Collisions at intersections can cause severe injuries. Here are 10 common causes of intersection car crashes that can justify claims for financial compensation in California.
California crashes at intersections account for approximately 40 percent of all California car accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While these accidents can result from many different causes, there are 10 causes of intersection California car crashes that account for the majority of all serious and fatal accidents.
In many cases, these causes will entitle injured drivers and passengers to just compensation. This article covers 10 of the most-common causes of intersection car crashes—and what to do if you have been injured in a collision at an intersection.
When Can You Seek Compensation for a Car Crash at an Intersection in California?
If you’ve been injured in a collision at an intersection, are you entitled to financial compensation? Here are 10 common causes of intersection California car crashes that can justify claims against auto insurance companies and other “third parties”:
1. Running a Red Light
Running a red light is extremely dangerous for obvious reasons. If you got hit by a driver who ran a red light—whether intentionally or unintentionally—you will likely have a claim under his or her auto insurance policy.
2. Trying to “Beat” a Yellow Light
Rather than slowing down and preparing to stop, some drivers will speed up in order to try to “beat” a yellow light. But, instead, they end up running a red light, and they often do so with devastating consequences.
3. Running a Stop Sign
Running a stop sign is just as dangerous as running a red light. When an intersection is controlled by a stop sign, drivers who approach the sign must come to a complete stop and carefully check traffic from all directions before proceeding through the intersection.
4. Ignoring the Rules for Four-Way Stops
All drivers should know the basic rules for four-way stops: The first to arrive is the first to go, and ties go to the vehicle farthest to the right. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t know these rules, and many other drivers simply ignore them. If you were hit at a four-way stop when you had the right of way, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
5. Rear-Ending a Slowing or Stopped Vehicle
If you got rear-ended while slowing down or stopped at an intersection, the driver who rear-ended you will most likely be liable for your repair bills, medical bills, and other accident-related costs. All drivers should exercise caution and pay careful attention at intersections, and they should be prepared to stop when vehicles in front of them slow down.
6. Turning Without the Right of Way
Turning left or right in front of oncoming traffic is also extremely dangerous, and these mistakes account for some of the most-serious intersection collisions. Even if you T-boned or rear-ended another driver, if that driver pulled in front of you unexpectedly, you should still have a claim for compensation.
7. Stop Light Malfunctions or Improper Timing
Stoplight malfunctions and improper timing are common causes of intersection California car crashes that don’t necessarily involve driver mistakes. If everyone was doing the right thing and an accident still happened, then the state or local road authority that is responsible for the intersection may be liable.
8. Poor Intersection Design
Poor intersection design is a factor in some crashes as well. If a turn lane is too short, if lanes are not clearly marked, or if it is not clear who should have the right of way, these are also factors that can give rise to claims against state and local road authorities.
9. Visual Obstructions
Visual obstructions are causes of intersection car crashes that can potentially point to liability for multiple parties. If a road authority or property owner failed to clear brush or other visual obstructions, then it could be deemed at fault (or at least partially at fault) for the collision. If another driver entered the intersection despite not being able to see, that driver could share responsibility as well.
10. Brake Failures and Other Vehicle Defects
In some cases, brake failures and other vehicle defects can also be to blame for intersection collisions. If another driver tried to stop and was unable to do so (or if you tried to stop and were unable to do so), you could have a claim against a brake or vehicle manufacturer. Tail light defects, airbag defects, seatbelt defects, and various other issues can also give rise to claims against manufacturers.
What Should You Do After a Car Crash at an Intersection in California?
So, those are 10 of the most-common causes of intersection car crashes. Now, what should you do if you were injured in an accident at an intersection that involved one of these (or any other) factors?
Hopefully, someone called 911 from the scene of the accident, and hopefully, you were able to obtain the other driver’s insurance information. If not, you should contact the local police department promptly (or hire a lawyer to call the police for you). You will need to find out if there is an official record of the accident; and, if there is not, you will want to file a report promptly.
You may also need to report the accident to your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV). Some states require this, and some do not.
After any type of California car accident, your first priority should be to seek treatment for your injuries. Your next priority should be to contact an attorney through CarAccidentSource.com. Your attorney will be able to deal with the police and insurance companies for you, help you avoid potentially-costly mistakes, and work to recover just compensation on your behalf.