Accidents at intersections can result in traumatic injuries and deaths. A common cause of intersection accidents is running red lights. A driver attempts to “beat the red light” or is distracted and does not notice the red light. Whatever the reason might be, the deaths from red light running accidents are increasing.
Want more information? Keep reading to learn more about:
- Traffic Deaths Increase from Red Light Running Crashes
- Common Injuries in Red Light Accidents
- What Should You Do After an Accident at an Intersection?
Traffic Deaths Increase from Red Light Running Crashes
AAA Foundation analyzed crash data from 2017 and found that 939 people were killed in accidents involving drivers who ran red lights. That number represents a 28 percent increase in the number of deaths caused by red light running accidents since 2012 and the highest number in a decade. The total includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists involved in red light running accidents. More than one-quarter of the traffic deaths that occur at intersections with signals are caused by drivers who run red lights.
While the cause of the increase is unknown, red light cameras can help discourage drivers from running red lights. If a driver fears being caught on camera and charged with a traffic infraction, the driver may be less likely to run a red light. In addition to helping prosecute drivers who ignore the law, video from a red light camera can also help an accident victim prove liability in a personal injury lawsuit.
AAA recommends that drivers use good judgment and prepare to stop as they approach an intersection. It also suggests that drivers look both ways even when they have the green light to ensure that drivers coming from the opposite direction are going to stop for the light.
Pedestrians should always watch for vehicles when crossing the road, even in a marked crosswalk at an intersection. Even when a pedestrian has the right of way, he or she should use caution when crossing the road because drivers are not always watching for pedestrians.
Common Injuries in Red Light Accidents
The type and severity of injuries vary depending on the circumstances of the crash and the victim. Red light running crashes can result in traumatic injuries because drivers are usually speeding as they enter the intersection to “beat the red light.” Higher speeds typically result in more severe injuries, even though low-speed impacts can also result in life-threatening injuries.
Another reason that red light running crashes cause traumatic injuries is that the collision is often a T-bone or side-impact collision. When your car is struck from the side, you have less protection from the impact because there are less distance and less metal between you and the other vehicle. Only some vehicles are equipped with side airbags, so there may be less protection for passengers and drivers in a side-impact crash.
Common injuries sustained by victims of a red light running accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
- Lacerations and cuts
- Seat belt injuries and airbag injuries
If you are injured in a red light running accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The steps you take after an accident can help increase the chance of recovering full compensation for your losses and damages. A California car accident attorney can help you protect your legal rights while handling your claim so that you can focus on your recovery.
What Should You Do After an Accident at an Intersection?
Liability is often an issue when a car crash occurs at an intersection. Determining which driver had the right of way is essential in proving that the other driver is responsible for causing the accident. You must prove that the other driver was at-fault to recover money for an accident claim. Therefore, the steps you take after a red light running accident or any accident at an intersection are important.
After the crash remember to:
- Report the crash by calling 911.
- DO NOT admit fault for the crash. Don’t say you are sorry or apologize for the crash. When you speak with the police officer, provide the details as you remember them, but do not accept any liability for causing the crash.
- Always try to get the names and telephone numbers of people who witnessed the crash. Eyewitness testimony can be very helpful in proving fault in a red light running accident case.
- Contact our office as soon as possible. We want to take steps immediately to preserve evidence that might have been captured on red light cameras or other video surveillance.
- Do not provide a statement to the insurance company. Be careful of what you say when speaking to the insurance company. Your conversation might be recorded, even if the person does not inform you that he or she is recording the call.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone or post information online about the accident or your injuries.
- Seek medical attention immediately and follow up with your doctor. Proving liability for the crash is only one step in the process of filing a personal injury claim. We must also have medical evidence proving you were injured in the accident to recover compensation for damages.
Get Help From an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer
You do not need to handle your injury claim alone. The legal team at The Thompson Law Office is here to help.
We handle your entire personal injury claim from investigating the crash and gathering evidence of damages to filing your insurance claim and negotiating a fair settlement amount. We are skilled litigators who are not afraid of taking a case to court if that is necessary to protect our clients. We fight for justice and fair compensation for each of our clients.
If you are injured in a car crash, contact our office for a free consultation with a California car accident lawyer. Call 1-650-513-6111 for more information or to schedule your free case review.