How to Determine Liability in a Failure to Yield Accident in North Carolina?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What if the accident was my fault?”


When a motorist fails to yield the right of way and violates a traffic law, he or she may be held liable for the resulting damages and losses in the event of a car crash. A car driver failing to yield to another motorist, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrians may have devastating consequences.

yield-sign-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Car-accident-attorney-300x225If you were injured in a failure to yield accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you might be entitled to compensation. It is advised to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to determine liability in your failure to yield collision to be able to recover damages from the at-fault party.


What is Failure to Yield in North Carolina?

Failure to yield is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in North Carolina and other states. All motorists are required by law to obey traffic rules and exercise due care to avoid causing harm to others on the road.

Under North Carolina’s traffic laws, all drivers are required to yield the right of way to other drivers in the following situations on the road:

  • Merging into an adjacent lane
  • Turning across opposing lanes
  • Exiting a parking lot, driveway, alley, or side street

Also, motorists must yield to pedestrians:

  • In crosswalks
  • When turning left or right at an intersection

When a driver’s failure to yield leads to a car accident, the motorist will most likely be held liable for the damages and losses. The victim of a failure to yield accident may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for their damages.

Often, victims of failure to yield crashes need to hire accident reconstruction experts to prove that they had the right of way at the time of the collision and that the other party involved in the accident failed to yield to them.


North Carolina’s Pure Contributory Negligence Doctrine and Failure to Yield Accidents

North Carolina is one of few states that still follow the pure contributory negligence doctrine, which is why a victim of a failure to yield crash or any other accident must prove that the other party involved was entirely at fault in order to successfully recover damages. Otherwise, North Carolina law bars injured individuals from seeking compensation if they contributed to their accident or injury.

For example, a driver is deemed 95% at fault for failing to yield when exiting a parking lot and crashing into another party’s vehicle, which was traveling on the road. The victim, however, exceeded the speed limit at the time of the accident, which is why he was deemed 5% responsible for the collision. Under North Carolina’s pure contributory negligence standard, the victim will be barred from recovering damages because their own negligence contributed to their accident.

However, there is one exception to the pure contributory negligence doctrine in North Carolina. The exception is called the “last clear chance” doctrine. A victim who was partially responsible for their injury may be able to seek compensation if they can prove that the other party had the last clear chance to avoid causing the accident.

It is advised to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in North Carolina if you were involved in a failure to yield accident. Contact our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a case review. Call at (704) 370-2828.


Speak with our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss liability in your ridesharing accident and determine the appropriate insurance coverage in your case. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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