One of the most important aspects of being a safe driver is knowing when to yield the right of way to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Failure to do so can lead to serious accidents, injuries, and even death. But although everyone should know when to yield to other drivers, South Carolina motorists often fail to do so.
Failure to yield occurs when a motorist does not allow a vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian with the right-of-way to proceed.
Accidents caused by failure to yield can happen in a number of ways, but some common examples include:
- A driver who fails to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn
- A driver who is aggressive when merging onto the highway
- A driver who cuts off another driver when pulling onto the road from a private drive
- A driver who fails to yield the right-of-way to a driver at a four-way stop
- A driver who fails to yield for an emergency vehicle
- A driver who fails to yield to a vehicle or pedestrian engaged in road work
- A driver who fails to yield any time a “yield” sign is present
- A driver who fails to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk
Most drivers can look at the list above and understand why each of those actions are wrong. However, failure to yield is still a common reason for accidents. It’s so common that it landed in the top three causes of crashes in South Carolina in 2021.
Common causes of failure to yield accidents
- Inexperienced drivers – Oftentimes, drivers don’t intend to commit a failure to yield violation. Instead, it’s simply due to their inexperience. It’s easy for younger drivers to become stressed at busy intersections, particularly if there’s an impatient driver behind them. This can lead to them proceeding when it isn’t their turn to do so.
- Distracted drivers – Drivers who are distracted by their phone, other passengers, their radio or climate controls, or any other reason commonly cause failure to yield car accidents in South Carolina.
- Impatient drivers – It’s not uncommon for drivers who are in a rush to knowingly commit traffic violations so they can reach their destinations sooner – even though such behavior has the opposite effect if they cause an accident or get pulled over by law enforcement.
- Driver intoxication – Motorists operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol frequently cause accidents in the Palmetto State, including failure to yield accidents. They often fail to see a “yield” sign, or they carelessly speed through an intersection or crosswalk.
South Carolina’s code of laws is very clear when it comes to the correct protocol for yielding right-of-way.
According to the South Carolina Driver’s Manual, drivers should always yield right-of-way to:
- Other drivers who are still in an intersection
- The driver who arrives before you at an intersection
- Drivers in the opposing traffic lane when you’re making a left turn
- The driver on your right at a four-way intersection controlled by stop signs, if you both arrived at the intersection at the same time
- Drivers on a public highway if you’re entering the highway from a driveway or private road
- Drivers already on a limited access or interstate highway if you are on the entrance or acceleration ramp
Drivers who violate those laws can receive a fine of up to $180 and a four-point violation on their traffic record. However, failure to yield violations can have consequences that are far more serious than a traffic ticket.
Common injuries caused by failure to yield accidents
Failure to yield accidents can lead to all types of injuries, but here are some of the most common ones:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Neck injuries (including whiplash)
- Head injuries (including concussions and traumatic brain injuries)
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Many victims of failure to yield accidents also needlessly lose their lives due to the negligent actions of other drivers. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury and death if they are hit by a motorist in a failure to yield accident.
Injured in a failure to yield accident?
If you were injured in an accident caused by another driver’s failure to yield, you could be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims are designed to allow victims to receive compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional consequences of an accident that wasn’t their fault.
Every South Carolina failure to yield case is unique, but many accident victims receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Filing a personal injury claim can seem daunting. However, an experienced South Carolina failure to yield attorney can build and argue your case while you focus on what really matters – your recovery.
Lost a loved one in a failure to yield accident?
Those who have experienced the pain of losing a loved one to someone else’s actions on the road may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In South Carolina, the surviving spouse and children generally have the primary claim, followed by parents or siblings, and then non-related heirs. However, every case is different, which is why family members of the deceased are highly advised to speak to a personal injury attorney before filing a claim.
Successful wrongful death claims can result in compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses
- Lost financial contributions of your loved one
- Pain and suffering
- Lost prospect of inheritance
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support services
- Loss of guardianship and parental guidance
Although no amount of money can alleviate the pain experienced from losing a loved one, wrongful death claims can help families recover compensation for expenses that arise when a person dies unexpectedly.
Should you hire a lawyer?
Accident victims are not required to hire a lawyer for their personal injury claims, but many people find that doing so is well worth it.
The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates are committed to helping every client receive the money they’re rightfully owed. Our lawyers work hard to build the strongest case possible, collecting evidence and consulting with medical professionals and other experts if needed.
The lawyers at McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates will put a value on your case, taking into account all of your current and projected future costs. They will negotiate with the other side’s insurance company, refusing to accept low-ball offers.
Our attorneys will also communicate with you every step of the way. We usually settle cases outside of court, but we’re always prepared to stand in front of a jury if necessary.
We work on a contingency basis, which means you’ll pay nothing unless we help secure money for you.
McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates has seven offices across the Midlands of South Carolina, in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter. We offer free case evaluations for failure to yield accident victims, and we would love to speak to you about your case and advise you on your next steps. There’s absolutely no obligation to hire us after receiving your free consultation.
We’ve been representing South Carolina auto accident victims for more than four decades, and we’d love to help you if we can.
Give us a call today at 888-353-5513. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help.®