Who Is Liable for a Car Accident at a Four-Way Stop?

Understanding right-of-way at a four-way stop is not always straightforward, and determining liability in the event of a car accident is anything but simple. With multiple vehicles vying for right-of-way, understanding who bears responsibility requires careful analysis. Certain factors, like traffic laws and driver behaviors, influence liability when these collisions occur.

Determining liability in a four-way stop accident focuses on establishing which driver failed to yield correctly:

  • According to traffic laws, the driver who arrives first at the intersection has the right-of-way.
  • If two or more vehicles arrive simultaneously, the vehicle to the right typically has precedence.

Driver behaviors like speeding, distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic signs also cause these crashes. Once liability is established, the responsible party may be held accountable for damages, including the other party’s medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.

What Happens When Both Drivers Claim They Had the Right-of-Way?

Conflicting claims about who had the right-of-way are common and can complicate the resolution of a four-way stop accident. In many cases, it is hard to figure out who arrived first or when there is uncertainty about who had the right-of-way.

When those questions arise, eyewitness testimony, traffic camera footage, and police reports can be important evidence. These elements help reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the collision, aiding in liability determination. Our legal team can also investigate vehicle speeds, road conditions, and any traffic violations committed by the other driver; these can show who may have been at fault.

How Does Negligence Play a Role in Determining Liability?

Negligence plays a crucial role in determining liability in four-way stop accidents. It refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care while driving, which directly contributed to the collision. Each driver’s actions, like failing to yield the right of way, running a stop sign, or speeding, are evaluated to determine if they acted negligently.

The driver found negligent or at fault will typically be held liable for damages and injuries resulting from the collision. When both drivers claim they had the right-of-way and no conclusive evidence emerges, liability for damages may be split between the parties involved. That means each driver shares a portion of the responsibility for the accident and subsequent damages.

Can I Recover Damages if I am Partially At Fault for a Four-Way Stop Accident?

In jurisdictions that follow comparative negligence laws, you may still be entitled to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Comparative negligence allows for the allocation of fault between multiple parties based on their degree of responsibility for the collision.

For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, you can still pursue compensation for 80 percent of your total damages; your percentage of fault will reduce the amount you receive.

An experienced lawyer can explain how comparative negligence works, advocate on your behalf, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for you to receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Our Mount Holly Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Represent Clients Injured in Four-Way Intersection Accidents

Establishing fault in four-way intersection accidents can be challenging, but our knowledgeable Mount Holly car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help. We are dedicated to providing trusted legal representation and fighting for the rights of car accident survivors. Call 856-751-2345 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and the surrounding areas.