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Running a red light is a common cause of auto accidents. However, while it may seem straightforward as to who was at fault in these cases, it’s not always that simple.
The concept of assigning fault in a red light accident case can be more complex to determine, especially in terms of an insurance claim. This is particularly important for the victims involved.
If you’re a victim of this type of accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for damages and losses.
A red light accident attorney can help you decide who was at fault and assist you in filing a claim and taking legal action if required.
While a driver may be at fault for a red light car accident, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are liable.
Fault means the person caused the accident, while liability is their responsibility to compensate victims for damages. A person can cause a traffic light accident without being liable.
Factors that affect whether the at-fault driver is liable for damages include:
Other important components of fault include police reports, witness statements, and other drivers involved.
Red light running is one of the most common causes of car accidents.
The following are statistics related to traffic signal motor vehicle accidents in the United States:
There are two primary types of legal options for victims involved in a red light motor vehicle accident. These include personal injury claims and wrongful death claims.
Personal injury claims are those filed for injuries sustained in an accident. Personal injuries can include physical injuries such as broken bones as well as abstract injuries like pain and suffering.
A personal injury claim allows individuals to seek compensation for these injuries.
For example, if you sustained an injury that prevented you from being able to work, you may receive compensation for lost wages.
A wrongful death claim is filed when an accident victim loses a loved one in a car accident.
The claim is filed on behalf of the deceased to seek compensation for damages and costs related to the fatality. It also helps loved ones seek justice for the loss of their loved one.
There are several causes of red light car accidents. Some of these include:
Speeding is a common cause in red light accidents, as driving too fast makes it difficult to slow down in time to stop at the traffic signal. Speeding may also increase the likelihood of more severe injuries incurred by accident victims.
Some drivers may choose to attempt to pass through a yellow light rather than stop. This can increase the likelihood of running a red light, as many yellow lights only last between three to six seconds.
A yellow light is a signal for drivers to slow down. However, some drivers continue to maintain their speed or even speed up to try to make it through a yellow light. This can result in a violation of traffic laws as well as an accident.
A driver may anticipate that a light is about to turn from red to green and begin to move forward. This is not only a red light violation, but can result in the driver moving into oncoming traffic if the light doesn’t change.
Distracted driving, such as texting or eating while driving, takes the driver’s eyes off the road. This can result in the driver not seeing the traffic signal and running through it.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (drugged driving) can also lead to a red light accident. Drivers who drink alcohol may have slower reflexes and decision-making abilities, making it difficult to stop in time.
The types of injuries incurred in a red light accident can vary significantly based on speed, severity of the crash, and other factors.
The following are some common injuries seen in accidents with red light runners:
Throughout the nation, a red traffic signal light means ‘stop.’ If you enter an intersection while this light is red, you have committed a violation.
Additionally, at locations that allow a right turn on red, it is necessary to come to a complete stop before making this turn.
Red light cameras are present at many intersections nationwide and capture the image of a vehicle committing a moving violation at a traffic signal. This can result in a citation.
While red light cameras have reduced both violations and accidents, running red lights is still common and often causes a crash.
Drivers who run red lights, thereby causing an accident in the process, are typically found at fault for the accident.
The exact penalties for running a red light will vary based on the state you’re located in.
Example penalties for red light violations include:
In most cases, the severity and result of the violation will influence the type of penalty incurred.
How many offenses a person has can also play a role. For example, a first offense will likely warrant a smaller penalty. Someone with two or three offenses may face a more significant consequence.
The primary purpose of filing a red light accident claim is to seek compensation for damages incurred in the crash.
There are several types of damages that may be relevant in this type of claim, including:
When filing a personal injury claim in a red light crash case, there are several factors to consider.
While not always immediately clear, determining fault in a red light case is essential when filing a claim. This can include looking at which party committed a traffic violation.
In most cases, the at-fault driver is liable for any damages incurred in the car crash.
An experienced red light accident lawyer can help you determine who was at fault in these complex cases.
The level of negligence on behalf of the at-fault driver is also an important component of these cases.
Not all at-fault motorists were acting in a negligent manner when they caused the crash. For example, if the motorist’s vehicle has faulty brakes and the driver was unable to stop on time, they may be at fault but not negligent.
On the other hand, if the driver was, for example, texting and driving, they were acting negligently and will likely be found liable.
In some cases, a faulty light may be to blame for an accident. For example, if the light suddenly turns red without first turning yellow, drivers have no indication to stop.
Additionally, in rural or remote areas, a stop light may appear with little to no warning. This can make it difficult to stop on time and may result in an accident.
Another important factor in a red light accident case is evidence gathered at the crash scene.
Examples of evidence may include:
This evidence offers more detailed insight into the accident and who was at fault and should be held liable.
A red light accident attorney can provide help with every aspect of your case, especially when it comes to more complex incidents such as a red light car collision.
Common ways a car accident accident lawyer can help you include:
If you’ve been involved in a red light auto accident, it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible after the incident.
LegalFinders can help you find an experienced attorney or law firm in your area that specializes in red light accidents. Call us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
The following are frequently asked questions related to red light accidents.
If you accidentally run a red light, you may be subject to a violation penalty. This will largely depend on whether red light cameras were installed where you ran the red light.
An estimated 21% drivers have admitted to running a red light in the last 30 days.
If someone is driving your car and runs a red light and a red light camera is present, you will be responsible for the violation fee or penalty for that incident.
If someone is involved in an auto accident in your car as a result of running a red light, their insurance company is responsible for covering their damages and those of the victims depending on the state.
Department of Transportation. “If You Run a Red Light You Are Betting More Than You Can Afford to Lose.” Retrieved from: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/signal/fhwasa11016.pdf.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. “Red light running.” Retrieved from: https://www.iihs.org/topics/red-light-running#:~:text=light%20running%20crashes.-,Red%20light%20running%20defined,are%20not%20red%20light%20runners.
Suffolk County Legislature. “Yellow-Light Timing.” Retrieved from: https://www.scnylegislature.us/DocumentCenter/View/2782/US-Department-of-Transportations-Yellow-Light-FAQs–Why-Amber-Time-Matters-PDF#:~:text=Fact%3A%20Yellow%20light%20time%20is,roadway%20grade%20and%20intersection%20design.