One of the most important questions when evaluating a car accident is: Which driver had the right of way?
Often, the driver who had the right of way is the victim, while the other driver is liable for the victim’s damages.
Below, The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl reviews Maryland right of way laws. If you were injured in a crash caused by a driver who violated right of way laws, our Maryland car crash lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. Our services come with no upfront fees, and we have obtained millions for victims of Maryland auto accidents.
Call us to discuss your accident. We are here to help: 410-401-9979.
Intersections are the site of many Maryland car accidents. These accidents are often caused by drivers who break right of way laws.
Under the Maryland Transportation Code § 21-401, when you are at an intersection:
These rules apply unless you are at a through highway.
Maryland law also sets the following right-of-way rules for intersections:
In this situation, you must abide by the following rules:
If you are at a “T”-shaped intersection that does not have traffic lights, and you are on a highway that intersects with the other highway but does not cross it, you must yield the right of way to any vehicle on the other highway.
If you are preparing to make a U-turn, remember that any vehicle that is near enough to present an immediate danger has the right of way. You must yield.
U-turning drivers must also yield the right of way to drivers who are making a right turn at the same intersection.
The following rules apply to vehicles preparing to go onto a highway from somewhere other than a highway:
If you are going to enter or go across a highway from a crossover road, you must yield to any vehicle that is approaching on the highway.
If you are approaching an emergency vehicle that is using audible and visual signals, including a police vehicle, you must yield to the emergency vehicle unless a police officer directs you to do something else.
You must also:
If you are going in the same direction as an emergency vehicle that is emitting audible and visual signals, you may not pass that vehicle unless it stops or a police officer directs you to proceed forward.
Emergency vehicles include:
If you approach an emergency vehicle that is stopped or parked, you are required to:
While you have legal obligations when sharing the road with emergency vehicles, they must also drive with regard for the safety of others.
If you are approaching a funeral procession, you must yield to them, assuming they have their hazard lights and headlights turned on. This applies even if you have a green light. However, these rules do not apply if you move forward safely without crossing the funeral procession.
You are required to stop for all bicyclists and pedestrians who are in a crosswalk on the same half of the road as you. You are also prohibited from passing a vehicle that is stopped in front of a crosswalk. If you are about to turn at a green light, you must yield to pedestrians so they can safely cross the street.
Even if there is no designated crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way when they are on the same half of the road as you are.
However, pedestrians and bicyclists must also abide by all traffic signs and signals. If a pedestrian darts out into the road and gets hit by a car, he or she may share fault for the accident.
Make sure to watch for pedestrians, particularly at night and in areas with low visibility. Keep your eyes out for blind pedestrians who have white canes or service dogs. You should also look out for pedestrians in wheelchairs or motorized scooters, or those who use mobility devices like canes, crutches or walkers.
If a driver is convicted of violating a right of way law, and the violation resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, the driver can be fined up to $1,000. His or her license could be suspended for up to 180 days as well.
However, these penalties do not help victims who are left seriously injured and in need of medical care. That is why victims of right of way accidents need an experienced attorney to help them seek compensation.
Did you suffer an injury in an auto accident that resulted from another driver’s negligence?
Compensation may be available for your injuries and damages. However, recovering full compensation may be a challenge, as insurance companies routinely try to underpay or even deny valid claims.
That is why victims need an experienced lawyer fighting for their rights. At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, we have been securing compensation for vehicle accident victims for decades. We have the resources and experience to pursue full compensation, through settlement negotiations or in the courtroom.
There are no fees unless we win. Call us today at 410-401-9979.