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Are You at Fault if Someone Pulls Out in Front of You?

Are You at Fault if Someone Pulls Out in Front of You?

In most rear-end accident scenarios, the rear driver is at fault for the collision. However, in cases where the front driver fails to use their turn signal when switching lanes or negligently cuts in front of you, that individual likely caused the accident. At traffic intersections and when switching lanes, other drivers have a duty to yield the right-of-way to others, and when they fail to do so, they may be responsible for any collision that occurs.

If you believe another driver caused your accident and injuries, you need to have a skilled car accident attorney representing you at every stage of the proceedings. Once you retain legal counsel, your lawyer can immediately investigate your accident circumstances and pursue the monetary compensation you deserve.

If the other driver’s insurance company disputes liability for the accident, your attorney may retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can look into the situation. Your lawyer can also pursue litigation if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly for your injuries.

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What is the Other Driver’s Legal Duty of Care?

All drivers have a duty to obey all applicable traffic laws. They may be accountable for the consequences if they violate right-of-way laws and other regulations. Common right-of-way violations that other drivers may commit include:

  • Cutting other vehicles off in traffic by failing to execute the appropriate turn signal at the proper time
  • Running a stop sign, yield sign, or red traffic light
  • Merging onto a busy road, such as an interstate highway, without yielding to oncoming vehicles
  • Turning onto a main roadway from a less-traveled road without yielding the right-of-way to approaching traffic

If you sustained injuries due to another driver’s failure to yield, you may be entitled to recover damages depending on your injuries. A skilled car accident attorney can determine your eligibility for filing a claim and handle every step of the legal process.

Determining How an Accident Occurred

right-of-way violationsDetermining exactly how the accident occurred can be extremely difficult in some auto accident cases. This is especially true if the accident involved more than two vehicles. One way to determine a traffic accident’s likely cause is for a car accident attorney to retain a certified accident reconstructionist or another expert. An accident reconstructionist can visit the scene, review vehicular property damage, speak with witnesses, and obtain forensic evidence from the scene, such as tire tread marks.

After obtaining this evidence, the accident reconstructionist may draft a report about how the accident likely happened and who was responsible. They can also testify at a discovery deposition or take the witness stand at a civil jury trial to support their position.

A skilled car accident attorney in your area can retain the necessary experts so that you can satisfy the legal burden of proof in your case and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your injuries.

Why do Failure-to-Yield Accidents Happen?

Failure-to-yield accidents typically occur when other drivers behave negligently or recklessly. In some situations, other drivers may hurry to arrive at their final destination. Consequently, they may resort to speeding, running red lights, and other traffic law violations. At other times, a failure-to-yield accident may happen when another driver is distracted or inattentive. Distracted driving typically occurs when a driver pays more attention to something in their vehicle than the roadway. For example, the driver might be looking at a cellular device, programming a GPS navigation system, or adjusting the volume on their car radio.

Finally, some failure-to-yield accidents occur when other drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Whenever a driver is under the influence, they may experience delayed reaction time and reflexes, poor muscular coordination, and impaired judgment. As a result, they may misjudge the distance between their vehicle and another vehicle or (wrongly) assume that they have enough time to proceed through a traffic intersection before the light changes.

If you suffered injuries in one of these failure-to-yield traffic accidents, a car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction can promptly investigate your accident circumstances and gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim.

Common Injuries that Result from Failure-to-Yield Accidents

Failure-to-yield accidents typically occur when other drivers are not paying attention or are in a hurry. When accidents occur at a high rate of speed, the accident victim’s body may strike something inside their vehicle, such as the steering wheel, door, window, or dashboard, resulting in serious injuries. For example, if the accident victim’s head hits the steering wheel, windshield, or headrest with a significant amount of force, they may suffer a traumatic head or brain injury.

Other injuries that accident victims may suffer in failure-to-yield accidents include bone fractures, open cuts and lacerations, bruises, soft tissue neck and back injuries, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. In addition to these physical injuries, accident victims may suffer emotional distress and mental anguish from their accidents, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you suffered any of these injuries in your accident, you should seek prompt treatment from a primary care physician, medical doctor, or physical therapist as soon as possible. You should also be sure to complete all of your medical treatment and undergo the necessary imaging studies, such as X-rays and MRIs, so your medical provider can render an accurate diagnosis. Finally, stay on top of your medical treatment and attend all appointments until you receive a discharge. If there are significant gaps in your medical treatment, the insurance company may question the validity of your injuries or assume that your injuries are not serious.

While you focus on your medical treatment, a car accident attorney in your area can investigate your accident circumstances, gather important documents, and file a claim with the appropriate insurance company.

