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How is Fault Determined for a Four-Way Stop Crash?

Posted on behalf of Anderson Cummings on Nov 23, 2022 in Auto Accidents

4-way stop crashFour-way stops create a major dilemma for many people, especially drivers with less experience behind the wheel. Those who ignore or are unsure about their state’s right-of-way laws may confuse other drivers in the intersection, which could lead to a crash. 

Collisions at intersections with a four-way stop are extremely common. Pursuing an insurance claim for these crashes, however, is rarely straightforward. Instead, they often quickly become a challenging case of deciding who had, or failed to yield, the right of way.

Fortunately, if you are working with an experienced lawyer, he or she will know how to gather the evidence you need to build a strong case on your behalf.

We discuss four-way stops below, including how investigators may determine liability if a collision happens.

If you get hurt in a crash at a four-way stop, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Contact our knowledgeable auto crash attorneys in Fort Worth to learn more. You can discuss your situation and find out if you have legal options without paying a dime. 

Call for your FREE case review today. (817) 920-9000

How Can I Avoid Being in a Crash at a Four-Way Stop?

No matter your level of experience as a driver, you are more likely to safely navigate a four-way stop if you understand how they work. To begin with, make sure you get familiar with your state’s right-of-way laws. Most states have pretty similar rules about who has the right of way, and when, at a four-way stop. 

The second thing you need to know is how to handle drivers who either do not know the rules or simply choose to ignore them. These drivers create the biggest crash risk at a four-way stop.

Which Drivers Have the Right-of-Way at a Four-Way Stop in Texas?

The first driver to enter a four-way or all-way stop has the right of way. All other drivers who enter the intersection afterwards must yield to that driver. As simple as this “first-come, first-served” rule sounds, many drivers get confused under certain situations.

What if Two or More Drivers Stop at the Exact Same Time?

Things can get a little more complicated when two or more drivers enter the intersection at the same time. 

Here are some common scenarios and rules for handling the situation:

  • The driver on one side of you arrived at the same time: If the other driver is to your immediate right, that vehicle has the right of way and you must yield. If the other driver is to your immediate left, you have the right of way.
  • The driver across from you arrived at the same time: If the other driver is going straight and so are you, you can go at the same time. If the other driver is going straight and you are turning left, the other vehicle has the right-of-way. If the other driver is going straight and you are making a right-hand turn, you can both go at the same time. 

What if Another Driver Fails to Yield?

If a driver is either distracted, confused, or even aggressive, it can quickly turn into a traffic accident. To protect yourself and avoid a crash, always yield the right of way to another driver who is already in the intersection. It may be frustrating, but your legal duty is always first to avoid causing harm to others, even if you have the right of way.

How Is Fault Determined for a Four-Way Stop Crash?

Four-way stop crashes are unique in that there is no definitive signal, like a red traffic light, to prove who had the right-of-way. Often, there are also no traffic cameras to back up a driver's account of what happened. So how do traffic investigators determine and assign fault for these crashes?

Evidence that may help support a claim for compensation includes:

  • Your police report: We cannot stress enough that you should always call the police right after a collision you are involved in. Officers are trained to examine crash debris, vehicle damage and more to determine what happened.
  • Photos: If you are physically able, we encourage you to take photos of the crash scene, as well as the damage to both vehicles. However, never put yourself or anyone else in danger to do this.
  • Driver statements: Some drivers may admit they got confused and went through an intersection when they should have yielded. Regardless, all involved drivers will have an opportunity to give their account of what happened.
  • Credible witness testimony: There may be witnesses who can provide testimony that supports your account of what happened.
  • Vehicle damage: Police officers may be able to figure out what happened by where the crash damage is on the involved vehicles.

In a he said, she said situation, it may be necessary for your attorney to consult with an accident reconstructionist. These experts take existing evidence and examine it much more in-depth. They then utilize special high-tech software to recreate the accident scene to help clarify how a crash likely occurred. 

Call Our Law Firm After a Four-Way Stop Crash to Discuss Your Situation

If you were injured in a crash at a four-way stop, you may greatly benefit from the services of an experienced attorney. 

We have recovered more than $100 million in compensation for our clients. These results include a more than $5 million settlement for a victim who suffered a brain injury in a car crash. Check out our reviews for more on how our clients felt about the services we provided them.

Need legal help today? We have staff available to take your call anytime, night or day. Your initial case review is a completely free opportunity to discuss your situation. If you choose to hire our services, we charge nothing up front or while we manage you case. We only get paid our fees if we win your case.

Proven Results. (817) 920-9000