In many circumstances, including intersection accidents, if a driver who has the right of way is involved in an accident with a driver who was required to yield the right of way but did not, then the first driver would have a strong case for a civil liability and an award of damages. Typically, the driver who failed to yield would be considered negligent in her operation of her vehicle and would be liable for the injuries and other damages that she caused to the driver with whom she collided.
That, however, is not a certainty, and you should be prepared to litigate your case diligently, even if you were clearly hurt and clearly had the right of way. A driver who might appear to have had the right of way, and be entitled to an award of damages, might not succeed if she also violated the rules of the road, such as by speeding. In that regard, some defendants may try to defeat your case by alleging you committed some violation of the rules of the road and that violation was the real cause of the accident. To protect yourself and your case, be sure you have the skill and knowledge of an experienced California injury attorney on your side.
As an example of this type of case, there’s the injury accident of a woman named J.B. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case Number BC 610177) J.B. was driving across westbound Franklin Avenue in Hollywood near the Magic Castle. H.A. had been traveling eastbound but was stopped while waiting to make a left turn into the driveway of the Magic Castle. Seeing what she thought was an opportunity to get to the driveway, H.A. initiated her left turn. Unfortunately, that put her in the path of J.B. and the vehicles collided.
Generally, in most situations, a driver who is proceeding straight ahead along a street has the right of way against a driver who is seeking to make a left-hand turn (unless there is a traffic sign or device that specifically gives the turning driver right of way). What that means is that, in the vast majority of circumstances, the turning driver must yield the right of way and wait for all straight-ahead traffic to clear before turning.
That might seem, then, to give J.B. an “open and shut” case. H.A., however, alleged that J.B. was speeding and that J.B.’s speed was really to blame for the crash. If J.B. had been observing the speed limit, she would have been able to stop and avoid colliding with H.A., the turning driver alleged.
You need to be ready for this possibility and have the evidence and argument you need ready to go to counter this type of argument. In J.B.’s case, her legal team had prepared the persuasive case the woman needed. The jury voted 12-0 to find H.A. liable, awarding J.B. nearly $900,000 in damages.
If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, reach out to the diligent San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Overcoming Evidence of Your Pre-Existing Medical Problems to Establish Causation and Get an Award of Damages in Your California Injury Case, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published Bovember 8, 2018
Dealing With a California Injury Case When the Person Who Hit You Dies Shortly After the Accident, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 9, 2018