Failure to Yield Accidents
It is important that traffic flows smoothly in order to prevent car accidents. However, there are a lot of situations in which it is confusing to figure out who has the right of way. All New Jersey drivers need to understand when they have the right of way and when they must yield. Generally, drivers should be driving defensively, rather than aggressively. If you are injured due to another driver's failure to yield, you may be able to recover damages. At the Grimes Law Firm, our experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys may be able to represent you following a failure to yield accident caused by a distracted or otherwise careless driver.Claims Based on Failure to Yield Accidents
There are several statutory sections that address failing to yield. Under New Jersey Statute section 39:4:90, drivers approaching an intersection must yield the right of way to a vehicle that has entered the intersection. If two vehicles enter at the same time, the driver on the left is supposed to yield the right of way to the driver on the right. However, if a driver of a vehicle within the intersection is trying to turn left, they are supposed to yield to a vehicle coming the opposite way within the intersection or close enough to present an immediate danger. Once a driver has thus yielded and provided a signal, they can make a left turn, and other vehicles coming the opposite way are supposed to yield. However, the burden remains on the person turning left to act reasonably in making the turn, paying attention to cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles in the area.
Under New Jersey Statutes section 39:4-123, a driver trying to turn at an intersection shall make a right turn as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the road. At any intersection where traffic is allowed to move in both directions on each road coming into the intersection, the approach for a left turn is supposed to be made in the part of the right half of the road closest to the centerline. Under New Jersey Statutes section 39:4-126, drivers are not supposed to turn without giving an appropriate signal of their intention to turn right or left during the last 100 feet that they travel prior to turning.
If you are injured due to another driver's failure to obey one or more of these statutes, an attorney may be able to recover damages for you by filing a lawsuit. We may be able to recover under a theory of negligence by showing that the defendant owed a duty to abide by a standard of care, the defendant breached this duty, and the breach led to actual damages. Usually, if a driver fails to follow these statutes, the jury will find that they breached the duty of reasonable care. It can be helpful, after an accident, to have the police come to the scene. They can investigate and issue citations as appropriate for a failure to yield. The citations can be powerful evidence of negligence. In certain situations, violations of motor vehicle laws may even be negligence as a matter of law.
Damages that you may be able to recover should you be able to establish liability include both economic and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. The extent of the damages depends on the nature of the injuries, such as whether they are serious brain injuries or paralysis. If the crash killed a victim, their family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver who caused it.
Often, a driver who failed to yield will allege comparative negligence. For example, they may claim that they had the right of way, or that their turn was reasonable, and that you behaved unreasonably under the circumstances. The jury will look at both your conduct and the defendant's conduct, determine damages, and assign a percentage of fault. Your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. However, if you were more than 50% at fault, you will be barred from recovering damages.Explore Your Options with a Car Accident Attorney in New Jersey
If you are injured in a failure to yield accident in New Jersey, we may be able to help you bring a personal injury lawsuit. At the Grimes Law Firm, we provide experienced legal representation to victims of car or truck accidents and their loved ones in Neshanic Station and elsewhere in Somerset County, as well as throughout the tri-state area. Call us at (908) 371-1066 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer.