Generally, when two vehicles approach an uncontrolled intersection at approximately the same time, the vehicle to the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle to the right.[1]

Note that this rule only applies to vehicles entering an uncontrolled intersection “at approximately the same time.” This leaves the application of the uncontrolled intersection rule open to some interpretation in a given auto accident situation. If the facts of the accident are such that one vehicle was arguably already established in the uncontrolled intersection at the moment of the collision, the rule may not apply at all.

Also, the favored driver at an uncontrolled intersection is entitled to rely on the disfavored driver’s yielding the right of way only until a point is reached at which a reasonable person would realize that the disfavored driver is not going to yield.[2]

In the end, a jury can split liability if there are facts to support it. For example, a favored driver could be found 40% at fault and the disfavored driver 60% at fault.[3]  The damages for the injured party would then be reduced by his or her percentage of fault, if any.

It is important to have a personal injury attorney review a case early. Contact a personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.

[1] RCW 46.61.180.

[2] Maxwell v. Piper, 92 Wn.App. 471 (1998).

[3] Id.