Failure to Yield Accidents
In New Jersey, drivers are expected to yield in a variety of circumstances on the road. Yielding is appropriate when traffic is regulated by a signal that tells you to yield. It is also appropriate at four-way stops with a stop sign when other cars were there first. When arriving simultaneously at a multi-way stop, a car on the left must yield to a car on the right. However, sometimes drivers are using their cell phones or are otherwise distracted, and they may fail to notice the need to yield. If you have been injured in a failure to yield accident, you may be able to recover substantial damages. Bergen County car accident lawyer Howard Leopold and the team at Leopold Law may be able to help.Establishing Liability for a Failure to Yield Accident
A failure to yield is a common motor vehicle offense. It can include failing to yield at a yield sign, rolling through a stop sign, running a red light, or failing to yield when merging onto a highway. A person who fails to yield and is cited can be assessed two points on their driving record and receive a $200 fine.
Under N.J.S.A. section 39:4-144, a driver faced with a stop sign must come to a complete stop within five feet of the nearest stop line or crosswalk, and they can proceed only after yielding the right of way to all of the traffic on the intersecting street that is so close that it is an immediate danger. Similarly, no driver of a car can enter into an intersecting street marked with a yield sign without slowing to a reasonable speed and stopping if necessary, and yielding the right of way to all of the intersecting traffic that constitutes an immediate danger.
Unfortunately, drivers are sometimes aggressive or distracted, and they may fail to yield when they are supposed to do so. The result can be a T-bone accident or another type of collision with another car. If you had the right of way and were injured in a failure to yield accident, you may be able to recover damages by establishing negligence or negligence per se. To establish negligence, your lawyer would need to show that the defendant owed a duty, which it violated, thus causing actual damages to you. For example, when a defendant failed to yield to the driver on the right at a four-way stop, they can be liable for breaching the duty to yield.
Negligence per se can make it easier for a plaintiff to recover damages by shifting the focus of a lawsuit from liability to the extent of the damages. Negligence per se may apply when a defendant violates a safety law or regulation, thereby causing an accident of the type that the law or regulation was designed to prevent.
In some situations, both drivers are partially to blame for a failure to yield accident. For example, if a driver fails to turn on a turn signal, and the other driver does not yield, their combined negligence could result in a serious accident. In New Jersey, you cannot recover damages from an accident if your fault for it is more than the fault of the defendant from whom you are seeking damages. You can recover damages if you are 50% or less at fault, although your damages will be reduced by the percentage by which you are at fault. For example, if the damages are $150,000, and the jury finds you 20% at fault and the defendant 80% at fault, you can recover $120,000 from the defendant.
Damages that you may be able to recover after a failure to yield accident can include both economic and noneconomic losses, such as medical bills, lost income, property damage, rehabilitation, household services, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.Consult an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer in Bergen County
Dedicated attorney Howard Leopold and the team at Leopold Law may be able to help you recover damages after a motor vehicle collision caused by a failure to yield. We handle cases in Bergen County as well as Passaic, Hudson, and Essex Counties. Call Leopold Law at (201) 345-5907 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation.