Drivers have a duty to use reasonable care when driving. In Massachusetts, statutory law allows a driver not to yield the right-of-way, however under certain circumstances a reasonable person would yield the right-of-way anyway, and as such a duty would be imposed on the driver to yield. This legal terminology may make it difficult for you to determine who is at fault when you are in a failure to yield automobile accident. These accidents are particularly dangerous because they often lead to side impact collisions at intersections, which often have extremely dire consequences. Motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians have a high risk of being injured when a vehicle fails to yield when it has an obligation to do so.
Drunk driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving are the most common causes. In Massachusetts, accidents stemming from a failure to yield often occur when making a left turn, at traffic control device, at crosswalk, to bicyclist or pedestrian, to emergency vehicle, when merging, to flashing traffic lights, and from parking lot or private drive. In order to prevent accidents like these from occurring, it is important to remain focused on the road at all times. While glancing at your phone, GPS, or other electronic device may not seem like much, even the slightest moment of distraction can have catastrophic consequences.
A failure to properly yield to a transit bus is common on the busy city streets of Boston. While it may seem more convenient to ignore the rule of law when dealing with slow moving buses, it is important to remember that failure to yield accidents can have devastating effects on all parties involved. It is the duty of the driver of a vehicle traveling in the right-hand lane of traffic to yield the right-of-way to any transit bus attempting to enter that lane from a bus stop or shoulder, as indicated by a flashing left turn signal. Intersections are the most common location of accidents relating to a drivers failure to yield. A driver of a vehicle has a duty to stop in obedience at a stop sign, at an intersection where a stop sign is erected at one or more entrances thereto although not a part of a through highway, and shall proceed cautiously, yielding to vehicles not so obliged to stop which are within the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, but may then proceed.
While most of failure to yield accidents occur when the at-fault driver strikes the victim, a failure to yield accident can also occur when the victim strikes the at-fault party. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of the confusion. And even trained law enforcement may not get it right at the scene. Do not admit fault. Do not accept payment for property damage or sign any paperwork. Your best bet in the wake of a serious accident is to accept medical treatment as needed, document what happened and who was involved to the best of your ability. It is important to discuss the accident only with the police, your insurance company, and the legal counsel you acquire.