Intersection Accidents and Injuries

Posted on February 27, 2024 in Car Accidents

An intersection is one of the most dangerous parts of the roadway. You may think you can freely pass through, but you have no control over what another driver does, and their vehicle may hit you or veer into your path. When these crashes happen, they can lead to severe injuries for both drivers.

You get little respite with the legal process. Not only is any car accident claim challenging, but some unique factors can make an intersection crash claim even more difficult. The other driver may be telling an opposite story, and you need to find a way to break through and prove your case.

Obtaining a successful result alone in an intersection accident case is tricky. You need an experienced car accident attorney to fight for you, prove what happened, and get you the most possible money.

Drivers Must Yield the Right-of-Way When the Law Requires

Intersection AccidentsMost intersections will have signage and traffic control, usually with rules for which car gets the right-of-way.

Either there will be a traffic light or a stop sign, and if there is a four-way stop sign, the driver that approaches the intersection first will have the right to go first. The other car must wait until the first driver enters the intersection.

Rules regarding yielding can be confusing to new drivers, but everyone should know when they must yield before they drive a vehicle unsupervised. Some people might fail to yield due to distraction, and others might simply disregard the rules because they are in a hurry and impatient. Either way, when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way properly to other drivers, they can be liable for resulting collisions.

Other Common Causes of Intersection Car Accidents

Inattention is one of the most common reasons for an intersection accident. Usually, one driver does not focus on the road because they may be lost in thoughts or even eating behind the wheel. The driver needs their full mind and eyes on the road, or they risk putting themselves and others in immediate danger.

Drivers often look down at their phones when approaching an intersection, and a car can travel hundreds of feet when the driver does not have their eyes on the road. Then, it takes several more seconds for the driver to refocus. By then, the driver may have veered into the middle of an intersection and the path of an oncoming car.

Distracted driving is increasing, both in the local area and throughout the country. Younger, inexperienced drivers are even more likely to be distracted behind the wheel and may have worse judgment, which causes them to make poor choices.

Other causes of intersection car accidents include:

  • One driver is speeding, and they misjudge the time they have to make it through the intersection.
  • The brakes are inadequately maintained, and the driver cannot stop quickly.
  • Roads are poorly signed, and a stop sign may not be visible (you can sue the government for maintaining the roads in unreasonable condition).
  • Traffic signals may be out.
  • A driver is reckless and intentionally runs a red light or stop sign.
  • A driver rolls through a stop sign.
  • Drunk drivers may not see a red light or a stop sign.

Left-Hand Turn Car Accidents

The most common type of intersection accident is when a driver is making a left-hand turn.

Two scenarios can cause an accident:

  • The driver makes an illegal left turn when they do not have the right-of-way.
  • The oncoming driver may not have the right to proceed, or they speed and strike the turning driver.

Either way, left-hand turn accidents are hazardous, especially for the driver who strikes the other car. That motorist will make an impact with the front of their vehicle and will experience a force that is similar to a head-on car collision. Any passengers in the struck car can also be seriously hurt.

T-Bone Crashes Are Extremely Dangerous

Another common type of intersection accident is a T-bone crash, also known as a broadside car accident. This type of crash occurs when one driver runs a stop sign or proceeds when they do not have the right-of-way.

Both drivers are in danger during a T-bone crash. One will experience similar effects to a head-on accident, while the other may be sitting at the point of impact.

T-bone crashes may be even more dangerous than a left-hand turn accident because of the possibility that a vehicle can strike the driver right where their door happens to be. Then, the vehicle can cause the car to collapse right where they are sitting.

T-bone accidents are relatively rare, making up only one out of every ten car crashes. However, nearly one in every four fatalities happens during T-bone crashes, which far outweighs the proportion of car crashes.

Injuries from T-Bone Crashes

Because of the force and angle of the crash, drivers and their passengers can also suffer serious injuries, including:

T-Bone crashes can result in significant medical expenses and other costs, whether they are financial or non-economic. You may suffer several injuries and can receive compensation for each one.

Rear-End Collisions at Stop Lights

Stop lights should regulate the flow of traffic and ensure safe driving conditions for all motorists. However, rear-end collisions at stop lights are unfortunately all too common, often because an oncoming driver was not paying attention to traffic or stop lights. These crashes can cause surprisingly serious injuries and often leave victims wondering how to proceed.

When your car is properly stopped at a red light, and someone slams into the back, it can violently jolt your vehicle and your body. Many people suffer whiplash, concussions, and other injuries from this type of collision.

