Drivers in Ontario owe a duty of care to other motorists. One of the duties is to follow traffic laws, including those governing yielding the right-of-way at intersections. If a motorist fails to yield when he or she had the duty to do so and causes an accident, he or she may be held liable to people who are injured as a result.
People sometimes get confused about when they are to yield at an intersection. Obviously, if the intersection is controlled by lights or stop signs, a motorist must stop accordingly. If two drivers arrive at stop signs at the same time, the motorist on the left must yield to the motorist on the right. At an intersection that has no signals or signs, the first person reaching it has the right-of-way. If two motorists arrive at the same time, the one to the right has the right-of-way.
Any time a motorist wishes to turn left or to turn right, he or she must yield the right-of-way. For those turning left, they must yield to oncoming traffic. Those turning right must yield to traffic that is already traveling on the road upon which they wish to turn. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street in crosswalks before turning left or turning right.
Many car crashes happen at intersections, often because a driver who should have yielded failed to do so. In the event a driver fails to yield and then causes an accident that injures people, those who are injured may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent motorist. Through a lawsuit, injured victims may recover damages to compensate them for the economic and noneconomic losses they incurred. A personal injury lawyer might be able to help.