Proving Another Driver’s Failure to Yield in an Accident

By Peter DePaolis

If you got hurt in a collision that another caused or contributed to because they violated Virginia’s right-of-way laws, a Virginia car accident lawyer could answer your questions about proving another driver’s failure to yield in an accident. These cases can be contentious, with each party blaming the other.

This blog will offer some suggestions about how to proceed in this challenging situation. There is a great deal at stake in being found even partially at fault in our state, so you will want to work with a lawyer who can protect your right to compensation.

How Virginia Defines Failure to Yield Right-of-Way

Va. Code § 46.2-863 Failure to yield the right-of-way is the statute that defines the act of causing a crash because of the failure to yield. Virginia law treats failure to yield right-of-way as reckless driving. The statute says that a person is “guilty of reckless driving who fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching on such highway within 500 feet of such point of entrance.”

There are two exceptions to this general rule:

  1. “A “Yield Right-of-Way” sign is posted, or 
  2. Where such sign is posted, fails, upon entering such highway, to yield the right-of-way to the driver of a vehicle approaching on such highway from either direction.”

In any of these circumstances, when the failure to yield the right-of-way causes a motor vehicle accident, the driver who committed the reckless driving act will be liable for the harm they caused through their negligence.

Proving Failure to Yield Right-of-Way

You should not give up just because the other driver refuses to admit that they failed to yield the right-of-way.  Here are some suggestions of steps to take in this situation:

  • Take photographs of the damage to both vehicles, the scene of the accident, and any relevant signage that might indicate who had the right-of-way and who was supposed to yield.
  • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who might be able to back up your assertion that the other driver caused the crash by failing to yield.
  • Avoid getting into an argument or another discussion at the scene about who caused the collision. 
  • Make sure that the police come to the scene of the accident and write a crash report. The police report will be valuable in your personal injury case.
  • Do not give the insurance company or their claims adjuster a recorded or written statement about what happened. Instead, work with a lawyer who can deal with the defendant and insurance company on your behalf. You do not want to get tricked into admitting any fault because that could destroy your right to compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Your attorney can provide additional guidance to address the unique circumstances of your injury claim. You can talk to a Virginia personal injury attorney about your case and how to prove that the driver who failed to yield is responsible for your losses. Simply reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.