Red Light Runners – Are They Always Liable if a Crash Occurs?

stock image of a red traffic light against a blue skyWhen red light runners ignore traffic signals, they put others in harm’s way unnecessarily just to shave off a few minutes in their commute. Despite this reckless driving behavior, if red light running leads to a crash, are these drivers always liable?

It is an interesting question, one which our attorneys at Roden Law discuss below. We also talk about why some people ignore traffic signals and how you can avoid being a victim of a red-light crash.

Injured by the negligence of another driver? If so, we strongly recommend seeking legal help right away. Our experienced car crash attorneys in Savannah help victims injured by negligent drivers every day, and we are prepared to help you seek the full and fair compensation you deserve. There are no upfront costs or fees if we represent you.

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Are Red Light Runners Automatically At Fault If a Crash Occurs?

Most of the time, if red light running leads to a crash, that individual will likely be the liable party. However, under the law, fault cannot be assumed. The victim will still need to prove that driver was negligent and how his or her actions caused the crash.

How Is Fault Determined for a Red-Light Crash?

Like any other traffic incident, there will be a thorough crash scene investigation. Responding officers will take statements from all drivers involved, as well as any witnesses who observed the crash. Any available surveillance footage, such as from a traffic cam or dash cam, could also prove useful in determining fault. Where things can get tricky is if both drivers claim to have had a green light. The red-light runner might also try to say the light was still yellow.

Is the Red Light Runner Always To Blame?

The victim is not likely to be fully liable for a crash caused by a red light runner. However, an injured victim could share some liability for a red-light crash. In cases of shared fault, the degree of responsibility is typically determined by the court or through negotiations. The victim’s compensation might be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For instance, if the victim is found to be 20 percent at fault, they can still seek compensation. However, the amount of compensation awarded would be reduced by that same 20 percent.

How Can Victims Share Fault for a Red-Light Crash?

Victims could share fault for a red-light crash if their actions contributed to the accident. Shared fault means that both parties involved in the crash hold some responsibility for the incident.

Here are some ways victims might share fault:

Speeding Drivers

Drivers speeding through the intersection may share some of the blame. Even if you have the right-of-way, you are still required to do what you can to avoid a crash.

Distracted Drivers

Drivers who engage in distracted driving behaviors, like texting, will likely share at least some fault for the crash. In that situation, if a driver was paying attention, he or she should have seen the other driver blow through the light in time to brake.

Failing to Yield

In some cases, the victim may share fault, such as by jumping the green light and failing to yield the right of way.

Drivers Impaired by Alcohol or Fatigue

Getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol, fatigue or other substances can slow your reaction time. A driver in that condition could easily “not see” their own traffic light was still red. Impaired drivers may also try to speed through without looking for other vehicles in the intersection.

Should I Hire an Attorney for a Crash Involving a Red Light Runner?

Hiring an attorney following a car crash can help provide peace of mind, especially while you are still recovering from your injuries. Experienced injury lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the law, which also increases the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Having a lawyer represent your case means you have someone protecting your legal and financial interests. They can dispute on your behalf to ensure you are not assessed with more than your share of fault. In North Carolina, this could be the difference between having a case or being stuck paying for all your damages.

Call Roden Law for Legal Help After a Savannah Car Crash

If you were injured because a red-light runner crashed into your vehicle, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical costs and other losses.

Not sure if you have a case? Like most injury lawyers, we offer a completely free initial consultation. If we represent you, we help to level the legal playing field because we accept car crash cases on contingency. This means you pay us nothing up front. We only get paid if you do.

Call to discuss your situation 24/7. We are here to help you. 1-844-RESULTS