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What You Should Know About Liability for a Failure to Yield Crash in Pennsylvania

yield sign in front of skyIt could be tough to establish who is at fault for a failure to yield crash because conclusions about these crashes are often based on testimony from both drivers. One driver may lie about what happened or both driver’s stories may have significant differences.

Below, we discuss liability for failure to yield auto accidents in Pennsylvania. If you were injured in this type of crash in this state, our experienced attorneys may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees and no fees while working on your case. That means you can meet with us risk-free and have us manage your case at no risk to you.

When Failure to Yield Crashes Commonly Occur

Failing to yield happens in a variety of situations. These are some of the most common situations where failure to yield crashes may happen:

  • When vehicles are turning
  • When merging
  • Backing out of or leaving a parking lot or driveway
  • When approaching crosswalks
  • At intersections with stop signs or traffic lights
  • In school zones
  • Around school buses

There are various right of way laws governing these situations and violations of these laws often result in crashes. The driver or drivers who violated the law are likely to be held liable for damages that may result.

For example, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. If a driver arrives at an intersection that does not have a signal or stop sign, he or she must yield to the driver who arrived first. If two drivers arrive at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.

Left turns can be dangerous, as turning drivers must yield to approaching traffic. Unfortunately, drivers who turn left often take unnecessary risks and this results in a failure to yield crash.

Factors to Consider in a Failure to Yield Crash

The central issue question after these accidents is: Which driver had the right of way?

If one driver had the right of way and another did not, the driver who did not have the right of way is probably going to be at least partially at fault.

However, determining who had the right of way can be complicated. Some cases are cut and dry – if one driver ran a red light and hit another that was proceeding through an intersection, the red-light runner is likely 100 percent to blame. Other cases are not so simple, as the “victim” may have been negligent in some way. Sometimes it is more difficult to determine who had the right of way because it is so close.

Unfortunately, many drivers do not know the right-of-way rules in various situations, and they often disobey signs reminding them of these rules. For example, many drivers do not know who is required to yield when a driver is making a U-turn.

Drivers often take unnecessary risks when merging, including when merging onto an interstate. That said, many drivers on interstates are speeding or distracted, which can make a failure to yield crash more likely. Speeding or distracted drivers may also bear partial fault for the crash, even if they had the right of way.

But how do you prove another driver was speeding? It may be your word against theirs, and without a third-party account of the crash, it may tough to confirm what happened. You may think the other driver had much less time and space to merge while the other driver may think he or she had plenty of time and space for this maneuver.

Proving a driver was distracted can be difficult as well. Your Harrisburg-based auto accident lawyer may need to obtain cellphone records or video footage to establish the at-fault driver was texting or looking away before the crash.

Proving Liability for a Failure to Yield Crash

One of the most important things you can do to help build a case is contact an attorney. At Schmidt Kramer, we have in-depth knowledge of the rules of the road and proving liability for car crashes. We are prepared to manage your case, including gathering evidence and negotiating with the insurance company.

However, it is also important to call the police after the crash and explain what happened. Your story will be preserved in the police report. Keeping your story consistent throughout the legal process should help to strengthen your claim. Not filing a police report could have a negative impact on your case

If there are witnesses to the crash, ask them about what they saw and ask them for a phone number or other contact information. If your story is backed up by witnesses but the other driver’s is not, it may be much easier to prove your case.

Dash camera footage or video footage from another camera in the area may go a long way toward proving your case. However, this type of evidence is not always available.

Crash damage could also indicate how the crash occurred. However, your lawyer may need to consult an accident reconstruction expert or another type of expert to connect crash damage to the cause of the crash.

Some vehicles have event data recorders, also known as black boxes, that could establish the speed of a vehicle, steering inputs and other information that could help validate the claim.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Help After a Crash

For decades, the licensed attorneys at our firm have been representing those injured by another’s negligence. We have helped our clients secure millions for their damages to help them move forward with their lives.

The initial legal consultation is free of charge, and we are not paid our fees unless our clients receive compensation through a settlement or courtroom decision.

Schmidt Kramer. We are here to help. Call (717) 727-1837.