More Common Questions About Accidents Caused By Red Light Running


July 30, 2014

This is Part II of our two-part blog post on intersection accidents that occur because a driver runs a red light. We invite you to read Part I for answers to more questions. If you have questions about your unique situation, we invite you to speak to a Georgia personal injury attorney at Montlick and Associates.

Does running a red light pose a particularly serious risk to bicyclists and pedestrians?

Research conducted after states began adopting right turn on red laws revealed that this change caused the volume of red light collisions to increase significantly. A study conducted involving four states that legalized right turns on red found that these crashes disproportionately involved bicyclists and pedestrians. Further, over 90 percent of the crashes that involved pedestrians and bicyclists resulted in injury.

Are red light cameras an effective countermeasure to prevent red light violations and intersection collisions?

In studies conducted by the IIHS, drivers committed red light violations after installation of red light cameras at about forty percent of the rate such violations were committed prior to installation of the cameras. The study also revealed that the impact of the cameras being installed at some intersections also had a carryover effect at intersections without the cameras.

Predictably, improvements in red light violations were accompanied by fewer red light running accidents and fatalities. A 2011 IIHS study that compared states with red light cameras to states without camera revealed that the presence of cameras decreased red light running crashes by 24 percent and all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 17 percent.

Will a driver who runs a red light and hits my vehicle be financially responsible for my vehicle damage, physical injuries and other forms of loss?

When a driver runs a red light, this conduct would be regarded as a negligent driving practice. However, the issue of determining liability for a collision can be complicated. The red light violation must be a substantial factor in causing the crash. In some cases, both drivers might engage in negligent conduct that contributes to the intersection accident. If both drivers are at-fault, the recovery of the plaintiff will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. Because Georgia is a modified comparative fault jurisdiction, the plaintiff would only be barred from recovery if the plaintiff's degree of fault is fifty percent or more.

What damages are recoverable in a personal injury claim or lawsuit arising out of a red light intersection crash?

There are three categories of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury accidents: (1) general damages, (2) special damages and (3) punitive damages.

General Damages: These are non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and loss enjoyment of life. Because these damages are more difficult to quantify, persuasive advocacy can make an enormous difference in the amount of general damages awarded.

Special Damages: These are economic out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement cost and diminished future earning capacity.

Punitive Damages: This form of damages is not intended to compensate the victim. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish particularly egregious conduct and deter such conduct in the future.

If you or a family member has been injured in by a driver who blows through a traffic signal, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

Our lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

 

Sources:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Red Light Running (March 2014).

Retting, R.A.; Williams, A.F.; Farmer, C.M.; and Feldman, A.F. 1999. Evaluation of red light camera enforcement in Fairfax, Va., USA. ITE Journal 69:30-4.

Hill, S.E. and Lindly, J.K. 2003. Red light running prediction and analysis. UTCA Report no. 02112. Tuscaloosa, AL: University Transportation Center for Alabama.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 2014. 2013 traffic safety culture index. Washington, DC.

Zador, P.L. 1984. Right-turn-on-red laws and motor vehicle crashes: a review of the literature. Accident Analysis and Prevention 16(4):241-5.

Preusser, D.F.; Leaf, W.A.; DeBartolo, K.B.; and Blomberg, R.D. 1981. The effects of right-turn-on-red on pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, Report no. DOT HS-806-182. Darien, Connecticut: Dunlap & Associates, Inc.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 1995. The safety impact of right turn on red: report to Congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation.

Category: Montlick Law

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.