Car Accident Injuries Caused By Running a Light

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recorded in their data analysis of 2017 that 939 people were killed in red-light running crashes in that year alone. The study goes on to show the following:

  • 28% of deaths from car crashes at signalized intersections occur due to a driver running through a red light. 
  • Most of the fatal victims (46%) of red-light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles.
  • More than 5% of the fatal victims were the drivers who ran the red light.

These numbers show the far-reaching effects of running a red light and that these effects do not have a preference for a specific group of people. Moreover, aside from the fatal effects of red-light running crashes, injuries sustained in these types of crashes tend to be extreme. 

The reason for this can be traced to the fact that most drivers that run red lights typically do so at speeds that are higher than average. Thus, the injuries they inflict are more severe. Therefore, if you or your loved one was injured in a red-light running crash, or you lost a loved one due to a red-light running crash, you are entitled to compensation for your pain. 

Our team of car accident attorneys at Fletcher Law Office is one of the best in the city. With our wealth of experience and a keen eye for details, we have a proven track record of success in pursuing personal injury cases. Reach out to schedule a consultation today.

Top reasons why people run red lights

We may never fully know why people act the way they do, just as we cannot fully understand why a person would choose to run a red light and put themselves and every other person on the road at that time in jeopardy. However, some common reasons people give for running red lights are:

  • The driver was trying the "beat the yellow": A driver approaching a traffic light and seeing it is still yellow may attempt to beat the light by speeding up. Unfortunately, this maneuver does not always work, and a driver may find themselves entering the intersection when the light turns red.
  • The driver failed to see the red light: This can happen due to several different reasons such as:
    • Distracted driving
    • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • The location or mode of operation of the red light makes it difficult for drivers to see or anticipate.
    • Poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, ice, or gof
  • Confusion at the traffic light: Sometimes, a car that is legally in the intersection may make a left-hand turn after the traffic signal is red. Another driver, who did not notice that the other driver was turning left, speeds up because of the green light and crashes into the car making a legal left. 
  • The driver was in a hurry or feeling impatient: Sometimes, a driver runs a light because they are in a hurry and feel that they can't afford to add the extra few minutes of waiting at the lights to their travel time. Other times, a driver runs a light because they believe that no one is watching. This is a significant reason why many states have red-light cameras installed at traffic lights, with visible signs warning approaching drivers of the presence of the cameras.
  • Speeding and reckless driving: A driver moving at excessive speeds will not stop in time to avoid running a red light. Drivers in this kind of situation are guilty of running a red light and excessive speeding. Aside from the fact that they are firmly on the wrong side of the law, they also present unique hazards to everyone present on the road at that time – slam on the brakes and risk causing your car to fishtail or run the light and risk crashing into another vehicle.

Car Accident Injuries Caused By Running a Light

Injuries arising from running a red light are usually more significant than other types of accidents. The reason for this is simple: in a bid to outrun the light, the driver will likely move at a higher-than-average speed. Other cars that have the right-of-way driving through the intersection will also move at fast speeds. 

Another reason for the severity of injuries sustained at red-light running crashes is that these accidents typically result in "T-bone collisions".  A T-bone collision is one in which one car hits the side of another vehicle, causing severe injuries and possibly fatalities to passengers in the car slammed on its side. Generally, the fronts and rears of cars have protections that absorb the force of an accident. However, these protections are missing from the sides of vehicles, thus making passengers more vulnerable to severe injuries or fatalities in T-bone collisions.

Common injuries sustained in this type of crashes are:

  • Neck, shoulder, back, and whiplash injuries
  • Multiple fractures in the hip, leg, and other parts of the body
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury sometimes leading to paralysis
  • Significant damage to the car(s) involved in the accident, or sometimes, a total loss of one of both vehicles.
  • Death

Getting compensated if you have been in a red light running accident

Drivers have a duty of care not to drive in a way that could harm other road users. Running a red light breaches that duty of care egregiously, and you should seek compensation for that breach. 

Because of the severity of the injuries from red-light running crashes, the lives of victims are usually altered, sometimes permanently. In addition, the victims are not the only ones whose lives are changed; their family members and loved ones also suffer from these absolutely preventable accidents.

For this reason, a victim of this type of accident should expect economic and non-economic compensation, also known as damages. Knowing the standard of damages to expect after this type of unfortunate event helps to prepare you better when meeting with the other party’s insurance adjuster. 

Economic damages will compensate you for the tangible costs your injuries push on you, such as: 

  • Paying for your medical care, both past, and future.
  • Lost income due to your inability to work as a result of your injuries
  • Payment for any lifestyle modifications your injuries warrant, such as installing a hospice, restructuring your home to fit a ramp for your wheelchair, and other things. 
  • Paying for repairs to your car

Non-economic damages will compensate you for the intangible costs your injuries inflict on you, such as:

  • Your pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship: occurs when the victim dies, and the deceased's loved one brings the claim.
  • Loss of consortium for cases where your injuries prevent you from carrying out your spousal duties
  • Future lost income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These damages are typically negotiated with the at-fault driver's insurance company, which is expected to pay the claim up to their client's policy limit. If the agreed amount exceeds the policy limit, the at-fault driver is required to make up the balance out-of-pocket. 

Sometimes, however, settlement talks fail, and the claim is taken to trial in a small claims court. If the jury finds that the at-fault driver's actions were particularly reckless or malicious, they may make the defendant pay punitive damages as well. As the name implies, Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions and serve as a deterrent to members of the public.

Let us help you get compensated for your injuries

Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be overwhelming and a bit scary. The complex procedures you have to wade through, coupled with your injuries, can make for a trying time. 

However, our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, leaving you to concentrate on regaining your health. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case evaluation.

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