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Who Is At Fault in an Intersection Accident?

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Damaged cars after a car accident crash involving a big rig semi truck with semi trailer at a city street crossroad intersection in wilkes-barreAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36% of car accidents occur at intersections. While there are various intersections a driver may encounter in their commute, laws regarding who is at the right of way will ultimately determine who is at fault in an intersection accident.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an intersection car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today. We help car accident victims seek compensation in Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia, and all across Pennsylvania.

Types of Intersections: Left Turn Accidents

Intersection accidents may occur at several intersections, specifically if one driver is making a left turn against oncoming traffic. These intersections include:

  • Traffic Light Intersections
  • Stop Sign Intersections
  • Uncontrolled Intersection
  • Uncontrolled T-Intersection

Traffic Light Intersection Accidents

When drivers approach a traffic light intersection, it is important to come to a full and complete stop if your light is red. Failing to stop at the red light can result in intersection accidents as drivers from opposite directions will be pulling through the intersection.

red light lawSo what happens if a driver is turning left on green and a driver in another lane is turning right into the same lane? In general, left turns yield to right turns unless the driver has a green arrow. In those cases, the driver turning left has the right of way.

If the driver makes a right turn on red colliding with a driver turning left on green, the driver turning right could be held liable for the intersection accident. But if the driver turning right is already in the intersection, the driver turning left would still be expected to yield as the car turning right will likely be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.

In other traffic light intersections, the lights may be flashing red or yellow lights.  In most cases, one direction will be blinking red, while the rest of the cross-traffic will blink yellow. Regardless of color–it means the same thing. Be cautious when entering the intersection and be mindful of traffic laws when the traffic lights cannot or do not dictate which driver has the right of way.

In the case of flashing light intersection accidents, if a driver runs through a red or yellow flashing light causing a car accident, they will be held at fault.

Stop Sign Intersection Accident

Whereas traffic light intersections control multiple directions, a stop sign intersection only applies to one direction and requires drivers who approach the intersection to be aware of who was at the intersection first to dictate the right of way. In addition, pedestrians should also be given privilege at intersections, which can make drivers unsure of who has the right of way once all pedestrians have crossed.

In the event of drivers arriving at the stop sign at the same time, the driver turning left is expected to yield to the driver turning right or going straight. If the driver turning left does not do so and an accident occurs, they may be held liable for the intersection accident. This is why calling the authorities and getting a copy of the police report is important when accidents occur. This can help determine who was at fault at the stop sign intersection accident.

Uncontrolled Intersection Accidents

Though not common in heavily trafficked areas, uncontrolled intersections are those with no light or stop signs dictating traffic flow. These are most common in residential and rural areas.

In an uncontrolled intersection accident, drivers do not have to stop but still have a responsibility to watch out for oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Whereas the driver turning right would sometimes be given the right of way at an intersection, this isn’t the case at uncontrolled intersections. Here, whoever approaches the intersection first has the right of way. But, if two drivers approach the intersection at the same time, the one making a left turn would yield to the other driver.

In these cases, having witness testimony is incredibly important because it can be difficult to prove fault as it will be your word against the other drivers.

Uncontrolled T-Intersection

Uncontrolled T-intersections are similar to uncontrolled intersections where there are no traffic lights or stop signs dictating traffic flow. However, in this situation, one road is ending and the driver will have to turn left or right into traffic.

In these intersections, the driver on the road that has ended will yield to all oncoming traffic and must be mindful of all other traffic, pedestrians, etc.

Common Accidents at Intersections

While there are a variety of intersection types where accidents may take place, the most common form of collision at intersections are rear-end collisions. This is because often in the case where the intersection is controlled by a traffic light, a driver may attempt to beat the yellow or red light and proceed through the intersection. However, the driver in front may decide to stop quickly, leading to a rear-end collision.

These cases can be difficult to prove fault as the drivers may technically have the green light. However, there are ways to prove who is at fault in an intersection accident.

How to Prove Who Is At Fault in an Intersection Accident

An experienced car accident attorney can help you prove who is at fault in an intersection accident. This is done by:

  • Utilizing evidence from the scene of the accident
  • Reviewing traffic camera footageDocumenting accident scene
  • Gathering witness testimony
  • Reconstructing the car accident

In cases where evidence is limited and there are not enough witnesses, your car accident attorney can utilize accident reconstruction experts to determine if the following aspects played into the accident:

  • Speed of either driver
  • Lack of turn signal usage
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving in hazardous weather conditions

In many cases, if you were the driver turning left at an intersection without the presence of a green arrow light, you will be deemed liable for the accident in the police report, unless obvious evidence is present to illustrate you were not at fault.

However, a car accident attorney can help you dispute this.

Injured In An Intersection Car Accident? Let Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Represent You.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident at an intersection in Northeast Pennsylvania or across the Commonwealth, the experienced car accident attorneys of Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are here for you.

At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for more than 60 years and we can do the same for you. With our legal team and an extensive list of medical and reconstruction professionals on staff, we can work with you to prove who is at fault in an intersection accident and bring you the justice you deserve.

Our car accident lawyers have helped victims recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts to cover damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

We know how complex intersection and left turn accidents can be to prove, this is why we work on a contingency fee basis so you do not have to worry about covering the cost of bringing in all expert testimony needed to secure your settlement. Instead, you pay nothing unless we win.

For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the Pennsylvania car accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today by calling 570-399-0406 or by connecting with us online.

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