We’ve all hit a stoplight at the wrong moment and had to make a split-second call—do we try to get through during the yellow right or play it safe and stop? It’s easy to misjudge how much time you have left, and perhaps that’s why red-light accidents are so common in the United States.
Each year, around 1,000 people are killed and tens of thousands more are injured in crashes caused by someone running a red light. In an effort to decrease these accidents, many cities have implemented red light cameras at busy intersections or ramped up enforcement of stoplights.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a red-light crash, you may be wondering what your next step is. We can help you explore your options. Call Burge & Burge at 205-251-9000 to get started.
Who’s Liable for a Red-Light Accident?
Liability is a key issue in any car accident, as it determines whether or not you will receive compensation for your injuries and other losses. In most red-light accidents, it’s fairly straightforward — the person who ran the red light and broke the law is likely liable for the accident.
The law requires you to stop for a red light. If you don’t and you cause an accident, you are responsible for any citations you receive and any damage you cause. If you’re the injured and non-liable party, this may make your personal injury claim process much easier. Insurance companies have a difficult time denying their client’s fault in a red-light accident.
Living in Alabama does complicate this a bit. Alabama courts apply a pure contributory negligence standard to personal injury claims. Under this standard, a victim who is even 1% responsible for an accident can be barred from recovering damages for their injuries.
If the opposing party can prove that you did anything to contribute to your own injuries, you may receive no compensation. For example, consider an accident where you are in the intersection, waiting to turn left. There is no opening while the light is green, and due to people running the yellow light, you are still in the intersection when the light turns red.
You are unable to see around the cars in the opposite left turn lane but turn left because you assume no one is coming from the opposite direction. Someone runs the red light and crashes into you. Because you turned without verifying that the road was clear, the other driver’s insurer might claim that you are partially at fault.
What to Do After a Crash
The process you should follow after a red-light accident prioritizes your health and safety. First, call emergency services to report the accident. Tell them about any injuries you notice on yourself or anyone else in your car.
When police respond to the scene of the accident, make sure they get your side of the story. Ask them how you can get a copy of the accident report once it is available. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party. If they are aggressive or combative, exchange information through the police officer.
Seek immediate medical attention. If you have serious injuries, you may want to take an ambulance to the hospital and get checked out there. Otherwise, get into urgent care or the emergency room as soon as possible for a thorough checkup.
Contact an attorney to start the accident injury claim process. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the more quickly they can gather evidence and start building a case on your behalf. Make sure you provide them with copies of any evidence you may have, including photos, video footage, the accident report, and medical documentation.
Find Out How Burge & Burge Can Help You
If you’ve suffered serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The team at Burge & Burge can help. Discuss your claim and what comes next with our team by calling us at 205-251-9000 or contacting us online. We’re ready to fight for the compensation you are owed.