Failure-to-Yield Accidents

While proceeding through a green light at an intersection, a driver making a left turn fails to yield and crashes into you. Unfortunately, these failure-to-yield accidents are all too common in Boston. Even though you had the right of way, these cases can be challenging to prove, especially if the at-fault driver is not honest about what happened.

Consulting an experienced personal injury law firm is the best course of action to protect your rights following a serious or fatal crash.

The Boston car accident attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims and their families. We know about the pain, anger, and frustration that often accompany an accident. Plus, our experienced staff understands what it takes to thoroughly investigate a claim and build a case that can net a client maximum compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

Underlying Causes of Failure-to-Yield Accidents

Yielding means waiting for another motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian to proceed when they have the legal right to move forward. Drivers who are distracted, drunk, or just plain in a hurry are likely to ignore the fact that another driver has the right of way. In addition, aggressive drivers are more likely to push the limits, violate traffic laws, and cause accidents by failing to slow down and yield to other motorists.

Failure-to-yield accidents often result in fender benders in which vehicle occupants walk away with minor injuries. However, failure-to-yield accidents can be severe and even fatal in other cases. According to the Insurance Information Institute, drivers or motorcyclists who failed to yield the right of way were responsible for more than 7% of fatal crashes in 2019.

These accidents are particularly dangerous because they often involve broadside collisions at intersections. In addition, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians are at a significantly higher risk than car drivers and occupants.

By thoroughly investigating your failure-to-yield accident, an experienced Massachusetts personal injury law firm can often identify and prove the underlying negligence that contributed to your accident. For example, the at-fault driver may have been texting instead of paying attention to changing traffic lights or speeding and unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Common Types of Failure-to-Yield Accidents in Massachusetts

Many failure-to-yield accidents happen at intersections. Notoriously dangerous intersections in Massachusetts include:

  1. Columbia Road at the Expressway (Boston)
  2. Middlesex Turnpike at Route 128 (Burlington)
  3. Granite Avenue and the Expressway (Milton)
  4. North Washington Street and the Central Artery (Boston)
  5. Route 128 and Interstate 93 (Woburn)

However, failure-to-yield accidents also occur when cars merge onto Boston's highways from an exit or merge off the roadway and onto an exit. In this situation, there should be yield signs alerting merging drivers to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary to allow drivers on another approach to proceed.

Another failure-to-yield situation occurs when yellow traffic lights are flashing as a caution sign, alerting drivers to the possibility of cross-traffic. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for Boston drivers to ignore these lights and cause or contribute to an accident.

Here is a partial list of failure-to-yield accident scenarios that our car accident lawyers see regularly:

  • Failure to yield when making a left turn.
  • Failure to yield at a traffic control device.
  • Failure to yield at a crosswalk, including in school zones.
  • Failure to yield to ambulances, fire trucks, or other emergency vehicles.
  • Failure to yield when merging.
  • Failure to yield to flashing traffic lights.
  • Failure to yield from a parking lot or private drive.
  • Failure to yield to bicyclists making a right turn.

Injuries in these cases range from soft tissue injuries to catastrophic spinal cord injuries. It is common for accident victims to sustain whiplash, broken bones, and concussions. The severity of the injury depends on factors surrounding the accident, including the type of vehicles involved, the speed they were traveling, and the location of impact.

Proving Fault in a Failure-to-Yield Accident

In some cases, the at-fault party may deny liability, and their attorney may contest fault. The wrong party may even be accused of failing to yield the right of way and causing the accident.

As with all accidents, it is always beneficial to take photos of the scene and collect contact information for any witnesses. This is particularly true when an accident involves failure-to-yield allegations. While most car accident cases involve an at-fault driver striking the accident victim, a failure-to-yield case often involves the accident victim striking the at-fault driver.

The at-fault party is the one who is not obeying the rules of the road given the traffic signs and signals that are present and the condition of the road at the time of the accident.

Keep in mind that insurance companies may try to take advantage of the confusion. Even trained law enforcement may not get it right at the scene.

Your attorney can search for video footage and other evidence to support your claim. In certain situations, your attorney will work with an accident reconstructionist to prove how your accident happened and who is to blame.

Certain vehicles, such as delivery trucks, have technology that records the vehicle's speed and other driving data. When the involved parties are disputing liability, this evidence can be crucial to proving your case and recovering money for your injuries.

If you have been in a failure-to-yield accident, do not admit fault or make any statements to opposing insurance companies. Do not accept payment for property damage or sign any paperwork. Your best bet following a serious accident is to obtain medical treatment for your injuries, document what happened and who was involved to the best of your ability and meet with an experienced accident attorney to discuss your case.

If your family is dealing with a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers at (617) 777-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights, or complete our online form.

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