Maybe you were on a street you don’t normally drive. Maybe you were in a hurry or didn’t have a clear view of the road ahead. Maybe you thought the other individual was going first. Or your red light changed to green but someone kept going. Whatever happened, you’ve been involved in an accident at an intersection. How do know who was at fault?
Intersections Can Be More Dangerous
Ignoring a traffic light, stop sign or other traffic control device is the most common reason for an intersection accident. To order to recover from the other driver’s insurer, you’ll have to prove that they were at fault. In many cases, both drivers will inform the police officer that they each had a green light, and the other was at fault. This means that the driver telling the truth will have a harder time proving the other driver’s fault. Unfortunately, this kind of case may lead to litigation and means getting you and the other driver on the witness stand.
For some of the reasons stated, accidents are more likely to happen at an intersection, with or without a light. Cars are traveling in opposing directions and may be crossing over lanes.
Crossing collisions are also common, where a driver goes through an intersection and turns into a lane. However, left-hand turn lanes that are separate from other lanes have been shown to reduce accidents by greater than 30%.
An attorney handling a case like this will also need evidence that the intersection is, indeed, a known place for frequent accidents. Highway inspection agencies have the responsibility to keep track of intersections and areas known for the high risks and incidents of accidents so that they can make repairs and improvements. If these improvements are not made, the agencies can be held liable for failing to take care of the road hazards.
Determining Fault With Right-Of-Way
The first part of this equation is to determine who in the intersection had the right of way at the time of the accident. If there is a traffic video camera at the intersection, there is camera evidence available to request (under the Freedom of Information Act.) But you may have a short window of time to request it, such as 20 to 30 days, so make sure you do that immediately, before anything else.
Taking pictures of the accident scene will help preserve evidence as well. Use your cell phone and take as many pictures as you can. These pictures will help your attorney reconstruct the accident (unless he or she calls in an accident reconstruction specialist.)
How do you know you had the right of way before the accident?
- You obeyed stop signs and/or lights at a controlled intersection
- At an uncontrolled intersection, you yielded to cars already there.
- If you arrived at an intersection at the same time as another driver, you yielded to the car on the right
- When entering a highway on an onramp, you yielded to vehicles already on the highway
- When exiting the highway on an off-ramp, you yielded to vehicles already on the access road
- If the lights are temporarily turned off at a controlled intersection, you treated it as a two-way stop, proceeding carefully if it was your turn.
- When on a dead-end road with a T-intersection, you yielded to traffic on the throughway.
Don’t forget to request a copy of the police report; it plays a major role in determining the outcome from an insurance company. They will consider the police report to be the most accurate information in determining what actually happened.
Kansas City’s Oldest Accident Firm
An intersection accident in Kansas City is one you probably didn’t see coming. If you have a car accident, the right legal counsel can help you navigate the difficult period after it’s over.
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of accident cases. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to get started.