Sharing the road is a basic part of daily life. Unfortunately, not all drivers choose to follow the rules. Collisions all-too-frequently occur when someone fails to exercise their basic duty of care and decides to drive in an unsafe manner. Failing to yield the right of way to other drivers or pedestrians is a common cause of accidents that result in devastating injuries. Our Virginia car accident lawyer helps to explain what you need to know.
Knowing When to Yield on Virginia Roads and Highways
In most cases, who should yield while driving is simply common sense. There are times when the right of way might become unclear though, such as if traffic lights have stopped working or during other driving conditions outside the norm. Here’s what the law in Virginia requires:
- You must yield to existing traffic while merging from an on-ramp.
- When entering a roundabout, you always yield to traffic already moving in the circle.
- At an intersection, the vehicle that arrived first goes first. In cases where it isn’t clear who arrived first or multiple cars arrived at the same time, the vehicle on your right goes first.
- When traffic lights have stopped functioning, everyone stops at the light, and the vehicle on the left yields to the vehicle on the right.
- Pedestrians always have the right of way, even if they aren’t using a crosswalk.
Building Your Case
If someone failed to follow these laws and caused a collision, you may be owed compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, and loss of wages if you can’t work while recovering. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney versed in state traffic laws, you can prove the at-fault party bears responsibility for your injuries. Here’s what you need to do after a negligent driver failed to yield:
- Document the damage to both vehicles and the scene of the crash with photographs.
- Exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver.
- Gather contact info for any eyewitnesses who can describe what they saw.
- See a doctor as soon as possible to document your injuries and show they were caused by the accident.
- Work with a personal injury attorney who can negotiate with insurance on your behalf or take the case to court if necessary.