Our office handles failure to yield cases in Chicago on a regular basis. Often the collisions involve a driver failing to yield turning left at a stop light intersection or failing to yield while coming out of a stop sign.
The “right of way” is a priority given to one driver over another. A driver at a stop sign on a road that intersects with a through street must give this priority to vehicles on the through street. This is commonly known as yielding the right of way. A driver must yield the right of way to pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles when emerging from a stop or yield sign, an alley or parking lot. We yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. What it literally means is we wait. We wait while someone else takes a turn driving where we want to be.
It sounds like common sense, but there are a lot of drivers that roll through stop signs or rush to beat oncoming traffic while turning left. I myself often fear the bad driving habits of others. Traffic signals direct who has the right of way and in a perfect world we should all be able to travel safely to our destinations. However, there were 281,788 reported traffic accidents in Illinois in the year 2011 and 65,334 of those crashes were at locations controlled by traffic signals.
So what causes all of these accidents? Accidents occur due to a variety of reasons. Drivers in a hurry, talking on a cell phone, texting, putting on make-up, impaired drivers, or weather conditions can all be factors contributing to collisions where drivers fail to yield the right of way. It could be argued that a driver’s level of patience or aggressiveness has a role in his or her chances of being involved in an accident. When a driver fails to yield the right of way, or otherwise fails to wait their turn, they increase the odds of being involved in a crash.
Turning at an intersection can be dangerous. There were 42,971 crashes in Illinois in 2011 that involved vehicles attempting to turn. This type of collision was second only to read-end collisions where 79,674 accidents were reported.
Motorcyclists are put at extreme risk by drivers who fail to yield. For obvious reasons, motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of being seriously hurt if involved in a collision. While only 1.3 percent of all Illinois collisions in 2011 were attributed to motorcycle accidents, the number of fatalities involving motorcycles was a staggering 15.8 percent.
Our office has represented several motorcyclists that have been hurt due to drivers failing to yield, and in 2012 our office settled a case where a motorcyclist was killed by a driver who failed to yield while turning left at a green light.
Liability in accidents involving a failure to yield is not always clear and it can be difficult to determine who was at fault. It is common for a driver to be negligent for failing to yield the right of way, while another driver involved is also at fault to some degree, such as attempting to proceed through an intersection late on a yellow light. Unfortunately those involved in an accident and witnesses often give conflicting information to police and a quick determination of fault cannot be reached at the scene. Some intersection collisions become a matter of “he said/she said” and this makes it easy for insurance companies to cast the blame away from their insured and deny a claim.
In cases involving serious injuries, it is imperative that liability be thoroughly investigated. This requires investigation at the time of the incident and afterwards as well. It is a good idea to take photographs and obtain witness information at the scene of the occurrence, but afterwards there is still other information to look into. When liability is disputed, current technology allows for review of intersection photography & video, and any video footage from local security cameras. Further, actual interviews by investigators with witnesses can yield more information than is generally contained on the standard accident report.
The above facts are good reasons as to why it is important to start working with an injury lawyer immediately after an accident. Often video is only preserved by municipalities and local businesses for a short period of time. Also, witnesses tend to change addresses and phone numbers. The sooner you retain counsel, the better job they can do at protecting evidence and your rights.
Relief Possible for Victims of Failure to Yield Car Accidents
The facts of the occurrence are not the only things that need to be considered in resolving an accident claim. The nature and extent of the injuries sustained, pain and suffering, loss of earnings and loss of a normal life should be factored in before a settlement is reached. The process can be a stressful and confusing ordeal to go through, as if being in an accident were not bad enough. We often tell our clients to let the attorneys worry about their case, and all they have to do is concentrate on recovering from their injuries.
The Chicago accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are experienced in investigating collision cases and handling negotiations to obtain the best possible outcome. We only represent those who have been hurt in collisions and we never represent insurance companies so our clients know that we always put their interests first, regardless of the type of accident. Contact us for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a failure to yield accident in Illinois. There is no fee unless you win, so give us a call at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 for a free consultation.
If a failure to yield accident has left you hurt in Chicago or has injured your loved one, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with a free case consultation.