Tennessee drivers have a duty to yield the right-of-way to other motorists and pedestrians to avoid accidents. Drivers often cause crashes, however, when they ignore this duty and refuse to wait patiently and yield to vehicles that have the right-of-way. Failure to yield accidents can cause serious physical injuries and death.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a failure to yield accident, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you seek justice for your damages. We can help you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call us at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a failure to yield accident lawyer in Knoxville.
What Does Failure to Yield Mean?
Failure to yield means a driver does not give up the right-of-way to other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. For instance, a vehicle making a left turn in an intersection must yield to oncoming traffic, which has the right to the road. A driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks at an intersection.
Tennessee Code § 55-8-128 (2016) describes the right-of-way rules in detail. Failing to follow these rules causes major problems—and injuries—for all involved.
Seek Legal Counsel in Failure to Yield Cases Involving Injury or Death
Failure to yield cases may become complicated when an accident involves injuries or death—or because of liability disputes. Tennessee is a “fault” state, which means the driver at fault for an accident is responsible for paying compensatory damages. If the at-fault driver in your case fears possible penalties for their actions, they may try to shift the blame for the accident on to you.
If you were partially to blame for the accident, do not worry. Our attorneys can help you recover partial damages under the state’s comparative negligence rules. Under these rules, you may recover reduced damages based on your percentage of fault for the accident.
For example, imagine another driver failed to yield to your vehicle before pulling out onto a busy road. You were speeding and unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Because you were speeding at the time of the crash, you may bear 30 percent of the fault. In that case, you would only receive 70 percent of your total damages.
If you did not cause the accident, do not admit fault—even if the other driver pressures you to do so. Our lawyers can give advice in these situations, protect your legal rights, and ensure you are able to recover compensation for your damages.
We can also help you prove the other driver’s negligence caused your accident and your injuries.
How Can a Lawyer Prove Negligence in My Failure to Yield Case?
To prevail in a negligence claim, Tennessee law requires us to prove four elements:
- The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care;
- They breached that duty by failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or crosswalk;
- You suffered injuries because the driver neglected to yield the right-of-way; and
- The at-fault driver’s negligence caused injuries that required medical treatment and damaged your vehicle.
What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Negligence?
Our legal team uses a variety of resources to help support our clients’ personal injury cases. For instance, we examine each driver’s role in the wreck by working with specialists who reconstruct accidents to determine the causes of crashes. We may also use:
- Police reports of the accident;
- Eyewitness statements;
- Smartphone records to determine whether the driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident;
- The driver’s driving history;
- Photos of the damaged vehicles; and
- Traffic camera video footage, if available.
We may also use photos of the intersection where the accident occurred to show which driver had the right-of-way based on traffic signals or stops signs in that area.
A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found many stop sign crashes occur when drivers stop, but fail to yield. Forty-four percent of drivers in the study said they stopped at the sign but did not see the other vehicle coming. Nonetheless, the driver who fails to yield remains at fault for the crash and responsible for the other party’s damages.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
In personal injury cases, you may recover economic damages and non-economic damages for your:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Physical therapy;
- Assistive devices;
- Vehicle repair costs;
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died in the accident;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Mental anguish.
Who Pays for My Damages: The Driver or the Driver’s Insurance Company?
The at-fault driver’s insurance company compensates you for your damages. Once we successfully prove negligence, we will file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. We will negotiate your claim with a goal of reaching a fair settlement on your behalf.
If you suffered severe injuries, your loved one died in the accident, or the driver and their insurance company refuse to admit responsibility for the crash, you may consider filing a lawsuit. Our failure to yield accident lawyers can provide the legal counsel you need to take your case to court.
Failure to Yield Penalties in Tennessee
Under Tennessee Motor Code § 55-8-197 (2016), drivers who fail to yield and cause serious bodily injuries face a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine. An accident resulting in a death is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.
Because of these penalties, the at-fault driver in your case may do whatever they can to avoid admitting any guilt in causing the crash. They may retain legal representation willing to take the case to court to avoid facing charges. Our attorneys can help you beat these tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
We Can Help You.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 and let us help you build a case for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. We protect your legal rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal evaluation.