The right-of-way rules at a 4-way stop sign can confuse even experienced drivers. The situation can become even more bewildering if you’re one of the thousands of people who have a collision at one of these intersections each year. How to determine who was at fault? Who will compensate you for damage or injuries?
The complexity of the situation demands insightful legal advice. The skilled lawyers at the Cullotta Bravo Law Group have extensive experience with stop sign and intersection accidents. They can help you determine who was responsible for the collision, whether you’re entitled to compensation, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Here’s what you need to know.
Four-Way Stop Signs Rules in Illinois
Intersection-related accidents make up 23 percent of all collisions in Illinois but result in a whopping 44 percent of injuries and 33 percent of deaths. These accidents may occur for many reasons, from distracted or aggressive driving to misunderstanding the right-of-way rules at an intersection.
At a 4-way stop sign, the first vehicle to arrive at an intersection has the right-of-way. When you arrive at a stop sign, you should note in which order you came and any other drivers who might be arriving. You should then proceed in order of arrival.
If you and another car arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. In other words, if the vehicle at the stop sign is to your right, then it has the right-of-way. If it’s to your left, then you should let it go first.
If you and a driver directly across from you arrive simultaneously, the rules become slightly trickier. The rule is that the driver going straight has the right-of-way. You should observe whether the driver has their turn indicator on. If they do and you’re planning to go straight, you have the right-of-way. If you’re turning, then they do. If both of you intend to go straight, there should be no collision risk and you can proceed.
Of course, making these assessments in the moment can be challenging. In all circumstances, you should remain alert and patient at a 4-way stop and proceed cautiously. If an aggressive driver shows signs of going first even though it is not their turn, be prepared to yield. Once they have passed, proceed within the rules.
Modified Comparative Fault in Illinois Vehicle Collision
Given the complexity of the 4-way stop sign rules, there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. One person might forget to turn on their turn indicator, causing confusion about who has the right-of-way. Another might not understand the rules and begin to proceed out of order. If an accident occurs, the parties involved will have to reconstruct the order of events to determine who was at fault and responsible for compensatory damages.
Illinois has a modified comparative fault system of negligence. This system means that a claimant can only recover damages if their responsibility for causing the accident is less than 50 percent. In addition, any damages awarded will be reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault.
For example, if Car A has the right-of-way at a 4-way stop, but goes through the intersection at excessive speed and strikes Car B, who was making an out-of-order right turn, both parties are at fault. Insurance companies, a judge, or a jury will have to apportion the percentage of blame between the parties. If they determine that Car A is responsible for 40 percent of the accident and Car B the remaining 60 percent, Car A can recover damages, but the award could be reduced by 40 percent. If Car A is considered 50 percent at fault, each driver will be responsible for covering their own costs. If Car A is considered 60 percent at fault, they cannot recover damages, but the driver of Car B could bring a claim against Car A for the 40 percent of the accident they did not cause.
Involved in a Stop-Sign Accident? Contact Experienced Illinois Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To protect your rights, contact the personal injury lawyers at Cullotta Bravo Law Group as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when determining who was responsible for the accident in a 4-way stop sign accident. Memories fade and evidence can disappear. The attorneys at Cullotta Bravo Law can act quickly to help ensure your rights are preserved. Schedule your consultation online or by calling 630-898-7800 today.