Drivers must make split-second decisions about whether or not to yield to another motorist on the road. South Carolina laws require yielding the right of way to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles in specific situations. When someone ignores those laws, it could lead to a severe collision.
Hammack Law Firm represents those who’ve been severely injured in car accidents, including those in which the other driver failed to yield. Determining liability for these types of accidents can be challenging. Be sure to choose a legal team with specific experience handling car accident cases to make sure you get the full amount of compensation that you’re owed.
Our team can be reached 24/7 if you’ve been hurt. Call us at (864) 479-8742 or reach out to us online to speak with a Greenville failure-to-yield accident attorney. We’ll be ready to help you get the justice that you deserve.
Right of Way Laws in South Carolina
Specific laws in South Carolina dictate when you’re supposed to yield to others on the state’s roadways. Yielding is important, especially at intersections or when pedestrians are present. Ignoring these laws could result in a crash, injuring everyone involved.
Whenever you get behind the wheel, you should keep the laws below in mind:
- If you’re approaching an intersection that doesn’t have traffic signs or signals, you must yield to any motorist already in that intersection.
- If two vehicles are entering an intersection and it’s not entirely apparent who’s supposed to yield, the person on the left must yield to the driver to their right.
- If you’re trying to make a left turn at an intersection, you have to yield to approaching vehicles, as well as anyone already in the intersection.
- When you want to make a left turn at a traffic light when the light turns green, you must yield to any pedestrians crossing the street and opposing traffic.
- You’re allowed to turn right at a red light unless a sign indicates otherwise. You first have to come to a complete stop and yield to pedestrians and other cars in the intersection before you.
- It’s always necessary to yield to emergency vehicles, such as an ambulance, fire truck, police, etc., when they use their sirens and/or flashing lights.
- If there’s a pedestrian crossing at an intersection, you must yield to them.
- You always have to yield to children exiting or entering a school bus.
Many people don’t realize that right of way laws doesn’t necessarily mean other drivers will always yield to you when they’re supposed to. Some motorists don’t know what the laws are or ignore them altogether. When that happens, assuming the other person will stop for you could likely lead to a collision.
Liability in Failure-to-Yield Accidents
Failure-to-yield auto accidents often happen because of a distracted, negligent, or ignorant motorist. If you suffer any type of injury because of their error, you’re entitled to hold the driver liable. You can pursue compensation from their auto insurance carrier to pay for your expenses related to medical treatment, vehicle damage, and other costs.
To prove liability on the part of the at-fault driver, you need to establish that negligence existed. Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care to prevent injury to another person. You must show the following occurred to prove the other party’s negligence:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care;
- They violated that duty; and
- Their breach of duty led to your bodily harm.
There are various reasons why a driver might fail to yield the right of way to someone else. Most of these collisions are the result of driver error. With technology at the forefront of everyone’s daily life, people can’t seem to put down their cell phones.
If a driver’s phone distracts them, they could miss vital traffic signs signaling that they need to yield to another person. Others drive too fast and can’t slow down in time to yield at an intersection. As the victim of a failure-to-yield crash, it’s your responsibility to show how the other party’s negligence led to your injuries.
Comparative Negligence: What it is and How it Affects Your Compensation
South Carolina uses the comparative negligence system to determine how much money an injured party can receive in a civil case. If you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, your actions right before the crash will undergo an evaluation. If it turns out that you’re partly to blame, the maximum compensation you can receive will decrease.
A formula calculates the compensation you’re entitled to if you share any fault in the auto accident. For example, if the other motorist failed to yield to you at an intersection, but you were speeding, it’s likely the comparative negligence rule will come into play.
Let’s say your total damages are equal to $10,000, but you’re 20% to blame for the crash. If you subtract 20% from $10,000, you have $8,000, and that’s the highest compensation you’re allowed to receive.
How to Pursue Financial Compensation
There are three ways you can seek compensation after a failure-to-yield accident:
- File a claim with your insurance carrier
- File a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the motorist who caused the collision
South Carolina is a fault state, which means the driver at fault is responsible for any harm caused by the crash. If an investigation finds they’re 100% liable, you can seek the maximum compensation available on their liability policy.
The law in South Carolina requires all motorists to carry liability auto insurance with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Those limits cover the injured party’s expenses after an accident.
If you discover that the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, it’s possible to pursue a claim with your UM insurance. UM, uninsured motorist coverage, is also a requirement in South Carolina. It covers those who suffer bodily injury in a traffic crash when the at-fault motorist doesn’t carry liability insurance.
What’s Covered In an Auto Accident Claim?
Damages are the expenses and losses incurred after a failure-to-yield car accident. It’s possible to get compensated for some or all of your damages. Economic, non-economic, and punitive are the three categories of damages you can pursue.
The economic and non-economic damages you’re entitled to from the at-fault driver include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Impairment or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Generally speaking, those who decide to file an insurance claim get reimbursed for their damages, such as medical expenses, and receive compensation for any suffering endured. When it comes to punitive damages, it’s more of a form of punishment against the liable driver. Punitive cases are very rare, and are only pursued if the at-fault driver’s actions were especially egregious.
Why You Should Choose Hammack Law Firm
Our failure-to-yield accident attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina and Georgia. Attorney Paul Hammack has more than two decades of experience handling serious injury accident cases, both as a plaintiff’s lawyer and as a defense lawyer.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, we have the skills, resources, and experience you need on your side. Our attorneys will be ready to sit down with you during a free consultation to discuss your case in detail, and we’ll inform you of your rights and legal options. When you hire us, we’ll seek the maximum compensation possible to help you get back on your feet after the accident.
How to Schedule an Appointment
We’re available 24/7 through live chat. You can also reach us by phone or through our contact form. If you’re interested in discussing how we can help you with your case, we will schedule a free consultation. You can meet with one of our failure-to-yield accident attorneys at no risk or obligation. We’ll review the details of your case and determine if we can represent you.
Contact Hammack Law Firm Today
Our experienced car accident attorneys are committed to getting our clients the justice and full compensation they deserve when they’re hurt in a crash. If another driver failed to yield and caused you severe harm, be sure to reach out to us right away for help.
Don’t try to handle your case alone. Let us take care of the legal legwork while you’re treating your injuries and putting your life back together. We will remain by your side throughout the entire process and guide you through each step.
To receive the financial compensation you deserve, schedule your free consultation with our Greenville car accident attorneys from Hammack Law Firm. Call (864) 479-8742 right now.