Intersections are some of the most dangerous places for accidents. In 2016, about 22% of all fatal car accidents occurred at an intersection. With so many types of intersections, it is important to understand the various traffic laws and how these traffic laws affect different car accidents lawsuit.
Courts only hold the parties responsible for causing an accident liable for injuries. This means that if you were following the rules when you were the victim of an accident at an intersection, you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible parties. Fayetteville intersection accident lawyer Ken Kieklak explains some of the common laws dealing with car accidents at intersections, and what compensation you might be entitled to if you were injured in one of these crashes. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.
Arkansas Car Crashes at Intersections
Overall, there were 488 deadly car accidents in Arkansas in 2016. Of these, 50 occurred at an intersection, and 18 were “intersection related.” This shows the dangers of driving across other cars’ lanes of travel. Many of these accidents were even related to driveway access. It is always important to understand Arkansas’ traffic laws regarding intersections and right of way. Anyone who violates any of the following rules can be held responsible for a car accident at an intersection.
One of the most misunderstood traffic laws may be the rules for merging. These rules apply for entering a highway or using any ramps at a traffic light. Many of these ramps have yield signs, telling the merging driver to wait for an opening. However, many drivers fail to follow these signs. Yielding in this way, under Arkansas Code § 27-51-503, requires you to slow to a reasonable speed for the conditions, and to stop altogether if needed. Any time another car on the road you’re entering is close enough “as to constitute an immediate hazard,” you must wait until it’s clear.
Arkansas Code § 27-51-502(c)(1) requires a driver making a left turn to yield right of way to all approaching vehicles. This means that any other oncoming traffic gets to enter the intersection and make their move before you. These drivers need to be aware of the oncoming car’s speed, and wait if there isn’t enough time to make the turn safely. If another driver is impatient or misjudges your speed, an accident at a left turn should be their fault.
A green light allows a driver to enter the intersection – but it doesn’t entitle them to go right away, and intersections should always be entered with caution. Making a turn at a light should always be done in the proper lane, and as far to the side of the road as you can go. Yellow lights mean to use caution, and should never be used as a challenge to “beat the light.” While many intersections allow drivers to make a right on red, the driver must always make a complete stop at the red light before entering the intersection.
Arkansas Code § 27-51-502(b) says stop signs require a full and complete stop before entering the intersection. Especially at a single stop sign that enters onto another road, these are often skipped entirely, or a driver makes a “rolling stop” to enter the roadway more quickly. These actions are dangerous for other drivers on the road. Someone at a stop sign must yield right of way to all other drivers before going.
Private Roads and Driveways
Where a private road meets a public road is often confusing for many drivers. Like a yield sign, this requires yielding right of way to all other drivers on the road. While Arkansas Code § 27-51-603 may not require a full stop, you must wait before all other cars on the public roads have gone before you get your turn.
Compensation for a Car Accident at an Intersection
Proving your car accident case in court (or to an insurance company) requires showing that the other driver failed to use the proper care, which caused your injuries. This is called “negligence,” in legal terms. To prove the other driver failed to use due care, you usually rely upon traffic laws like the ones above. Failure to follow the rules of the road is an obvious breach of the duties drivers have to each other.
Being injured in a car accident can mean many “damages” you face in your life. From the pain and suffering of injury to the heavy medical expenses, you may be able to recover any consequences of the accident in a court of law. This includes any lost wages you missed if your injuries were severe enough to keep you from working. Talk to an attorney today to understand what damages may be available in your case.
Fayetteville Intersection Crash Lawyer
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer. He represents car crash victims in Arkansas, and fights to get them the compensation they need for their injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Arkansas, call our law offices today for a free consultation on your case. Our number is (479) 316-0438.