An uncontrolled intersection has no stop lights, stop signs, yield signs, blinking traffic signal or other clear safety instructions regarding right-of-way or driver responsibility. These are typically three-way or four way intersections and are often in rural areas where traffic is not a major concern.
Motor vehicle accidents at uncontrolled intersections in residential neighborhoods are quite common. Although vehicle speed is often slow relative to highway driving conditions, these collisions can still cause major damage to the vehicles involved and serious injuries to drivers and passengers.
Uncontrolled intersections are also relatively common in residential neighborhoods, and therefore pose a significant risk to pedestrians, walkers, runners, those on bicycles as well as children at play. Many neighborhoods now have traffic circles or roundabouts which help to reduce the problem of vehicles speeding in residential neighborhoods and enhance the beautify neighborhood by creating mini-greenbelts. Many believe that traffic circles and roundabouts reduce the number of uncontrolled intersection accidents, but these solutions are costly to implement which creates a challenge for local governments.
What is the rule of law for uncontrolled intersections in Seattle or other parts of Washington State?
When two vehicles approach an uncontrolled four-way intersection the vehicle to the right has the right of way. This rule is dictated by Washington State Law RCW 46.61.180 and Seattle Municipal Code 11.55.101. These rules read as follows:
When two (2) vehicles approach or enter an uncontrolled intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
Who is at fault for an accident at an uncontrolled intersection?
Determining fault / liability in an accident at an uncontrolled intersection in a residential neighborhood can be difficult. Typically there are no witnesses, no traffic cameras, and law enforcement authorities are often not called so there is no police report, etc. The insurance companies involved often attempt to force “shared fault” or “shared liability” rather than make an actual determination of fault.
For uncontrolled intersection accident victims who need repairs to their vehicle and medical treatment for their injuries determining fault is critical as it will dictate who will be responsible for these expenses.
Uncontrolled Intersection Accident Attorneys
A person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident at an uncontrolled intersection should strongly considering hiring an attorney with experience in roadway design issues as quickly as possible. Absent witness statements and/or a police report, the physical evidence at the accident scene (tire marks, etc.) and photographs of damage to the vehicles will become critical to the case. This evidence must be gathered and analyzed quickly. A good personal injury lawyer can send an experienced accident investigator to the scene to preserve this valuable evidence.
Your Questions Answered & Your Legal Options Explained
If you or a family member has suffered as the result of a car accident in Washington State, car accident attorney Chris Davis and the Davis Law Group, P.S. can help you. We are committed to helping car accident victims recover the just and fair compensation they are entitled to receive under the law.
Our legal team of attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants and support staff handle each case that we accept from beginning to end, lifting as many burdens from our clients we can. We make sure your legal rights are protected. We want our clients to receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries.
Call attorney Chris Davis at Davis Law Group to schedule a FREE legal consultation. Call 206-727-4000.