More than half of all car accidents occur at or near intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Most of those intersection accidents are caused by negligent drivers who fail to stop for red lights or stop signs. A 2019 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that:
- The number of fatalities caused by drivers running stoplights increased by almost 30% between 2012 and 2017.
- Almost 1,000 people died in such accidents in 2017 alone.
- Approximately half of those victims were occupants of other cars struck by negligent red light or stop sign runners.
If you're involved in one of these two types of crashes, our Maple Grove car accident doctor has the experience and expertise to help treat your injuries.
Reasons Drivers Run Stop Signs and Red Lights
Although traffic lights and stop signs are intended to increase traffic safety, many drivers fail to obey them for a variety of reasons:
- A motorist on an unfamiliar road is not aware of a stop light or sign until it’s too close to stop in time.
- A driver is speeding when a traffic light turns yellow and is unable to stop in time, so they just power through the intersection even if the light has turned red.
- A motorist making a left turn after a light has changed to red is hit by an oncoming vehicle.
- A wet or icy surface causes a car to slide into the intersection when the driver brakes too suddenly.
- A driver late for work or an appointment is too impatient to wait for the light to change.
- A driver disobeys a “no turn on red” sign.
- A motorist is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- A driver doesn’t notice a red light or stop sign in time to stop because of distractions such as eating, drinking, or talking on the phone.
Injuries Sustained in Red Light and Stop Sign Crashes
When heavy vehicles traveling at high speeds collide in red light or stop sign wrecks, the resulting injuries can be severe and require immediate medical treatment from an experienced Maple Grove car accident doctor:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Fractured, broken, and crushed bones
- Lacerations and scarring
- Spinal cord damage/paralysis
- Concussions/traumatic brain injuries
Even if you feel that you don’t have any serious injury after a crash, it’s very important to see an experienced Maple Grove car accident doctor right away. Some injuries do not surface immediately and can be detected only by a doctor’s exam. Getting documentation of your injuries immediately after the wreck will also strengthen your insurance claim.
Using No-Fault Insurance Coverage
Because Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state, you may file a claim with your own insurance company for your damages if you’re injured (or a loved one is killed) in a red light or stop sign accident:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Pain and suffering
There is no guarantee, however, that your insurance company will simply pay that claim. If your property damage is major and your injuries serious enough to result in high medical bills and extensive time off work, the insurance adjusters are likely to dispute, devalue, or deny your claim in order to save money for the company. In such a case, it’s vital to have a car accident attorney in your corner to:
- Carefully examine the police report of your accident
- Hire an independent investigator if there are any inaccuracies in the report
- Bring in expert witnesses and/or an accident reconstruction specialist
- Interview any witnesses
- Obtain video footage from nearby security or red light cameras
- Organize your medical evidence and present it convincingly
- Connect with your doctors to understand your long-term medical needs and prognosis
- Put a dollar amount on your pain and suffering
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Fight for you in court if your case should go to trial
Due to contributory negligence laws in Minnesota, even if you are found partially responsible for your own accident, you can still file a claim and collect compensation for your damages. Your award will simply be reduced according to your percentage of fault as long as you are not more than 50% to blame for the crash. The insurance company’s lawyers know this and will do their best to show that you were more than half responsible if your case should go to trial. Because the calculation of the percentage of fault is a very subjective process, having an attorney present your evidence convincingly at trial can make the difference between getting fair compensation and getting nothing.
Have You Been Injured in a Red Light or Stop Sign Crash in the Twin Cities? Our Maple Grove Car Accident Doctor Can Help
Don't let your injuries worsen after being involved in a red light or stop sign car crash? Contact us online or call (763) 251-PAIN to schedule a free consultation with our Maple Grove car accident doctor. If you're injuries fall outside the scope of what we can treat, our FREE referral service will put you in touch with another car accident doctor in the Twin Cities who can.