A failure to yield accident occurs when a driver fails to give the right of way to another vehicle or pedestrian as required by law. These types of accidents can be particularly dangerous, as they often involve vehicles traveling at high speeds and may result in serious injuries or fatalities. According to data from the California Highway Patrol, failure to yield was a contributing factor in approximately 10% of all car accidents in the state in 2019.
Legal Definition of Failure to Yield
Under California law, drivers have a legal obligation to yield the right of way to other vehicles and pedestrians in certain situations. This is regulated by California Vehicle Code sections 21800 and 21801, which outline the specific circumstances in which drivers must yield. Penalties for failure to yield can include fines and points on a driver’s license (California Vehicle Code sections 21800, 21801).
Common Causes of Failure to Yield Accidents
There are several common causes of failure to yield accidents in California. Distracted driving, such as texting or using a cell phone while driving, is a major factor (California Vehicle Code section 23123). Improper lane changes and disregarding traffic signals and signs are also common causes of failure to yield accidents (California Vehicle Code sections 21651, 21453).
Injuries and Damages Caused by Failure to Yield Accidents
Failure to yield accidents can result in a variety of injuries, including serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles. According to data from the California Highway Patrol, pedestrian fatalities accounted for approximately 15% of all traffic fatalities in the state in 2019. Property damage to vehicles is also common in failure to yield accidents, with repair costs often being significant. According to data from the insurance industry, the average cost of repairing a vehicle involved in a failure to yield accident is approximately $3,500.
Liability in Failure to Yield Accident Cases
In California, fault in car accident cases is determined by the principle of negligence, which is codified in California Civil Code section 1714. Under this principle, a driver is considered negligent if they fail to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle, and their negligence causes an accident. In a failure to yield accident case, the driver who failed to yield the right of way is typically considered to be at fault, unless there are extenuating circumstances that would shift fault to the other driver. Factors that may be considered in determining fault in a failure to yield accident case include the actions of the drivers involved, the conditions of the road and weather, and the visibility of the other driver or pedestrian.
- Steps to Take After a Failure to Yield Accident in California If you are involved in a failure to yield accident in California, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and seek damages:
- Seek medical attention. Even if you do not believe you were injured, it is important to have a medical evaluation to ensure that any injuries are identified and treated.
- Report the accident to the authorities. California Vehicle Code section 20008 requires drivers involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to report the accident to the police.
- Document the accident. It is important to document the circumstances of the accident, including the location, time, weather conditions, and any damages or injuries sustained. California Vehicle Code section 16000 requires drivers involved in an accident to exchange information and file a written report with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days if there were any injuries or property damage.
Seek Legal Representation
An experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the process of seeking damages for your injuries and damages, and can ensure that your rights are protected. Our office litigates failure to yield accidents.