Drivers who run red lights are frequently at fault in the auto accidents they’re involved in, but not always. Failing to stop at a red light is dangerous and usually violates traffic laws. But many other factors can also contribute to the cause of a crash at a red light. It often takes a skilled lawyer’s careful research and analysis to pinpoint how a motor vehicle accident occurred and who should be held responsible.
In this article, we’ll review the legal and practical considerations that come in to play when determining whether a driver who’s run a red light was at fault for a crash. We’ll also look at how, with the help of experienced auto accident attorneys in Louisville red light accident victims can obtain compensation for their losses.
Kentucky’s traffic laws are covered by Chapter 189 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. Section 338 of that chapter states that all vehicles must stop at a red light, regardless of whether that light is steady or blinking or if the light is at an intersection or any other location on a road.
A violation of red light laws can result in a fine of anywhere from $20 to $100. Other penalties—including criminal sanctions—may apply if a driver runs a red light while engaging in other illegal conduct. This can include speeding or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the red light violation caused a crash resulting in serious bodily injury or death.
Most drivers do not intentionally run red lights. For example, distracted driving can frequently result in running a red light, such as when a driver looks away from the road to check a text message or talk to a passenger in the back seat. Speeding can result in accidentally running a red light since the time and distance needed to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop is reduced. Drivers may also decide to run red lights when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
However, not all instances of red light violations stem from driver errors. Other factors can also play a role. For instance, a malfunctioning traffic signal could fail to alert a driver of the need to stop. Slippery or unsafe road conditions could also prevent a driver from stopping, even when driving responsibly. A rear-end collision could push a vehicle through a red light and into an intersection.
A personal injury lawyer who represents car accident victims assesses crashes using two related concepts: fault and liability. Attorneys will seek to identify all factors that contributed to the accident and use this information to determine who or what was most likely at fault. They will then study the laws that govern holding the at-fault party (or parties) responsible (or liable) for a crash victim’s losses. Typically, someone who causes a crash through unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions will also have liability for it.
Running a red light usually qualifies as an unreasonably dangerous action that can make a driver liable for an accident. For that reason, police and insurance companies often presume that a red light runner was at fault for a crash and thus, owes damages to the victims. That presumption, however, is not set in stone. Sometimes, a driver who runs a red light and is then involved in an accident can show that some other factor is to blame for what occurred.
The most reliable way to determine and (when necessary) dispute fault for an accident is to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Experienced auto accident attorneys in Louisville routinely represent red light runners and crash victims and will help determine who is at fault and thus, who should be held liable for the accident.
If you or someone close to you has sustained injuries in an accident involving a red light runner, make sure to obtain a copy of the police accident report and save any documentation you receive from doctors, insurers, and others relating to the crash. Next, contact a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate the evidence and analyze the legal implications. The police and the insurance companies may assume the driver who ran the red light is at fault. Still, with a skilled lawyer’s help, you may discover that other parties share liability or that another driver was completely at fault.
Accidents involving red light violations can cause severe injuries and devastating losses. The driver who ran the red light will often be liable for injuries sustained by the crash victims. However, when the unique details of the accident are examined, it is certainly possible that other parties share liability.
If you or a loved one resides in Kentucky and have sustained injuries in an accident that involved one or more drivers running red lights, the Louisville auto accident attorneys at Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers can help you identify who was at fault. We offer free consultations and have years of experience fighting to secure compensation for injured crash victims like you. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.