With rear-end collisions at stop lights, the general rule is that the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is usually at fault. This is because drivers have a legal duty to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them and to be ready to stop if necessary. If a driver fails to stop in time and collides with the vehicle in front of them, they are typically negligent and liable for the accident.

Eyewitness testimony, video footage from traffic cameras or nearby surveillance cameras, and the damage to the vehicles involved can all help establish who is to blame. Always seek medical attention and then hire a car accident lawyer who can gather evidence to establish fault for your rear-end crash at a stop light.

Unique Challenges of an Intersection Car Accident

There are some particular challenges involved in an intersection accident case. As the claimant, you have the burden of proof to show that the other driver was negligent. When the accident occurs at a traffic signal, it may be easier to determine which driver caused it.

Witnesses may have seen the accident at a traffic signal, and camera footage might prove liability. A police officer can also figure out which driver ran the red light.

However, proving liability is not always that simple in an intersection accident claim.

Stop Sign Accidents Can Be Hard to Prove

Determining liability in stop sign accidents is more challenging, especially when nobody else sees them. Your most significant form of car accident proof is a witness who has no prior relationship with you because they are considered objective and unbiased. However, your crash may have occurred in a residential or isolated area with no witnesses.

Even without witnesses, you can still get a good settlement outcome. You need a lawyer with experience in car accident cases and can find other ways to prove your case.

One method your lawyer may use is working with an accident reconstruction expert. Some expert witnesses have a background in math and physics and can give a convincing opinion about which driver did not have the right-of-way. They can draw conclusions based on the damage to both cars, skid marks on the ground, and pictures from the accident scene.

What to Do After an Intersection Crash

You need to do several things after an intersection car accident, and the first and most important thing is to take care of your health.

Never delay medical care, nor should you fail to follow up with your doctor’s appointments. Waiting too long to get help can cost you a window of opportunity where treatment may help improve your condition. In addition, the insurance company will accuse you of failing to mitigate your damages.

You should also refrain from saying anything about the accident. Do not post anything about it on social media because insurance companies can use this information.

Never assume they do not have access to your social media posts; they can always obtain your posts in the discovery phase of any lawsuit. Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company, even if they try to speak to you. They are your adversaries, trying to elicit information they can use against you.

Finally, you should get a lawyer as soon as possible. You may even need to contact them from your hospital bed because the insurance company can try to speak to you there. When liability is in question, you have a minimal window to gather evidence that you can use to prove your side of the story. The longer you wait, the greater of a disadvantage you are facing.

Your Car Accident Attorney Will Need to Fight for Full Compensation

Auto Accident Attorney Fighting for Full CompensationYou may have difficulty getting total compensation in an intersection accident because your case can be more complicated, and the insurance company may try to find a way to blame you for what happened.

For example, if a vehicle struck you while traveling through an intersection, insurance companies may claim that you were speeding and the other driver could not avoid you. They may say that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, making your injuries worse than they otherwise might have been.

Your attorney will do many things when determining liability in your case. They may collect evidence to show that the other driver was to blame for the crash and must also defend you from any unfair allegations that your actions may have played a role in the accident.

How an Attorney Benefits Your Intersection Car Accident Case

Your attorney will work on your behalf immediately. Their first focus will be gathering evidence and protecting you from the other driver’s insurance company.

Once your car accident attorney has proof for your case, they will estimate your damages.

You must know how much your case is worth before you file a claim. Otherwise, insurance companies can take advantage of you.

Your attorney will file a claim or lawsuit containing proof of your case and documentation of your damages, and the insurance company will deny your claim or offer a settlement. More often, the insurance company chooses the latter option.

Still, there is a vast gulf between receiving a settlement offer and signing a settlement agreement, and much work must occur before you can receive a check for your injuries.

You will need to go through a negotiation process that lasts for many months, and you may even file a lawsuit before the insurance company finally pays you what you deserve.

You Do Not Have to Pay Out of Pocket for a Car Accident Lawyer

Matt Boatman Attorney for Car Accident

Matthew R. Boatman, Car Accident Lawyer

Car accident lawyers do not bill you while your case is pending. Your lawyer signs a representation agreement determining when and how much you must pay them. They only receive a percentage of your settlement or jury award if you win your claim.

You will not pay from your pocket. Therefore, money should never come between you and the aggressive attorney who will stand up on your behalf when the insurance company tries to do you wrong.

Seek your free case evaluation with a trusted personal injury lawyer near you today.