Failure to Yield Accidents
Failure to yield accidents can happen in several ways. A driver may cause a crash by failing to yield to oncoming traffic when turning out of a side road or when entering the highway, or a motorist may ignore a red light, stop sign, or other traffic control device. Just as with other types of car accidents, serious injuries and even death are possible when a driver’s failure to yield causes a traffic crash. At Siegel & Siegel, P.C., our Middlesex County car accident lawyers regularly represent people who have been injured in failure to yield accidents, as well as rear-end collisions and other crashes. We also help people injured in Mercer County and surrounding areas.Litigating a Case Arising from a Failure to Yield Accident
In order to recover money damages following a failure to yield crash, the injured person must prove that the defendant breached a legal duty owed to him or her and that this breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In a failure to yield case, the “duty” element may be met by reference to the statute or ordinance that gave the plaintiff the right of way in the circumstances. In some failure to yield cases, the defendant may have been issued a traffic citation, but this is a separate proceeding from a civil action seeking compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by the accident.
Car accident claimants must take legal action within the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. While this limitations period is generally two years in the state of New Jersey, there are situations in which the plaintiff may have far less time to act before his or her rights are barred. For instance, if an accident was caused by a government employee, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act requires the injured party to file a notice of claim with the government within 90 days. Usually, a case that does not comply with the relevant notice and filing requirements will be dismissed by the courts, even if the plaintiff was seriously injured and the defendant was clearly at fault.
Even when a case is timely filed and the basic elements of negligence are proven by a preponderance of the evidence, other issues can arise. For example, New Jersey’s modified comparative fault law may come into play in a distracted driving case if the defendant admits that he or she was partially to blame for failing to yield but provides proof that the plaintiff also was negligent, perhaps by failing to apply the brakes promptly or by speeding through an intersection. If the plaintiff was 50% or less responsible for the crash, however, he or she can still recover damages in proportion to the defendant’s fault.
The amount of damages to which the plaintiff is entitled is also a frequent point of controversy and an area in which an experienced injury lawyer can make a big difference. Compensatory damages can vary substantially depending on the facts of a particular case. Punitive damages are not usually awarded, but they may be a possibility in particularly egregious cases involving reckless conduct. A common example is drunk driving, which often is the cause of a failure to yield accident.Speak to an Aggressive Middlesex County Lawyer Following a Serious Crash
Since time is of the essence in personal injury and wrongful death cases, it is important for people who have been affected by a motor vehicle accident to consult an attorney as soon as possible. At the Middlesex County firm of Siegel & Siegel, P.C., we offer a free consultation to discuss your case so that you can get started right away. You can reach us at 609-799-6066 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We represent people in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as other communities in Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties.