Who Is at Fault in a Yellow Light Accident?
Drivers often do not adhere to the posted speed limits when approaching a yellow light, which can lead to car accidents. When a motorist drives through the yellow light change and an accident occurs, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for damages.
By law, drivers must slow down and come to a complete stop when they reach a yellow light. Find yourself in an accident caused by another driver running a yellow light? Our personal injury attorneys will work diligently to receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Chicago car accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
When you are driving and approaching a crossroad with a yellow traffic light, what is your next move? Like most people, you slow down and prepare to stop.
A Dangerous Scenario
Did you know that you may be considered responsible for damages if you are in an accident while approaching or in a yellow light situation? It may seem unfair, but the law is the law.
The red, yellow, and green light signal warns drivers of impending light changes at intersections. Unfortunately, many motorists identify a yellow on a signal light as the approval to beat the red light by speeding up and placing other traffic, motorists, and passengers at risk.
National Statistics on Yellow Light Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 10,000 yellow traffic signal collisions in the United States were reported in 2018. Almost 850 resulted in fatalities and over 8,000 injuries out of those collisions.
Many of these collisions involved:
- Making a right-hand turn
- Disregarding the right of way
- A driver turning left into oncoming traffic
- Failing to slow down to make a left turn
- Turning left without a green light
- A driver turning left in a restricted area
- Failing to treat blinking yellow and red lights as stop signs
- Making a left turn without proper warning
The driver who ran the red light most of the time is considered responsible for damages. In some cases, the other driver may be found at fault.
While this statistic is high, it represents only a small portion of the total number of car collisions that occur each year in the U.S.
Illinois Yellow Light Crash Data
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were approximately 3,700 yellow light crashes in Illinois in 2019. Out of those accidents, there were 28 fatalities and over 2,700 injuries.
While the number of crashes involving yellow lights is high, it pales compared to the number of vehicle accidents each year. In 2019, there were almost 294,000 automobile crashes in Illinois.
Factors That Determine Who Is at Fault in a Yellow Light Accident
Many factors are considered when determining who is at fault in a yellow light accident. These factors will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Several factors can determine who is at fault in a yellow light accident. These include:
- How fast the vehicle was moving through the intersection
- The distance from the crossroad when the motorist began to brake
- The posted speed limi t
- The congestion of oncoming traffic
- Whether a driver turning left had the right of way
- Whether the driver attempting to run a red traffic light stopped before the line
- The time of day
- Weather conditions
- Visibility of an oncoming vehicle before making a left-hand turn
Left Turn and Rear-End Accidents are Most Likely to Occur At Yellow Lights
According to the American Automobile Association Foundation (AAA), two specific types of auto collisions happen more often than others when motorists drive through yellow traffic lights, including:
- Left Turn Crashes: Any motorist attempting to make a left-hand turn is at risk of severe injuries or death when involved in a crash with oncoming traffic running through a yellow light.
- Rear-end Crashes: One significant scenario in a yellow light collision involves rear-ending the vehicle in front that's slowing down or coming to a complete stop to make a right turn during a yellow traffic light change.
How to Avoid Yellow Light Accidents
Daily life requires driving to our destinations, including work, school, shopping, or home. Nearly all of us share the road with other drivers, increasing the risk of yellow light traffic collisions.
All motorists should operate their vehicle defensively and treat yellow traffic lights to warn that the signal is about to change to a red stoplight. Slowing the vehicle down when the light turns yellow will typically provide sufficient time to maneuver and safely reach a complete stop.
Other tips to avoid a yellow light accident include:
- Not tailgating others to prevent rear-end accidents.
- Leaving a safe space between your car and the car in front of you
- Following right of way traffic laws
- Staying alert and focused while driving, knowing a green light will turn yellow
- Obeying the posted speed limit and yellow traffic signal
- Keeping your eyes on the road for traffic movement, oncoming traffic, and light changes
- Avoiding distractions while driving to prevent a car accident when other drivers come to a complete stop
- Slowing down when an oncoming vehicle is making a left-hand turn
If you are involved in a yellow light accident, it is important to seek legal assistance. A qualified car accident lawyer will be able to help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries Involved in Yellow Light Accidents
When you're driving, and the light turns yellow, does your first instinct tell you to speed up to make it through the light, or do you slow down? If you're like most people, you probably speed up.
Speeding through a yellow traffic light can lead to serious injuries in an accident. If you've ever been in a car accident, you know that it can be scary and traumatic.
Data shows that some collisions are worse than others. If you're involved in a crash where the other motorist ran a yellow light, you're likely to suffer more serious injuries than if the wreck happened at a red traffic light.
Many drivers suffer common injuries in a yellow light accident, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries: The forceful impact of a head-on collision or a T-bone crash can leave the victim with severe head injuries, including traumatic brain damage.
- Spinal cord injuries: A severe car accident can cause the spine to break or compress, leading to partial or full paralysis.
- Neck and back injuries: Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident when the head is suddenly jerked forward and backward. This action can lead to neck pain, headaches, and dizziness.
- Broken bones: Auto collisions often result in broken bones, especially in high-impact crashes.
- Internal bleeding: The force of a car accident can cause the victim's organs to rupture or bleed, which is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- Cuts and lacerations: Sharp objects inside the car, such as broken glass, can cause deep cuts and lacerations.
- Amputation: The crash impact can lead to dismemberment when a body part is severed from the rest of the body.
If you've been injured in a traffic light accident, seek medical treatment and legal assistance. A qualified car accident lawyer can help you file a claim for damages and get the compensation you deserve.
Determining Responsibility in a Yellow Light Accident
Have you ever been driving and had the light turn yellow as you approached the crossroad? You may have instinctively slowed down, but did you stop? If you didn't, you're not alone.
Many drivers don't realize that they're required to stop at a yellow traffic light unless they're already so close to the intersection that stopping would cause them to enter the crossroad illegally.
If two cars are both trying to enter the crossroad simultaneously and one of them doesn't stop, it's easy to determine who is at fault in an accident.
Data shows that most collisions at intersections happened when one motorist ran a light. In these cases, the motorist who didn't stop is usually considered at fault.
Accident Reconstruction Expert
In many cases where it might be unclear who caused the accident, our personal injury lawyers will hire an accident reconstruction expert who can use data from the crash scene and eyewitness testimony to determine who was at fault.
This evidence can be used in court to prove how the other motorist caused the crash. Our personal injury lawyers have a 98 percent success rate in getting our clients the compensation they deserve.
If you've been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers will evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options. We work on a contingency basis, so you don't pay us unless we win your case.
Settling a Case Involving Comparative Negligence
Any violation of traffic laws can ensure that each party's held responsible for their portion of how the accident occurred. In many cases, one or both parties failed to provide adequate time to avoid an accident or are guilty of not paying attention to changing conditions on the road.
In some cases, both parties are responsible under comparative negligence laws, meaning that each party shares the percentage of blame for the crash. It can complicate the legal process and make it more difficult to secure a settlement.
The Steps to Take After a Yellow Light Accident
Vehicle collisions can happen instantly, and often the results are catastrophic. If you find yourself in a car accident with injuries or property damage, it's important to protect yourself and your passengers.
These important steps could ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
- First, seek medical treatment for your injuries. It is important for your health and your personal injury claim. Get a detailed report from your doctor or hospital that documents your injuries and treatment.
- Second, contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Third, gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos of the damage to your car, eyewitness testimony, and data from the accident scene.
- Fourth, file a personal injury claim. It is usually done through the insurance company of the at-fault motorist. Your attorney can help you with this process.
- Fifth, negotiate a settlement. The insurance company will want to settle your claim out of court in most cases. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjuster to get you the best possible settlement.
Fatal Yellow Light Accident: Wrongful Death Benefits
Was your loved one killed in an accident? If so, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit if someone else caused the crash.
Qualifying family members eligible to file a lawsuit usually involves the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.
Speak with a car accident attorney at our law firm today to discuss the particulars of your case. We can work directly with the insurance company to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your damages.
Many wrongful death lawsuits involve another driver attempting to make an illegal maneuver, leading to the crash. Some of these contributing factors to fatal car accidents involving light changes include:
- Failing to give the right of way
- Another driver turning left unexpectedly into oncoming traffic
- Making an illegal left-hand turn
- Moving through the intersection or making a left turn without a green light
- A motorist who failed to warn drivers of their intention to turn
- A motorist turning right without signaling
- A driver turning left without yielding to other traffic
- Another motorist attempting to beat the red light
Our injury law firm can work to ensure that those who caused the crash are held responsible for your losses, damages, injuries, and pain. Our legal team will show how the other motorist was not paying attention, failed to provide adequate time to stop, or disobeyed the yellow signal when the crash occurred.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After a Yellow Light Accident
Contact our injury lawyers today if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until we resolve your case for maximum compensation for your property damage, injuries, and other losses.
We work with the injured victim, who must prove how the other party is at fault for causing the crash using the four elements of civil tort law, including:
- The party at fault for the accident had a duty to drive with caution
- The party at fault failed to use due care while driving
- The party at fault’s negligence caused the accident
- The injured party suffered damages as a result of the crash
After our law firm determines who is at fault in a yellow light accident, we will work directly with the other party’s insurance company to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Were you injured in a car accident due to someone’s negligence at a yellow signal? If so, the injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help.
Our law firm has represented many victims hurt in accidents involving negligence at stop signs, failing to give the right of way, or when drivers make a right-hand turn, run the red light, or make illegal turns.
Call us today at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review. We accept all claims on a case-by-case basis. We guarantee that you will owe our law firm nothing if we cannot secure financial compensation on your behalf.