If you've been injured in a collision with a driver who ran a red light or lost a loved one in this type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation. However, you’ll need to act quickly to protect your legal rights.
About Red Light Collisions
In urban areas, the majority of auto accidents are caused by drivers who run red lights, stop signs, and other types of traffic controls. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that injuries occur in 39 percent of these crashes. The most common offenders are young drivers, male drivers, and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Red light running is associated with an increase in T-bone collisions, which occur when the side of one vehicle is hit by the front of another vehicle. T-bone collisions are a type of traffic accident associated with a high risk of fatalities.
Right turn-on-red violations hold a high risk of danger for pedestrians and bicyclists. Past studies have shown that allowing right turns on red increases pedestrian and bicyclist collisions at intersections between 43 percent and 123 percent.
Preventing Red Right Collisions
Red light running is completely preventable. Over half of all adults admit to occasionally running a red light when they were in a hurry to arrive at their destination. Studies have suggested that a typical urban intersection has an average of one red light runner every 20 minutes, with peak traffic times showing the highest rate of red light running. However, this type of aggressive driving saves only a few seconds and risks your own life and the lives of others.
To reduce the risk of injuries from red light collisions, law enforcement officials have been working on improving driver education programs. Installing red light cameras has also been a popular tactic. Red light cameras automatically photograph vehicles that run red lights, allowing law enforcement to ticket anyone guilty of this offense. The hope is that financial penalties will encourage drivers to be more concerned about following the rules of the road and creating a safer environment for everyone.
Your Right to Compensation
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light, you’re entitled to compensation for damages you’ve suffered. This includes:
- Past medical expenses, including hospital stays and surgery
- Ongoing medical care related to your injuries such as physical therapy
- Lost wages while you were recovering and unable to work
- Loss of future earning potential—if you’ll be unable to work full time or need to seek a lower paying position due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering damages to financially reimburse you for the emotional trauma of the accident
If you’ve lost a family member in a fatal accident caused by a driver running a red light, you can file a wrongful death suit. This lets you seek reimbursement for:
- Medical expenses up to the time of death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the deceased’s earnings to support your family
- Pain and suffering damages to compensate you for the loss of companionship and affection
Seeking Legal Representation
While it’s possible to handle minor accident claims on your own, professional legal representation is a must in personal injury or wrongful death claims involving a driver who ran a red light.
Contingency fee arrangements are standard for both personal injury and wrongful death cases, which means that you can seek representation with no upfront expense. Your attorney will accept a predetermined percentage of the settlement as the fee for his services. If no settlement is awarded, there is no fee. The contingency fee percentage varies depending upon the complexity of the case and the amount of time the attorney expects to spend gathering the necessary documentation.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to advocating for the needs of Louisiana residents who've been harmed as the result of a driver running a red light. Schedule a free, no-obligation case review today.