Colburn Law

No Fees Unless We Win   206-919-3215

click for free consultation

Seattle Right of Way Laws

Colburn Law

To keep everyone safe on the road, it is important for all motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to follow Seattle’s right-of-way laws. The right of way dictates the flow of traffic and helps prevent avoidable collisions at stop signs, traffic lights, and other intersections.

However, not everyone obeys right-of-way laws, leading to serious accidents on Seattle roads. If you are involved in a Washington car accident where another party failed to uphold the right of way, you have options for financial compensation.

Understanding Washington Right of Way Laws

Seattle Right of Way Laws

When drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists approach an intersection, they must yield the right of way to the appropriate party. Right-of-way laws apply to intersections that are marked by a crosswalk and intersections that are unmarked. Knowing the rules of the road when pulling up to a traffic circle, traffic light, stop sign, or other type of intersection is crucial to avoid an accident.

Drivers and cyclists must adhere to the following laws.

  • When two vehicles approach an intersection, the driver on the right has the right of way.
  • In traffic circles, drivers turning left must drive counterclockwise around the circle until they reach their intended exit.
  • Cyclists must follow all of the same right-of-way rules as a motor vehicle driver.

Pedestrians and drivers who encounter pedestrians must adhere to the following right-of-way laws.

  • When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, a driver must stop completely.
  • Pedestrians must adhere to traffic signals. If no traffic signals are present or working, the pedestrian has the right of way.
  • Pedestrians must not leave a curb if a car is close and lacks the time and distance to safely stop.
  • Pedestrians should use sidewalks when they are available.
  • Drivers cannot overtake or pass another car that is waiting for pedestrians to cross.
  • Pedestrians cannot cross the road diagonally unless traffic signs or signals allow it.

Legal Options for Right-of-Way Accident Victims

When a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian fails to follow right-of-way laws, serious collisions can occur. In these situations, victims can suffer serious physical injuries, experience thousands of dollars in financial losses, and experience psychological trauma and distress.

Washington is a fault car accident state, meaning that drivers who are responsible for collisions must pay for their victims’ damages. Because a right-of-way violation is a breach of Washington traffic law, drivers who fail to uphold these rules could be liable for these losses.

If you are injured in a Seattle right-of-way accident, you can recover compensation for their damages by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance or filing a personal injury lawsuit in Washington civil court. In some cases, you may file a claim under their own insurance policies, as long as you have the appropriate coverage.

Speak to a Seattle Car Accident Lawyer

To recover compensation in your claim, you will need to prove that the at-fault driver violated Seattle’s right-of-way laws and caused your collision. In these situations, it is important to speak with a Seattle car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can evaluate your case, gather the evidence you need to establish the at-fault driver’s negligence, and guide you through each stage of your case.

After your accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible and gather all evidence related to your collision and injuries. Once you have this information, contact a Seattle car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you identify your optimal path to compensation and take the first steps toward filing your claim.