A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA) revealed that hundreds of Americans are killed each year in red light traffic accidents. And, those numbers are increasing: according to the 2019 report, deaths associated with drivers running red lights are at a 10-year high.
About half of the victims are passengers in another vehicle, and another 5% are pedestrians and cyclists. In other words, the driver who runs the red light is usually not the one killed in a red light crash. Attorney Kevin P. Broderick has devoted decades to helping victims of car accidents and those who have lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence.
We all know that running a red light is against the law, and can be very dangerous. Still, about ⅓ of respondents to a separate AAA study said they’d run a red light at least once in the past 30 days. While running a red light is sometimes intentional, other careless driving behaviors also play a role. Some other behaviors that can result in running a red light include:
At least one recent study suggests that the increasing use of red light cameras has also contributed to the increase in red light accidents. While these cameras are intended to make intersections safer by encouraging drivers to slow down and take care not to run a red light, there is some evidence that they lead to an increase in sudden, abrupt stops, causing rear-end collisions at red lights.
It might seem that liability in a red light accident would be obvious and easy to prove. A negligent driver is typically responsible for injuries he or she causes, running a red light is a violation of a traffic safety law. And, most of the behaviors that lead to accidental running of red lights are also violations. But, in Massachusetts, the fact that a driver ran a red light doesn’t create a presumption of negligence–it’s just one piece of evidence.
And, of course, it may be difficult to prove that the driver ran a red light and caused the accident. In some cases, traffic cameras will provide that evidence, and in others there may be witnesses. But, eyewitness accounts can be confused and conflicting, and drivers may point the finger at one another. In these cases, it is often necessary to reconstruct the accident to show who was responsible.
This is one reason it is important to talk with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after a red light accident. Your attorney can take the lead in interviewing witnesses, assembling evidence and, if necessary, working with expert witnesses to prove negligence.
Damages differ from case to case, even for the same type of accident. Some of the most common types of damages awarded in a car accident injury case include:
When someone is killed in a red light accident, the damages are a bit different, since they are awarded to and based on losses suffered by surviving family members. The victim’s estate may also be entitled to certain damages, such as funeral expenses.
Step one after any serious accident is to seek medical attention and follow the instructions of your physician and the rest of your medical team. Delaying medical assessment and treatment can make your injuries worse, and can also make it more difficult to prove damages if it turns out that you are seriously injured and need compensation to pay your medical bills and rebuild.
Then, it is to your advantage to talk to a veteran car accident attorney as soon as possible. Talking to insurance companies and other parties can be a minefield, and innocent mistakes can hurt your case. Fortunately, learning more about your rights and options is simple and free. To schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with attorney Kevin P. Broderick, just call 978-459-3085 .Or, if you prefer, fill out the contact form on this site and we’ll reach out to you.
Let Attorney Kevin Broderick answer your questions and evaluate your personal injury or vehicle accident case for free!
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