A red light accident is really no accident. Drivers who aren’t speeding and are paying attention to the road and traffic signals have ample time to stop for a red light. Despite red light accidents being largely preventable, these types of crashes are quite common. In fact, the IIHS reports that more than 800 people were killed in red light accidents in 2019 and almost 150,000 injured. Many of these people were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles hit by the red light runner.
If you or a loved one was injured by a driver running a red light, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills, loss of income and other damages that you incurred because of the careless driver. In this blog post, we’ll review liability, compensation and settlement options for a red light accident.
What are the Common Causes of Red Light Accidents?
Red light accidents generally occur when a driver tries to “beat the red” and goes through an intersection after a light has changed from yellow to red. In other scenarios, drivers may be distracted by their phone or other device in the car, under the influence, drowsy, or inattentive to traffic signals. Failing to yield the right of way, driver inattention or distraction as well as illegal activities like drunk driving all constitute negligence on the part of the at-fault driver.
In some cases, the other driver may not bear all or any liability. Manufacturer defects could cause brake failure or other complications that may contribute to a crash. Missing or malfunctioning traffic signs or signals can also lead to a red light accident.
Settlements after a Red Light Accident: Should You Hire a Lawyer?
Don’t be quick to accept any offer from the insurance company that comes your way. Many injured victims in a red light accident suffer serious injuries that require medical care and missed time from work. Given the amount of loss, it isn’t unusual for an accident victim to be unhappy with the initial amount offered. Insurance companies are in business to maximize their profits and minimize claims. If you have been injured in an accident, in many cases, a personal injury attorney can negotiate with the insurer to get a more reasonable settlement for your injuries.
Before you start the negotiation process with an insurance company, consider your situation. If you’ve incurred medical bills, missed work and especially if you anticipate needing further medical treatment, an experienced personal injury attorney’s help would be of use to you. Unless it is a minor issue, such as a case under $5,000, a car accident lawyer may be able to do more for you in securing fair compensation for your claim.
Red Light Accident Medical Expenses
Car accident claims often include the value of your medical expenses. The higher the value that you are seeking, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a car accident attorney who can do all of the negotiations on your behalf. If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, or lost income. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much easier to obtain fair compensation.
Pain and Suffering in Red Light Accident Settlements
When filing an injury claim after a red light accident, you may also be able to recover non-economic damages, such as ‘pain and suffering.’ There are no specific rules around how pain and suffering is calculated in a claim. Insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a serious burn than if you bruised your leg. The theory being that the more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience.
Get Legal Help after a Red Light Accident
Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire an attorney from our team at Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with car accident settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.