In New York State, insurance companies representing people involved in
motor vehicle accidents usually ask one question first and foremost: “Who had the right
of way?” Depending on the answer and how well you can back up that
answer with indisputable evidence, your injury case and car accident claim
could be strengthened or weakened. If you did have right of way, it can
be very difficult for the opposing party to shake any amount of liability
onto you. Inversely, if you did not have the right of way, you’re
going to be in for an uphill battle if you want compensation.
Before your case develops in great detail, you should familiarize yourself
with some of New York’s right of way laws:
Approaching an intersection: If you are approaching an intersection, you must yield right of way to
whatever cars are already traveling through or in the intersection. If
you approach an intersection at the same time, or roughly the same time,
as another vehicle, the driver on the right has the right of way.
Turning left: If you are turning left for any reason, any other vehicle approaching
or within the intersection from an opposing direction has the right of
way. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Stops and yield signs: You must come to a full stop at all stop signs and give right of way to
any vehicle or pedestrian using the intersection. Striking someone else
with your vehicle after passing a yield sign can be used to argue that
you failed to appreciate the yield warning and did not come to an appropriate stop.
Emergency vehicles: An emergency vehicle using red lights or a wailing siren is to be given
right of way from any other vehicle on the road, which must pull over
to as far right as is considered safe enough to not cause a danger. An
emergency vehicle showing blue lights may be stopped to assist someone
in need; vehicles nearby may pass it by following normal traffic patterns
but must only do so when safe and must exercise additional caution to
avoid colliding with the stopped emergency vehicle.
Circles: Vehicles approaching or entering a circle or roundabout do not have right
of way in comparison to any that are already within the circle.
Blocked intersections: No driver shall enter an intersection unless they can completely travel
through it to their intended destination without stopping within the intersection;
if this is not possible, the driver must stop at the limit line before
entering the intersection, regardless of what the traffic lights indicate.
Horses: A driver approaching a horse or horse-drawn carriage must do so at a safe
speed that will not frighten the animal; you may not honk your horn at
horses without due cause, as this may also frighten them.
If you have been in a car accident and believe you had the right of way,
let our Kingston car accident attorneys know during a
free case evaluation. With our representation, you could stand to recover the entirety of your
medical and repair expenses. We offer 24/7 assistance so feel free to
call us at
845.340.4878 whenever you need to – even on the holidays!