When drivers try to beat a red light instead of slowing down to a complete stop, they are putting the lives of other drivers, passengers, pedestrians or bicyclists in danger. Red-light accidents are entirely preventable and happen more often than you may realize.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by someone who ran a red light, you may have grounds to take legal action. A lawsuit could help you recover compensation needed to help cover medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and more.
Our legal team at Sigman Janssen has helped many accident victims who have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers. Allow us the opportunity to review your situation and discuss your legal options in a free initial consultation.
Statistics on Red Light Accidents
According the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than two people are killed every day in the U.S. by impatient and reckless drivers running red lights. 28 percent of deadly crashes at intersections with stop lights are caused by red light runners. In Wisconsin, deaths caused by red light accidents are at a 10-year high. The increase in traffic-related fatalities rose faster than any other state in the nation.
The AAA study also found that almost half – 46 percent – of victims killed in red light accidents were passengers or drivers in other cars and over five percent were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Running a Red Light in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has strict laws when it comes to intersection safety and how drivers should behave at traffic signals. Red light violations are among the most common causes of serious crashes.
At a steady red traffic light, all drivers must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the light turns green and there is no crossing traffic. A flashing red traffic light is considered the same as a stop sign. A driver must come to a full stop and wait to go when it is safe to do so. In Wisconsin, a red arrow is also considered the same as a red traffic light.
A steady yellow traffic light is considered nearly the same as a red traffic light. If a driver sees a yellow light when approaching the intersection, he or she must stop unless it is unsafe to do so. A yellow light does not mean that a driver should speed up and continue through the intersection.
Failure to stop at a red light could result in demerit points added to a driving record and a fine that may be increased if the traffic violation led to an accident.
Taking Legal Action for a Red-Light Accident
To be able to sue another driver, you will need to prove that he or she acted negligently. Negligence exists when someone fails to drive reasonably under the circumstances and as a result causes harm.
A licensed Green Bay car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to help you establish the following:
- The other driver owed you a duty to stop at a red light
- The other driver breached that duty by failing to stop at a red light
- This breach caused the accident and your injuries
- The accident resulted in compensatory damages
Failing to stop at a traffic light is typically good proof that the other driver was at fault. Traffic laws are meant to be followed and designed to keep drivers sharing the roadway safe. When a driver decides to commit a red-light violation, certain evidence collected could help your lawyer build a strong case for compensation.
Generally, a lawyer may request footage from an intersection’s red-light traffic camera to help show that the other driver ran a red light and caused the accident. However, not all intersections have cameras.
The location of damage done to your car could be used determine how the accident happened. Accidents due to running a red light often cause significant damage to the front of the at-fault driver’s car and damage to the driver’s side of the victim’s car.
Other supportive evidence that may be used includes photos of any visible injuries, debris from the accident, skid marks on the road, damage to vehicles involved and damage to nearby structures.
Recovering Compensation from a Red-Light Runner
Car accident lawsuits in Wisconsin are reserved for serious injuries and damages. In order to recover compensation, you must adhere to the specific time limit outlined by the state’s statute of limitations.
For personal injury cases, the time limit is generally within three years from the date of the accident. Failure to adhere to the three-year window will likely result in a court dismissal and an inability to take further legal action. A lawyer will be able to advise you whether filing a lawsuit is right for you.
Wisconsin also follows a comparative fault rule, so even if you are partially to blame for the accident, you may still be able to recover compensation if you are not more at fault than the other driver.
Get the Legal Help You Need
Have you been injured in a crash by a driver who failed to stop at a red light?
Our lawyers at Sigman Janssen are here to discuss your rights and potential legal options available to you during a free, no-obligation consultation. After this initial meeting, there are no upfront fees to retain our services and no fees while we work on the case. We only get paid if you obtain a recovery.
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Call (877) 888-5201 for a free case review today.