is often something motorists forget. If you have been in an accident where someone failed to yield the right-of-way to you, your case might seem clear-cut. Unfortunately, most right-of-way cases are complex, so if you find yourself in this situation, you should know that there are certain steps you should take.
After a car accident where another driver failed to yield the right-of-way to you, you should take a few steps. These steps will help ensure that you are okay and have not suffered life-threatening injuries, and they will help to preserve evidence, showing that the other driver was at fault. You should do the following after a right-of-way accident:
- Call 911. After an accident, call 911 so emergency medical personnel can come to the scene and evaluate your injuries. They may treat you onsite or take you to the hospital for further treatment. This is the most crucial step. Calling 911 has the added benefit of having the police come to your accident scene. The police will create an accident report by speaking with you, the other driver, and any witnesses. While their report may not assign fault, it will create an objective report of the accident, which may come in handy later in the personal injury claims process.
- Take pictures and videos. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to complete this step, so ask a trusted friend or family member to help. Make sure to get images and videos of your injuries, all of the vehicles involved, and the entire accident scene. Everything at the scene could be possible clues about the cause of your accident.
- Speak with witnesses. The police will speak with witnesses, but witnesses often will not wait around for the police to arrive, especially in minor accidents. If you can get their contact information before they leave, your legal team can speak with them later to get their perspective. Witness accounts can be beneficial, as they often notice unique details about the seconds leading up to your crash that can prove helpful in showing that the other driver failed to yield.
- See your primary doctor. Even if the emergency medical personnel treat you at the scene or you are later released from the hospital, make sure you see your primary physician as soon as possible. Your doctor has detailed records of your physical condition. They can provide information on how your life and body have changed since the accident and help you chart a path toward recovery.
- Do not admit fault. While at the accident scene, do not admit fault. Do not say you are “sorry.” These statements can be taken as an admission of guilt. Even if you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company could use your statements to reduce or eliminate the damages you could otherwise receive.
- Contact your insurance company. After a car accident, you need to alert your insurance company. Even if the crash is not your fault, they need to know you were involved in an accident. Do not give them a statement. Let your lawyer handle the discussions with every insurance company.
- Keep a journal. Sometimes, the best evidence of your pain and your injuries comes from your own words. Over time, you will forget every hurdle you face during your recovery process. You will not remember every doctor visit or every special life event you had to miss because you were in the hospital or had too much pain. By writing in your journal daily, you ensure that you can paint a clear picture of how your life has been affected by another driver.
- Contact a trusted legal advisor. The last step you should take is to call a car accident lawyer. While this may be the last thing on your mind because you want to focus on your health and wellbeing, a lawyer may be able to help you collect compensation so you do not have to worry about how you will pay your bills. This will reduce your worry so you can focus on your recovery.
What Causes Right-Of-Way Accidents?
Right-of-way accidents can happen in almost any situation on the road. The most common causes of right-of-way accidents include:
- Running a red light.
- Running a stop sign.
- Failing to yield at a yield sign.
- Failing to yield at a roundabout.
- Failing to exercise reasonable caution in a parking lot.
Other causes include texting while driving and other distractions, drunk driving, and drowsy driving. The steps above will help prove the other driver was at fault.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
To prove the other driver caused your accident by failing to yield the right-of-way, you and your lawyer will need to collect evidence and show the other driver:
- Owed you a duty of care to drive safely and yield the right-of-way.
- Breached that duty of care by failing to yield the right-of-way.
- The failure to yield the right-of-way caused an accident where you suffered injuries and losses.
These are the elements of negligence and precisely what you will need to prove to be eligible to collect compensation. While you might think proving these elements should be simple, it will require an intense investigation into your crash, especially if the other driver refuses to admit fault or there are no witnesses available.
If successful, you may be able to collect compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Lost income.
- Lost earning potential.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of life enjoyment.
- Present and future medical expenses.
- Rehabilitation costs.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may never be able to return to work, leaving you in a difficult financial situation. That is why working with a trusted lawyer can be beneficial. The last thing you need is to have to face financial hardship for a right-of-way accident you did not cause.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Will Work to Protect Your Rights After a Right-Of-Way Accident
If another driver ran a red light, stop sign, or took some other action and failed to yield the right-of-way which caused your accident and injuries, you could be entitled to compensation. Speak with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for legal help. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Abington, Media, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.