Beaumont Attorneys for Failure to Yield or Stop Car Accidents
One of the most common causes of citations and accidents in Texas is confusion: confusion over who has to yield the right of way at an intersection or on the road. Of course, we all want to think that the road is ours and “they” should have yielded, but it isn’t always that simple, and even police and attorneys have to consult their law books to see who was right and wrong.
Most of us have a gut instinct about who has the right of way when entering a roadway or crossing the street, and we’re usually right. Unfortunately, when we’re wrong, accidents happen, and someone can get hurt. At Portner Bond, PLLC, we believe that if you were injured because of someone else’s confusion or negligence, you deserve just compensation. Call the Beaumont car accident attorneys of (409) 838-4444 for a free consultation where we can discuss your accident and determine whether you have a case.
Failure to Yield Laws
The Texas transportation code explains who has the right of way in specific situations. Chapter 545 has to do with the operation and movement of vehicles. The most common rules can be summarized as follows:
- A stop sign or yield sign indicates “preferential right of way.” That is, drivers must stop or give way to other cars at an intersection where there is such a sign.
- Unless otherwise directed (by a police officer, traffic device, or temporary marker), drivers must yield the right of way to a vehicle that has already entered the intersection from another direction. In other words, if you are not in the intersection, and another car already is, then that car has the right of way.
- In an uncontrolled intersection, drivers must yield to cars on their right. That is, the car that reaches the intersection on your right before you do or at the same time you do gets to go through first.
- Drivers making a left turn must yield to all traffic and pedestrians before completing a turn.
- Drivers exiting a parking lot, driveway, or private road must yield the right of way to any vehicle on the public road.
When a driver fails to yield the right of way and causes an accident, they could be found to be at fault for the injuries and losses of others in the accident. Whether you were another driver, a passenger in the reckless driver’s car, or an innocent bystander, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if the accident was caused by a driver’s failure to yield.
Failure to Yield to Pedestrians
Texas law is somewhat unclear as to whether pedestrians have the right of way in all cases at all times, but one thing is always clear. Pedestrians in crosswalks always have the right of way. This is true whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked.
The law states that even if the light is green, and the crosswalk is red, the pedestrian in the crosswalk still has the right of way. Drivers turning right must always yield to anyone in the crosswalk.
Additionally, drivers have a heightened duty to be aware of pedestrians at all times, whether they are in a crosswalk or not. If a pedestrian is jaywalking or walking in the roadway, drivers still must be alert to their presence and avoid striking them. Even in situations where the pedestrian may not have the right of way, a driver does not have the right to hit them.
Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicles
Yes, even in Texas, you must pull over and stop when an emergency vehicle appears in your rearview mirror. Texas Transportation Code § 545.156 states that on being approached by an emergency vehicle with active lights and sirens, drivers must immediately yield the right of way, pull to the right quickly and safely, and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed.
This includes police or fire vehicles that use their lights and sirens to pass or go through an intersection.
Failure to Yield to Trains
Trains always have the right of way. As foolish as this sounds, hundreds of people die every year thinking that they have the right of way at a train crossing.
What All This Means After an Accident
If you have been the victim of an accident because the other driver failed to yield the right of way, it may be due to confusion because of these complex laws and regulations. It is important to have your case evaluated right away if you think that a failure to yield was one of the causes of your injury.
Besides the usual steps you should take after an accident, some things your attorney will need to know are:
- Whether the intersection is controlled, and if the lights were working at the time of the collision.
- Were there yield or stop signs posted at the crossing? Were they visible to all drivers?
- Did the other driver “wave you on” before the incident? This tends to show confusion and uncertainty over who had the right of way.
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule in determining fault and assessing a victim’s ability to recover damages in a civil case. Your ability to recover damages requires you to be less than 50 percent liable for the accident. Being able to show that you followed the law and surrendered the right of way as required will help your attorney prove your claim.
At Portner Bond, PLLC, we know the intricacies of Texas accident law, and failure to yield accidents are among the most common but most confusing of vehicle accidents. If you’ve been involved in a roadway accident, and believe that the other driver’s failure to yield may have been responsible, you should have your case evaluated by our legal team.
Contact Portner Bond, PLLC at (409) 838-4444 today for a confidential evaluation and recommendations about your case. We will review your situation and give you our best assessment on the way to proceed, no matter what the circumstances were.