A four-way accident can be a harrowing experience. In the first half of 2021, an estimated 20,160 people died on U.S. roads, according to the United States Department of Transportation. Some of the accidents that resulted in these deaths occurred at four-way stops, also known as an intersection. Intersecting roadways are essential in connecting people driving, cycling, or walking from one route to the other.
However, the number of traffic and people at four-way stops makes it prone to accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, each year, roughly one-quarter of traffic fatalities and about one-half of all traffic injuries in the United States are attributed to intersections. When a four-way accident happens, determining fault is never easy as those involved have a different version of events.
This is a tricky place to be as failure to establish fault may keep you – if you’re the victim – from getting compensatory damages. To this end, our Atlanta car accident lawyers discuss how to prove fault in a four-way accident. Contact The Weinstein Firm if you get involved in a collision at an intersection. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.
How Do I Prove Fault in a Four-Way Accident in Atlanta?
To be able to prove fault in an accident at an intersection, you need to know the right-of-way rules. Every state has this law, including Georgia. Here are three examples of the law that address four-way stops:
- When traveling towards an intersection and approaching a stop sign, drivers must stop and give the right of way to anyone in a vehicle or on foot who is already there.
- If there is no stop sign or signal, drivers must yield the right of way to anyone who arrives first at the intersection. If drivers come at the same time, the vehicle at the right has the right of way.
- At a four-way stop, pedestrians have the right of way. Vehicles can move through the four-way stop on a “first come, first served” basis. For example, if two cars arrive simultaneously, the car at the right has the right of way.
Anyone in breach of the above will be the person at fault if a four-way accident happens. However, drivers sometimes argue about who arrived first. Hence, pay attention to the other drivers stopping at the intersection to know who stopped first. Then, in proving fault, you can argue that the other driver proceeded through the four-way stop even after knowing you got there first.
Furthermore, always note if you are the driver on the right or the one on the left. This is because the driver on the right always has the right-of-way. Therefore, if you are that motorist, you can also argue that the person on the left failed to yield the road to you. This is why you should recall and document critical details of the four-way accident immediately after it occurs.
In cases where you and the other driver were opposite each other, you should be able to say if you were the one going straight. Thus, when at intersections, stop for a second or two to observe your surroundings. Don’t be in so much hurry that you miss vital details that could help you in the event of an accident.
What Can I Use in Proving Fault a Four-Way Accident?
Knowing how to prove fault in an accident at an intersection is not enough. You need to know what you can use in proving fault. This is because, without evidence to back your claim, it would be your words against that of the other driver. So the first helpful piece of evidence is video footage of the accident.
Thankfully, most four-way stops in Atlanta have surveillance cameras, so you can write to the city to request a copy. If your car has a dashcam, the footage will also come in handy. For example, suppose you claimed to have arrived at the intersection first. Video footage will back this claim and dispel doubts.
The second helpful piece of evidence is eyewitness testimony. Witnesses can testify who had the right of way and who failed to yield. The third is the report of the accident reconstruction experts. It will contain where each vehicle was before the accident and their intended path, thus showing who was at fault.
Get Help From The Weinstein Firm!
At The Weinstein Firm, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers have extensive experience proving fault in four-way accidents. Once we do this, we will proceed to get you the maximum settlement. Your welfare is in our utmost concern, so call today to schedule a free case review.