With vehicles entering and exiting from many angles, intersections are often busy. These cars have to follow various traffic rules to avoid accidents. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 40% of car collisions in America occur at intersections. If you are involved in an intersection car accident, determining who is liable for the intersection vehicle collision is essential.
How Intersection Car Collisions Can Happen
An intersection collision can happen in these ways:
- A driver runs a stop sign or red light
- A driver doesn’t yield while making a left turn in traffic
- A driver misjudges the traffic as they make a right turn into the intersection
- Missing, downed, or malfunctioning traffic lights cause confusion
Who Is Held Liable in Various Intersection Accidents?
Various individuals or entities may be liable for different intersection car accidents.
Failure To Stop at a Stop Sign or Red Light
A driver has to stop their vehicle when there’s a stop sign or red light. Failure to stop makes the driver liable. If there’s a yellow caution light, the driver should proceed cautiously. If the driver can’t clear the intersection before the traffic light changes, they should stop.
A red light swearing match can happen at an intersection accident where the drivers claim they each had a green light. If one driver admits to being liable for running a stop sign or red light, the other driver’s insurance will clear them of any wrongdoing and pay for the collision’s damage. The latter driver can also win a personal injury claim at trial. You have a red light swearing match if nobody admits fault for ignoring a red light. Insurance companies may need additional evidence before settling any driver’s claim. An attorney can help you gather and legally safeguard evidence supporting your interests, such as eyewitnesses or camera footage.
Intersections Without Signal
Traffic control devices can be missing or malfunctioning in an intersection, making drivers susceptible to intersection collisions. Drivers should stop and enter a junction when it is safe if the traffic control devices are missing or malfunctioning. They treat the junction as a four-way stop. The first driver to the intersection has the right of way. The driver on the left yields the right of way to the vehicle on the right if two drivers get to the junction concurrently.
Witnesses, camera footage, and police reports can help you prove your case if both drivers claim to have had the right of way during the intersection collision. An attorney can help you protect your interests.
Can a Driver With a Green Light Be Liable?
The driver with the green light should still be on the lookout. They must look both ways to ascertain the coast is clear before entering an intersection. This requirement is a duty to avoid collisions when possible. Both drivers could be liable if the driver with a green light didn’t check to see if the coast was clear.
Failing To Maintain Safe Distance
All drivers should maintain an assured clear distance to avoid rear-end collisions. The vehicle behind can be liable if the driver doesn’t leave a safe space. In a few instances, the car ahead can be responsible, such as stopping abruptly with no warning when vehicles are moving fast without a reasonable reason.
Failure To Look Out for Individuals Crossing the Street
Intersection accidents can also be auto-pedestrian or bicycle collisions. Drivers should look both ways when turning into an intersection. They must also be careful where there’s foot traffic. The driver is often liable for failing to yield the right of way when accidents occur where there’s a crosswalk. Pedestrians can be responsible if they step out on a “don’t walk” signage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are three frequently asked questions about intersection collisions:
1. Which Accidents Are Common in Intersections?
The common accidents in intersections are T-bone or side-impact accidents. Drivers can also be in rear-end collisions.
2. How Long Does an Intersection Collision Trial Take?
The case can take a few weeks or months. It takes a shorter period if determining the liable party is straightforward. Every case is different.
3. How Can an Attorney Help a Driver Involved in an Intersection Collision?
An attorney protects your rights, helps you document the scene, and represents you in a trial or negotiation.