Negligence in Intersection Car Accidents
Approximately half of all traffic fatalities in the United States are caused by intersection collisions, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The following is a brief look at the various ways that an intersection collision can happen:
Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign or Red Light
Every driver is obligated to come to a complete stop whenever they come to a stop sign or red light. Many drivers in this country fail to abide by that requirement and many auto accidents take place as a result. Generally, a police officer will arrive on the scene and attempt to record what happen by interviewing the occupants of the vehicles involved along with any other eyewitnesses. In some cases, it is possible review video footage of the intersection from dash cams, business security cameras, or intersection cameras, to establish which driver failed to stop when required to. An experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer can provide you information about your rights if you’ve been injured by the negligence of another.
Failure to Yield on a Left Turn
Entering an intersection with the objective of turning left can be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. Any driver turning left at an intersection is required to yield to oncoming traffic traveling in the opposite direction, as well as any pedestrians who might be present. Failing to yield can lead to a serious broadside collision and severe injury or death to the occupants of both vehicles. Note that the person turning left, however, may not always be at fault in a collision depending on the circumstances. Sometimes the person turning left may reasonably believe there is enough time to turn left before an oncoming car approaches, but in fact the oncoming car is speeding. And sometimes a person turning left onto another road may be hit by a person behind them who negligently tries to pass the turning vehicle at the intersection. One thing is for certain: if you are seriously injured in an intersection auto accident, you should seek counsel from a personal injury attorney experienced in handling auto accident cases.
Failure to Yield to Pedestrians
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one pedestrian is struck and killed by a moving vehicle every hour in this country. Intersections can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians as intersections are often where people cross the road. Even where crosswalks are present, drivers all too commonly forget to be on the lookout for foot traffic and inevitably their failure to yield can have disastrous consequences. Often drivers turning right may have their attention focused on the vehicle traffic from the left and forget to look for pedestrians crossing on their right. Injured pedestrians should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney right away to obtain information about protecting their rights to obtain compensation from a negligent driver.
Failure to Maintain a Safe Distance
Another common intersection accident – the rear-end crash – is typically the fault of a driver who has failed to maintain a safe difference from what is in front of him and has failed to keep a proper lookout. For example, a driver could be distracted by their phone and crash into a car that is stopped at a red light or stop sign. In Colorado, a driver who has rear-ended another vehicle is presumed to be negligent. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you obtain compensation when you are injured in a rear-end collision.
Malfunctioning or Missing Traffic Signal or Stop Sign
Having a properly working traffic signal or a clearly visible stop sign is critical to intersection safety. Sometimes, though, a traffic signal can be malfunctioning, or a stop sign can be blown down or obstructed by a tree. An intersection without a working signal or a stop sign present can potentially be a deadly scenario. Should an intersection collision take place under such circumstances, it is always advisable to call the police, obtain witness statements, and locate video footage of the accident if possible. If you’ve been injured in circumstances involving malfunctioning traffic lights or a missing stop sign, an experienced auto accident attorney can advise you as to whether you have a claim.
About Whalen Hersh
Being involved in an intersection accident – or any other type of car crash, for that matter – can have devastating consequences not only for you but also your family. In addition to having undergo medical treatment, you may also have to take an extended leave of absence from your job and lose significant income, adapt to living with a permanent physical disability, and deal with years of pain and suffering and psychological trauma. The Colorado car accident lawyers at Whalen Hersh are available to help you navigate the process with confidence. We are award-winning personal injury attorneys who have successfully helped many car accident victims pursue compensation for their physical injury and related losses. With help from our experienced trial attorneys, you will be in a better position to hold whoever caused your accident fully accountable and obtain compensation for your injuries.