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Right of way at an intersection

by D

I was recently in an accident at a 4 way intersection where I was to the left of the person I collided with and I don't know whether they were at the intersection 1st or not.

There are 3 stop signs with the traffic that does not face a stop sign coming opposite from me. Most of that traffic that does not face a stop sign turns left.

Being that the driver of the other car was to the right of me and I was not sure who got there first, I yielded to them assuming they had the right of way. They did not go. Because this was morning and traffic was heavy, on the next break in the traffic (it the same size break in the traffic as the first break) I did not wait for them to go.

I promptly set out across the intersection. The intersection roads are 1 single lane road, the one I was on, and a two lane road the other driver was on. They were in the left lane going straight (the right lane is for turning right at this intersection).

My car was struck on the passenger side door (it's a two door car) behind the windshield. That I had the greater distance to the middle of the intersection and that my car was more or less half way past the other car when struck means I had been well underway when the other driver started out. Given the distance, the other driver should have been able to see that I had gone before they had.

My car was pulverized and cannot be repaired. They did have the right of way when I reached the intersection, but is there a limitation on right of way?

That is, can you lose right of way if you do not go? If so, what is considered reasonable time to yield right of way in such an intersection where there is a near constant stream of traffic not facing a stop sign? I could really use some advice here. I'm facing a potentially financially crippling situation. Thank you.


Hey D,

Sorry to hear about your accident. Usually, the vehicle to the right has the right of way. If you are to the left, you have a greater duty to yield unless they have a stop sign. If there are stop sings (and or traffic lights), then every one stops, and the vehicle to the right goes first.

The caveat is that most statutes say that "if two vehicles approach the intersection and or about the same time, the vehicle to the left must yield the right of way to the vehicle to the right". Were you both approaching the intersection or were you already in the intersection?

Some adjusters will look at it this way, some others will argue that since the collision happen, this is enough evidence that both vehicles approached the same intersection at the same time. This is somewhat hard to dispute, but since the point of impact can benefit you, you can argue that.

We have written articles on how to evaluate fault and liability. Visit: to see what can be applicable to your case.

There is no such a thing as losing the right of way, your argument should be that you had the right of way because you were already there.

Also remember that fault is not a 100% things. There could be a 50% 50%, or 80% 20%. Your point of impact will be key.

I hope this helps some,

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