Many car accidents in Georgia happen because a driver failed to yield the right-of-way to another, resulting in a collision. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a driver who didn’t yield the right-of-way, you are likely entitled to seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. This article will cover what you need to know about determining the right-of-way and fault in a Georgia car accident.
Georgia’s Laws on Yielding the Right-of-Way
To know whether or not the other driver was at fault, you’ll need to understand Georgia’s traffic laws pertaining to your accident. Here are the rules when it comes to the right-of-way in different scenarios.
Four-Way Intersection with Stop Signs
Each driver should stop at the stop sign, then enter the intersection in the same order they arrived at the stop sign. Each driver must be careful to watch all other stop signs to determine when they truly have the right-of-way and when they must yield.
If more than one driver arrives at the intersection at the same time, the car to the right officially has the right-of-way.
A T-intersection is where three roads come together, forming a “T” shape. At a T-intersection, drivers without a stop sign have the right-of-way.
When a driver comes upon a yield, they should be ready to slow down and yield to oncoming traffic. If necessary, the driver should stop at the yield sign until it’s safe to go.
When turning left at an intersection or from one road to another, the driver should always yield to oncoming traffic, as they have the right-of-way. If the driver has an arrow at an intersection, they should only go when the coast is clear on a yellow arrow or when they have a green arrow.
If a driver is merging onto a highway or other roadway, they should increase their speed to meet the pace of the other vehicles and make sure their vehicle is positioned safely for merging. They should also yield the right-of-way to all approaching vehicles already on the roadway (Georgia Code section 40-6-73).
Drivers on the highway should also, if possible, move over to provide the merging vehicle with enough room to enter the highway.
Bicycles and Pedestrians
Sometimes, a car accident occurs with someone walking or riding a bike, rather than another vehicle. Right-of-way can become more complex in these situations.
When pedestrians are using a crosswalk (marked or unmarked) and on a sidewalk, they always have the right-of-way and vehicles should yield. However, cars traveling on the road have the right-of-way outside of crosswalk locations.
When it comes to bicyclists, car drivers must provide three feet of space when passing the bike. According to Georgia bicycle laws, bicycles are legally considered vehicles and have the same rights on the roads. That means they are not allowed to ride on sidewalks and must follow the same rules on right-of-way as cars and other motorists.
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Determining Fault Related to the Right-of-Way in an Accident
Failing to yield the right-of-way can easily lead to a car accident in Georgia. Even if the driver is a good person and simply made a mistake, they are still legally responsible for the costs of the accident. If you were hurt in an accident and believe it was caused by another driver’s failure to yield, you will need to prove their fault and your damages.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you do this. They can assist you in building a strong personal injury claim to file with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This includes investigating the details of the accident and gathering evidence of the driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way to your vehicle.
Your lawyer can also help you if the insurance company tries to deny your claim or offer you a lowball settlement, which is very common. Accidents caused by failure to follow Georgia’s right-of-way laws can leave you with serious and painful injuries, cause you to miss a lot of work time, and much more. Seeking compensation for your damages can help you recover your losses and begin to move on from the accident.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
You should not have to cover the costs of another driver’s mistake. Let John Foy & Associates help you seek the money you need and deserve to be made whole after your car accident. We have a thorough knowledge of Georgia’s traffic laws and how to determine fault in an accident.
Get started today with a FREE consultation where we’ll talk through the details of your accident and your rights. Contact us online or call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started.