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Who May Be Liable for a Red-Light Crash?

liable for red-light crashRed-light crashes result in thousands of severe, even fatal injuries each year. Victims often face lengthy recoveries and unexpected financial pressures. Red-light runners are clearly breaking the law when they ignore the traffic signal, However, are they always the liable party for these collisions?

Jay Trucks talks more about red-light crashes, including how they happen and who may be liable. We also explain when injured victims may be eligible to seek compensation outside of their no-fault benefits.

If you were injured in a red-light crash, you can recover medical costs, lost wages and other losses by filing a no-fault benefits claim. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also be eligible to seek excess damages in a third-party law suit.

Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Learn more about your legal options and find out how we are prepared protect your interests.

FREE Case Review. 989-244-0440

How Red-Light Runners Endanger Others and Cause Serious Harm

When drivers run a red light, they are often trying to beat a yellow signal. Others, however, knowingly break the law by dashing through a light that is already red.

In both of these scenarios, the red-light runners are often going through the intersection at higher speeds. Unfortunately, drivers on the green light may also be either “jumping the gun” or accelerating too quickly. If these vehicles end up colliding, the higher speed can lead to significant damages, including fatalities.

How often does this type of crash happen? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 928 people were killed in red-light crashes in 2020. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA), running a red light is the most common cause of urban crashes today. Crashes from drivers running a red light have led to nearly 9,000 deaths in the last decade. Tens of thousands more individuals in the U.S. suffer injuries each year in crashes caused by red-light runners.

The FWHA found that 93 percent of drivers say running a red light is unacceptable behavior. However, one in three of these same drivers also admitted to running a red light at least once during the previous 30 days.

Can I Sue the At-Fault Party for Causing a Red-Light Crash in Michigan?

That depends. Crash victims can obtain compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other damages under a no-fault insurance claim. You may be eligible to recover excess damages in a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault party’s liability insurance. However, there are certain requirements injured victims must meet to be eligible.

Generally speaking, if your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance runs out before you finish your medical treatment, you may need to seek more compensation. If you suffered impairment of a bodily function, you may meet the state’s injury threshold.

If you meet the state’s injury threshold you could seek additional compensation for your:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • And more

We strongly recommend contacting a qualified attorney to learn what legal options may apply to your case.

How Can I Prove Fault for a Red-Light Crash?

Most crash victims believe proving fault for a red-light crash is straightforward, but that is not always true. Often red-light runners may try to shift the blame onto the injured victims. For instance, the at-fault driver may try to say they had a yellow light and the injured victim jumped a red light. In other crashes, the injured victim may have had a green light and the right-of-way. However, if he or she saw the red-light runner, then the victim still had a duty to wait for traffic to clear. In that situation, the victim could share liability for the crash.

Unfortunately, these are just a couple of reasons why some red-light crash cases become a complicated “he said, she said” situation.

Hiring an attorney may prove especially beneficial to victims dealing with an at-fault driver who denies running the red light. At Jay Trucks, we know how to build strong cases and gather the evidence needed to support your claim.

Some evidence that may help includes:

  • Testimony from credible eyewitnesses
  • Crash scene evidence
  • Traffic or dash cam footage, if available
  • Accessing the other driver’s “black box” data
  • Cellphone records, which may show if a driver was distracted prior to the crash
  • Social media
  • And more

Sometimes your attorney may seek additional help from an expert witness. For instance, an accident reconstruction specialist can examine the evidence and further clarify how the crash happened.

What Are the Penalties for Running Through a Red Light in Michigan?

Red-light runners who are caught by police are likely to get ticketed. The offender will also get three points added to his or her driving record.

If running a red light results in a crash, there may be additional penalties assessed, especially if the at-fault driver flees the scene. For instance, if the officer determines the driver was:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while distracted
  • Exhibiting reckless behavior

Drivers convicted of any of these behaviors face serious consequences, which could include hefty fines and even jail time.

Why Do Drivers Run Through Red Lights and Risk Causing a Crash?

Most drivers do not think they will cause a crash if they run a red light. Others probably do not stop to consider the consequences of causing a crash. Some of the most common reasons people try to beat a yellow or run a red light include:

  • Zoning out while talking on the phone or driving in an overly familiar area
  • Misjudging a late yellow light they are trying to beat to avoid stopping
  • Not paying attention or being distracted by things like texting or children in the car
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances
  • Being too fatigued or drowsy to be safely operating a vehicle
  • Running late to an appointment or work

Call Our Trusted Michigan Law Firm to Discuss Your Legal Options

Red-light crashes often cause serious harm to victims. If you have been injured because of a red-light runner, we encourage you to seek legal help as soon as possible.

Our experienced car crash attorneys in Clare, Michigan have been helping injured victims for decades. We have a proven history of results, recovering millions for our clients. Our team of legal professionals is ready to help you seek maximum compensation for damages caused by another driver’s negligence.

Contact Jay Trucks today to learn how we may be able to benefit your case. Our office is available to take your call anytime, night or day. You pay nothing to hire our services or while we manage your case. In fact, we do not get paid unless we win your case.

Experienced. Local. Lawyers. 989-244-0440