yield sign; what are the effects of failing to yield in Athens?

All Alabama motorists must follow the rules of the road – and one of the most important is the right-of-way. When drivers fail to yield the right-of-way in the appropriate circumstances, they risk preventable collisions, often with severe consequences. In fact, the Alabama Department of Transportation has found that failure to yield the right-of-way is one of the most common causes of accidents on Alabama roadways. 

 If you’ve been hurt in a failure-to-yield accident, you might be worried about how you will pay your medical bills and whether you can make ends meet while unable to work. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., we want to help you seek the compensation you need during this difficult time. For over 50 years, our attorneys have advocated for the rights of accident victims in Athens and throughout Alabama. 

Contact us today for a free initial consultation, and let us put our experience and resources to work on your behalf. 

 What Does Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way Mean?

 Right-of-way rules dictate when a vehicle has the legal right to proceed through an intersection or other roadway if there are other motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists around. Failing to yield the right-of-way means that a driver has improperly entered a road or intersection. Drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk. 

 The Alabama driver manual outlines the right-of-way rules in various situations. These rules help regulate traffic flow and protect motorists and other road users from accidents. 

Violating these rules by failing to yield to other drivers or pedestrians is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the state. According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Transportation, drivers who failed to yield the right-of-way caused more than 25,000 crashes in Alabama in one recent year, including nearly 100 fatal crashes. Failing to yield the right-of-way was the single most common cause of collisions that year.

 Types of Failure-to-Yield Accidents

 Some of the most common types of failure-to-yield accidents occur when a driver fails to yield:

  • At an intersection
  • At a four-way stop
  • When making a U-turn
  • When making a left-hand turn
  • When merging
  • To an emergency vehicle
  • To a pedestrian or bicyclist 
  • When making a lane change
  • When entering a roundabout

Causes of Failure-to-Yield Accidents in Athens

 Failing to yield the right-of-way is a common example of driver error, whether because the at-fault driver simply does not know the rules of the road, has forgotten them, or has chosen to ignore them. 

Failure-to-yield accidents can also result from driver inattention. For example, if a driver fails to keep their focus on the road, they can miss crucial traffic signs and signals warning them that they will need to yield, which causes an accident. 

A failure-to-yield accident is sometimes caused or exacerbated by weather or road conditions.

Some of the most common causes of failure-to-yield accidents in Athens include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding or going too fast for road or weather conditions
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Unsafe merging
  • Running red lights
  • Failing to stop at stop signs
  • Aggressive driving, including weaving in and out of traffic or cutting other drivers off
  • Inclement weather conditions such as snow, ice, or water on the road or fog that limits visibility 

 Understanding Your Rights in Alabama 

 Alabama is one of a handful of states that follow a pure contributory negligence rule in personal injury lawsuits. The rule prevents a plaintiff in a car accident case from seeking any compensation in civil court if they were at all responsible for the accident. 

Because insurance adjusters often make settlement offers based on what is likely to happen in court, the insurer may make a lowball offer or deny your claim outright by arguing that you were partly responsible for a car accident. That is why hiring an experienced attorney is crucial for your car accident claim.

 When determining who is at fault for a failure-to-yield accident, adjusters and attorneys will consider various pieces of evidence.

Types of evidence may include: 

  • Photos from the accident scene of damage to vehicles, skid marks on the road, traffic signs, and weather conditions
  • Videos from dashcams, traffic, or surveillance cameras
  • Cell phone records and call logs
  • Medical records that show the diagnosis and treatment of your injuries and a medical opinion of how the injuries were caused
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
  • Police reports from the accident
  • Vehicle maintenance logs and reports

 In addition to gathering crucial evidence, an attorney can communicate with the insurance adjusters and other parties on your behalf and handle necessary documentation and deadlines. 

Under Alabama law, you have only two years from the date of the car accident that caused your injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. Although the two-year statute of limitations may seem like a long time, building a solid case can take months. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will lose your opportunity to pursue compensation in civil court. 

 Contact the Athens Car Accident Lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. 

 The car accident lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have more than 50 years of experience advocating for the rights of accident victims in Athens and surrounding areas. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a driver who didn’t yield the right-of-way, we can help you seek the compensation you deserve. 

Contact our office for a free initial case review.