How to Determine Fault at a Four-Way Stop Accident

by | Feb 10, 2021 | Car Accidents | 0 comments

Four-way stop signs can be confusing, even for the most experienced drivers. It’s essential that you know how to navigate these often perplexing intersections correctly to avoid a collision. When a driver approaches an intersection unsure how to handle a four-way stop, they pose a serious accident risk to all parties. The more you understand who has the right of way at a four-way stop, the less risk you have of suffering an accident.

If you’ve been in a four-way stop accident, determining who was at fault is vital to your insurance or personal injury claim. Fortunately, a Michigan auto accident attorney may be able to launch an investigation into your accident to pinpoint who had the right of way and, ultimately, who was at fault.

Who Has the Right of Way at a Four-Way Stop?

If you know the basic rules of these stop signs, they’re relatively easy to navigate. There are four guidelines you need to keep in mind when approaching a four-way stop sign.

  1. Proceed in order of arrival: The driver who was at the stop-sign first will always have the right of way.
  2. Driver to the right: When two motorists arrive simultaneously, the one on the right will have the right of way.
  3. Driver going straight: If you arrive at an intersection and the other driver is directly across from you, the driver who is going straight has the right of way. If you and the other driver are both going straight, you can go through the intersection simultaneously.
  4. Driver turning right has the right of way: When you arrive at the intersection at the same time as the car across from you, and neither is going straight, whoever is turning right will have the right of way.

When in doubt, take a few extra seconds to see what the other driver does. They may wave you to go through first or vice versa. Not rushing through the intersection will decrease your chances of being in a car accident.

What Happens If Everyone Arrives at a Four-Way Stop Simultaneously?

If all four drivers approach the intersection at the same time, the rules become trickier to understand. Unfortunately, there’s no good rule of thumb for who has the right of way in these instances, but there’s usually one driver who arrived slightly before everyone else. We recommend that you wait for the most aggressive driver to make the first move and then follow the rules above for who has the right of way.

Determining Fault at a Four-Way Stop Sign Accident

Sometimes, the fault in a four-way stop accident is clear, such as when another driver fails to stop. In this case, it may be relatively easy to file a personal injury claim against them with the help of a lawyer. More often than not, however, determining fault isn’t so clear. At this point, you’ll need to be able to answer a few questions when pinpointing responsibility.

  • Did the other driver fail to stop?
  • Who had the right of way before the accident?
  • Did you and the driver arrive at the intersection at the same time?

All drivers have a reasonable duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians. If the driver didn’t follow four-way stop sign rules, they may have been driving negligently and may be at fault for your accident and injuries.

Contact Seasoned Car Accident Attorneys in Michigan

If you’ve been in an accident at a four-way stop in Michigan, you may be confused as to who’s liable for the collision and whether you can file a claim to receive financial compensation. After your accident, reach out to the Michigan personal injury lawyers at Michigan Legal Center. We can investigate your accident and help you file a claim against the negligent party. Keep in mind that you only have three years to file a personal injury claim in Michigan. The sooner you contact us, the better.

For more than 20 years, our attorneys have represented auto accident victims, and we consider it a privilege to fight for your rights. We will do everything we can to win you the compensation you need to cover any medical bills or property damage. Call 1 (800) 961-8447 or complete a contact form to schedule your free consultation.