Successfully Proving a Car Accident Claim

To successfully prove a failure-to-yield car accident claim, you will need to satisfy several elements of proof. First, you will need to demonstrate that the other driver had a duty to yield the right-of-way to you at a particular time but that they failed to do so. For example, the other driver might have cut you off in traffic near a highway merge lane or on-ramp. Next, you must demonstrate that this violation was both the actual and the foreseeable cause of your car crash and the injuries you suffered.

To file a successful claim with the insurance company, your attorney can submit copies of important documents, including eyewitness statements, expert reports, police reports, injury photographs, lost income documentation, property damage photographs, and medical treatment records.

If the insurance company adjuster handling your claim believes the other driver was at fault for pulling out in front of your vehicle, the company may admit liability for the accident. However, even if that happens, the insurance company will not likely make you a fair settlement offer from the onset. This is because insurance companies want to try to save themselves as much money as possible, and they do this by making low monetary settlement offers to accident victims. Rather, your attorney will need to aggressively negotiate with the insurance company adjuster, possibly over several weeks or months, before the adjuster will increase their settlement offer.

Suppose the insurance company denies fault for your accident or otherwise refuses to make you a fair settlement offer. In that case, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in the state court system on your behalf. During this time, the parties will engage in discovery to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases. Also, during this process, the parties may attend one or more mediation sessions with the court or with a third-party mediator. The purpose of these settlement discussions is to try and bring the case to a resolution without the need for a civil trial. However, if the parties do not resolve their case during litigation, they will likely go to trial and present evidence. The judge or jury will then decide the case outcome, including monetary compensation to award the injured accident victim.

Your attorney can handle every step of the claims-filing and litigation processes for you so that you can receive monetary damages for all of your accident-related losses.

Filing a Timely Claim or Lawsuit

In failure-to-yield car accident cases, accident victims do not have unlimited time to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Rather, accident victims must file their lawsuit within two years of the date of their car crash. Otherwise, the court will prevent them from pursuing and recovering the monetary compensation they need. This statute of limitations mainly aims to keep evidence fresh and allow for witness availability at trial.

A skilled car accident attorney in your area will be aware of your case’s applicable statute of limitations deadline and can file a prompt personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in the court system.

Recovering the Financial Compensation You Deserve for Your Injuries

Compensation for Car Accident InjuriesUpon suffering injuries in a failure-to-yield car accident where another driver pulls out in front of you, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation for your injuries. The types and amounts of damages you may be eligible to receive will depend upon the circumstances of your accident, the seriousness of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, the amount of your lost income (if any), and the extent of your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Some of the most common types of monetary damages that car accident victims can recover include compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Mental distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of spousal companionship and consortium

While determining the amount of monetary compensation for medical expenses and lost income is fairly easy, it can be much more difficult to determine the value of a pain and suffering claim. This is because monetary compensation for pain, suffering, and inconvenience is highly subjective. A skilled car accident attorney in your area can determine your claim’s value, depending on your accident circumstances and injuries. Your lawyer can then take the necessary legal steps to enable you to recover a fair settlement or litigation result.

Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you recently suffered injuries in a car accident where another driver failed to yield the right-of-way at the proper time, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your injuries. In addition to seeking prompt medical attention, one of the most important steps you can take is to retain a skilled car accident attorney who can handle every step of the legal process for you. The sooner you retain legal counsel in your case, the higher your chances of obtaining the full monetary recovery you deserve.

Greg Bentley, Attorney for Car Accident in Orange County

Greg Bentley, Car Accident Lawyer

Your attorney will advocate throughout the process and aggressively fight for your legal rights and interests. Specifically, your attorney will promptly begin an investigation into your accident, file a personal injury claim on your behalf, and handle all communications with insurance company representatives. Your lawyer can also litigate your case to a resolution in the court system if the insurance company denies fault or refuses to compensate you fairly. Throughout the entire process, your attorney will guide you in making important decisions and do everything possible to maximize your overall monetary settlement, jury verdict, or binding arbitration award.

Consultations with a personal injury lawyer are free, offering an essential opportunity for you to explore their legal options after an accident. During these meetings, experienced attorneys assess the merits of your case, discuss potential courses of action, and provide valuable insights without any financial obligation.

This commitment to free consultations enables accident victims like you to make informed decisions about pursuing a legal claim. It empowers you to understand your rights, evaluate the feasibility of a case, and determine whether legal representation is warranted, all without incurring upfront costs or financial risks.

Never delay in protecting your future by seeking your no-cost case evaluation.