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Washington DC Car Accident AttorneyWashington, DC Failure to Yield Accidents

DC is criscrossed with highways and byways, avenues and boulevards. It sometimes feels like you cannot drive more than a few hundred feet without having to cross another road. That is simply a fact of life of living in the capital. However, there are rules when turning and approaching other roadways. All drivers have a responsibility drive carefully and reasonably under the circumstances. Negligent drivers, however, think only of themselves. They do not look before turning, and do not yield to vehicles that have the right of way. When this occurs, serious car accidents happen.

If you have been hurt in a car accident where another driver is failed to yield the right of way, then you should speak to a Washington DC car accident lawyer right away. Call Attorney Joe Blaszkow and the team at Blaszkow Legal for a free consultation, and talk to us about how we can help you get the compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you have suffered.

What does it mean to have the right of way?

Roads carry different designations, but in law, one road is recognized as superior to another, in terms of intersections and who has to yield to who. Consider the following diagram:

Intersection Example | Car AccidentWhen Jones Street NE has the green light, it is the superior road. So drivers on Jones have the right of way. If someone from Smith Street NE wishes to turn onto Jones, then the driver on Smith Street must yield to the drivers on Jones. Simply put: drivers on a roadway that are not commanded to stop (such as by a stop light, stop sign, or other device) have the right of way.

What is a failure to yield?

Yielding, in many ways, is the same as a stop sign. You have to stop, and give priority to the vehicles on the road that you wish to enter. Yielding, in a nutshell, means giving way to. This is not only a rule of the road, it is also the law. So, for example, if a person is turning from one road on to another, and the person who is on that main road, preceding with the traffic lights, as the right of way. If the person from the side street tries to turn and jump in front of traffic that is already moving, and a collision occurs, this is a failure to yield.

The law in Washington DC which covers yielding is DCMR 2208.6.

Where in Washington DC do failure to yield accidents happen the most?

Failure to yield car crashes can happen on almost any road, but they happen more often than not, in these prime locations:

On-ramps and Highway Exit ramps

When you are entering a highway, the vehicles on the highway itself have the right of way. Some drivers, when approaching the main highway, attempt to merge without stopping, and in some cases without looking. This can cause serious accidents, as the highway vehicles are often going at Highway speed, and the faster vehicles are going, the more serious, and sometimes deadly, the accidents can be.


One out of every five fatal car accidents happens at an intersection, according to the DC Department of Transportation. Intersections can be dangerous, if they are approached without the appropriate regard. A four-way stop requires all vehicles to come to a complete stop, and clear the intersection before proceeding. However, in some instances, there are stop signs on only the side streets, allowing priority for the main road. A driver that is attempted to cross the main road must yield, that is must wait until it is safe to cross the main boulevard.

Left turns

When turning left, especially at a traffic light, vehicles that are proceeding straight through have the right of way. You cannot turn across traffic without clearing the road, and making sure that it is safe to turn. A person turning who fails to yield to right-of-way traffic, Maybe negligent. Left turn collisions can involve a lot of T-Bone accidents, and vehicle rollovers.

Right turns on red

It is legal in most instances to turn right on red, except where it is marked that you cannot do so ("no turn on red" signs). In this instance, again, the turning vehicle has to yield to through traffic that has the right of way.

Parking lots and Parking garages

Pulling out of a parking space is generally considered to be the same as leaving a side street and going on to a main road. The person who is pulling out has an obligation to look where they are going, and make sure it is safe to pull out. Whether discussing DC parking garages (most of which are underground) or above-ground parking lots, the drivers who are leaving the parking spaces have to do so slowly, and with due regard. Even if your car accident happened on private property, you can still hold the negligent driver accountable if you have been hurt

Injuries suffered in failure to yield accidents

Failure to yield accidents often result in side impacts for the negligent vehicle, and front-end collisions to the vehicles that have the right of way. This usually causes the deployment of vehicle airbags. Often, it includes the shattering of windows, and dangerous flying debris. There are many injuries that can result:

  • Injuries to back

  • Injuries to neck

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Concussions

  • Broken bones

  • Injuries from flying glass

  • Sprains and strains of muscles

  • Bruises or contusions

  • Cuts or lacerations

  • Damage to internal organs

  • Burns from airbag deployment

Image Credit: Gregory Barlow, Ph. D., Improving Memory for Optimization and Learning in Dynamic Environments, 2011.

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WMATA Bus Accident Attorney | Blaszkow LegalCauses of failure to yield collisions in DC

Every accident is different, and we investigate each accident individually. There are some common reasons why these collisions happen, however. Some of the most common include:

  • Distracted driving

  • Drunk driving or buzzed driving

  • Speeding

  • Failure to obey traffic control devices

  • Failure to look

  • Fatigued driving

  • Aggressive driving

  • Unfamiliar drivers, such as tourists and visitors

Compensation for people hurt in Washington DC yield accidents

If you have been hurt and suffered injury as the result of another driver who fails to yield, and ignores both the laws and the rules of the road, you have the right to pursue a claim for compensation against the at-fault party. There are many different things that you can claim, that make up your damages. Damages means more than just the harm suffered by your car,; it is a term used in the legal and insurance industries to represent all of the ways that the collision has impacted the various aspects of your life.

Some examples of damages include:

  1. Emergency room treatment

  2. Ambulance transportation

  3. Emergency room doctors

  4. Radiologists

  5. Physical therapy

  6. Rehabilitation expenses

  7. Surgeries

  8. Anesthesia

  9. Medical supplies and medical devices

  10. Pain and suffering

  11. Post-traumatic stress

  12. Humiliation

  13. Inconvenience

  14. Diminished value

  15. and more

If you have been hurt in a Washington DC failure to yield accident, then contact the DC injury attorneys at Blaszkow Legal who can fight anywhere in the DC: DC, Maryland, and Virginia!

How long you have to file a failure to yield claim in Washington, D.C.?

Failure to yield accidents are considered personal injury claims, under DC law. Pursuant to DC Code 12-301, you have three years from the date of the collision to file the underlying lawsuit. However, this does not mean that you should wait 3 years to take some sort of legal action! You should always contact an experienced Washington DC car accident lawyer immediately.

The longer you wait, the harder you make it for your attorney to investigate your case, and prove that the accident was not your fault.

Always remember that Washington DC is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. This means that if the other side, that is the insurance company for the at-fault party, alleges that you are responsible in some way for the crash, then you cannot recover. Contributory negligence is a very high bar, and it means that if you are even 1% responsible for the crash, you cannot succeed on your case. Contact an experienced failure to yield lawyer today, and all that the insurance companies use their favorite tactics to defeat your claim.

Speak to a Washington DC failure to yield accident attorney today

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident involving a failure to yield, then you need someone on your side, fighting for your rights today. Speak to a Washington DC failure to yield lawyer who can help evaluate your case, begin investigating the facts, and fight for the compensation that you and your family deserve.

Contact Blaszkow Legal today, at 703-879-5910. Our team of attorneys, paralegals, and other staff are ready to fight for your case today!

Meet Joe Blaszkow

Get Justice with Joe!
Joe Blaszkow is the Washington, DC Injury Attorney. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law, and has been fighting for people hurt in DC for over 40 years! He is one of the few lawyers who is a member of the Bar in all 3 DMV jurisdictions: DC, Maryland, and Virginia.