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jlbrant

I entered the intersection illegally-who has right of way?

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During a torential downpour outside of  Seattle where the visibility was horrible, I entered an intersection through a Right hand turn only lane. The lane to my left was the continuation lane and was a SINGLE lane through the intersection that continued as a single lane beyond the intersection. I entered the intersection at a green light, still driving to the right of the intersection (unknowingly) and upon exiting the other side of the intersection I suddenly swerved as I was headed straight for a large curb marking the end of the intersection on the right side. At this  point as I swerved my rear fender hit the front quarter panel of the car in my blind spot.

 

 Yes I entered the intersection illegally as the highway dropped from a 2 to a single lane through the intersection. I clearly entered the intersection and traveled all the way through the intersection ahead of the girl I hit until I essentially swerved from the far right side of the lane to the center of the lane.

 

  Since the driver of the car I hit knew I had entered a single lane intersection before her and she never yeilded all the way through the intersection who is at fault? I see it as both of us but she and her father clearly see that I abruptly merged into her lane in the intersection hitting her in the process. I understand the laws are written to give the first car who enters the intersection the right of way which she failed to give all the way through the intersection!

 

I would love any imput but personally think we were at fault 50/50.

 

 

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Hi jibrant,

 

I have to agree with the other posters. And if the rain was heavy enough for you not to notice you were in a "right turn only" lane, perhaps it was heavy enough for the other driver to not see you until it was too late for her to yield... Regardless, unfortunately, you are at fault here...

 

Please feel free to take a look at FindLaw's lawyer directory to find traffic law attorneys in your area. You might also want to take a look at our section on car accident liability for some additional articles on car accident basics, determining fault/liability, and the steps to take after a car accident. Good luck!

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Since the driver of the car I hit knew I had entered a single lane intersection before her and she never yeilded all the way through the intersection who is at fault?

 

As an initial matter, I have to assume you're simply speculating about what the other driver knew or didn't knew.  Not only are you speculating that the other driver was aware of the bonehead maneuver you had committed, but you also seem to be assuming that she knew that you didn't know what you had done and how you would react upon discovering what you had done.  As far as the question asked, my opinion is that you were 100% at fault, and I suspect that just about any insurance adjuster will reach the same conclusion.

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I would love any imput but personally think we were at fault 50/50.

 

I, too, think that you were 100% at fault. You illegally entered the intersection instead of turning as you were supposed to do and then swerved and hit the other car. You don't know what the other driver saw and when, nor what the other driver thought you were going to do. But it wasn't the other driver's obligation to yield to you and I highly doubt the other driver would anticipate you swerving or that the other driver would have had time enough to react even if he or she did see that coming. I can understand you’d rather not take the full blame here, but really, what is it that you can point to that the other driver did that was wrong?

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Hello all. That was my inital reaction, however Washington state laws reiterate clearly that the first person to enter the intersection has the right of way.  Understandably I entered illegally (accidentally of course because the visibility was poor enough not to realize the lane had ended). The issue is that I had CLEARED the intersection and swerved at the opposite end of the intersection. I am not certain the rules of the intersection continue to apply here because I was exiting the intersection. The reason I say the other driver knew I had gone through a right hand turn lane is because I was told that was what she told her insurance.

 

    Even if entering illegally, being a full car length ahead of her, now occupying the only lane in the intersection, and being the first car through the intersection, and then upon exiting the intersection the accident occurs at what point in time was it her responsibility to yeild to me? If I was technically occupying the only lane why did she come up on the left of me as though she was occupying a second lane? If I had swerved immediately after running through the right hand turn lane then I would agree... 100% responsibility without any arguement, however I went through the lane at least 50 feet behind me before the accident happened.

 

    How many times have any of you seen this similar sort of thing.... someone quickly enters the intersection from the right or even the left hand turn lane as they decide they want to go straight. If they are ahead of you and you see that then there is now an obligation to yeild... even if you give them the bird and the fist for what they just did! There is also an obligation to avoid an accident  as the intention of blocking someone or causing an accident could be aggressive driving. Mind you I did make a poor move and this was completely due to the lack of visibility as it wasn't intentional.

Thanks!

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Since seven previous posters have concluded and advised that you are clearly at fault it would appear that you will never accept responsibility.  Further discussion is pointless.  (However, if the other party was injured I would love to represent her and cross examine you about your aggressive driving.  The jury might come out of the box and beat you up on the spot.)

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Washington state laws reiterate clearly that the first person to enter the intersection has the right of way.

 

Which section of the RCW do you think says this?

 

 

 

The reason I say the other driver knew I had gone through a right hand turn lane is because I was told that was what she told her insurance.

 

Since you presumably don't have a copy of whatever statement was made to her insurer, you have no way of knowing exactly what was said.  Also keep in mind that the statement to the insurer may include observations made after the fact.  It would be a little like concluding that you knew what you had done at the time just because you related it in your post here.

 

 

 

Even if entering illegally, being a full car length ahead of her, now occupying the only lane in the intersection, and being the first car through the intersection, and then upon exiting the intersection the accident occurs at what point in time was it her responsibility to yeild to me?

 

I think we've already answered this and feel compelled to point out that it would be pretty silly to opine further without having the other driver's version of the events.

 

 

 

How many times have any of you seen this similar sort of thing.... someone quickly enters the intersection from the right or even the left hand turn lane as they decide they want to go straight. If they are ahead of you and you see that then there is now an obligation to yeild... even if you give them the bird and the fist for what they just did!

 

Perhaps this is a common occurrence where you live, but it isn't where I live.  Whether an obligation to yield exists depends on all of the specific facts and circumstances.

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I have never implied that I wasn't at fault, but only that some fault lies in her because I technically occupied the lane and she was behind me nthen 50 feet later came up along side me in a single lane! I went all the way through the intersection with no one along side me... and there was only 1 lane which technically should have been mine. I ddin't know actually what had happened at the time, and it wasn't until I got home and used google maps to examine the intersection that I had even known what had actually happened! I had actually taken full responsibility to the insurance initially and then modified my statement because I didn't even truly know what the circumstances were at the time. The damage was so minor,  and no one was even midly hurt. Enough said

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Ok.  You're free to take that position.  However, the notion that you originally expressed that liability is 50/50 is laughable based on what you've posted.  It's not inconceivable that an insurer or jury might assign a small percentage of fault to the other driver.  However, it's impossible to speak to that without input from the other driver.

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It wasn't your lane "technically" or otherwise.  YOUR lane was a right turn only lane which you failed to obey.  You were illegally passing on the right in the middle of an intersection (likely without even signaling) while she was maintaining her lane which you admit was the through lane.  There's no way anyone else is at fault but you.  100%.

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