People who harm others because of a careless or reckless disregard for a traffic signal should be held accountable for their actions.
Stuart Attorneys Guiding Car Crash Victims
Traffic signals, such as red lights and turning signals, are designed to control the flow of traffic so that motorists can travel safely. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to run a red light or disregard a turning signal. When this happens, others on the road are put in danger. Serious injuries and even death may result from a driver’s reckless traffic signal violation. If you or a member of your family has been hurt because of a motorist who ran a red light or otherwise acted carelessly at an intersection, you may be able to recover significant damages to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston can assist you.
Establishing Negligence After an Accident Caused by a Traffic Signal Violation
In a lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing that the defendant was negligent in causing their injuries or the tragic death of a loved one. The plaintiff must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, which essentially means that the defendant was more likely than not responsible for the crash.
A negligence claim has four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In order to prove that the defendant breached a legal duty of care, the plaintiff may point to the duty of everyone on the road to drive safely and show a violation of a traffic rule or another careless action that fell short of this duty. In general, a breach may be established when a driver does not use the precautions that a reasonable person would have used.
For example, a driver who is approaching an intersection has a duty to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to obey the traffic signal at the intersection, since this is what a reasonable person would do. If a motorist fails to do this and runs a red light, they have breached the duty of care that was owed. A traffic violation may result in a police report and possibly in a ticket or criminal charges. Information from the police report or any criminal proceedings may be used as evidence that the defendant breached a duty that was owed to the plaintiff, even if the defendant was not convicted of a crime. In addition to showing that the defendant acted carelessly, the plaintiff would need to show that they likely would not have been hurt had the defendant obeyed the signal.