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Liability for Collisions in Intersections

Auto collisions can happen anywhere—on rural roads, urban areas, small residential streets, busy freeways, and under other circumstances. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),[1] as many as 40 percent of traffic-related accidents occur in or near an intersection of at least two roadways. A lot is simultaneously happening in many intersection, including cars passing straight through the intersection, cars making left or right turns onto different roads, cars stopped at traffic signals, cars merging into other lanes, pedestrians crossing in crosswalks, and more. Because of this frenzy of activity that is common in many intersections, it is not surprising that this is a prime location for collisions.

Intersection accidents may be complicated, however, and may involve different parties who may be at fault or who deny fault. This makes it challenging for many injured victims of intersection accidents to adequately identify and prove negligence so that they can recover for their injuries. Fortunately, an experienced Clearwater auto accident can help you by investigating the accident, identifying any negligent parties, and representing you throughout the legal process so that you can fully recover.

Negligence is common in intersection accidents

Collisions in the intersection can occur for many different reasons, however, a primary cause is that one or more drivers failed to pay sufficient attention to what was happening around them. All drivers have the legal responsibility to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe way, which includes keeping an awareness of the other vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians on the road around them. For this reason, when a driver simply claims they did not see you, they were likely distracted and not upholding their legal duty to pay attention. This is especially the case in the past few years during which a stoplight became the perfect opportunity to read or write a text message, check email, or perform other activities on a handheld mobile device. Even though a driver is stopped, their focus is removed from the road and they can negligently lose sight of their surroundings and cause an accident once they start moving again.

In addition to distracted driving, the following are more examples of common reasons for collisions in intersections:

  • Not yielding in accordance with traffic laws,[2] particularly to pedestrians or bicyclists
  • Making unexpected U-turns or other unlawful maneuvers
  • Turning without first checking to see if there is oncoming traffic or with an obstructed view
  • Making false assumptions regarding the impending actions of other drivers
  • Failing to properly signal if they are changing lanes or turning
  • Speeding or lane changes that make it difficult for a turning car to judge when it is safe to proceed
  • Violating traffic lights and signals

Drivers are not the only ones who can be negligent and cause intersections accident, however. For instance, if the department of transportation or other government entity negligently programs traffic signals incorrectly or fails to repair a faulty signal, collisions can easily occur. Furthermore, if the brakes suddenly fail on a vehicle or a driver experiences another malfunction, they may not be able to stop at the intersection and the negligent manufacturer would be liable for any resulting accidents and injuries.

Intersection injuries can be serious

The injuries victims sustain in intersection accidents can be particularly serious because of the types of collisions that often occur. For example, if one car runs a red light, it is likely that a broadside collision will result. In a broadside, the front of one car crashes directly into the side of another car, often where a driver or passenger is sitting. With only the door to protect them, the chances are that the occupant will suffer severe or even catastrophic injuries. That is, of course, only one example of why intersection collisions can be so dangerous.

Discuss your situation with a Clearwater auto accident attorney as soon as possible

Determining fault in intersection accidents can be complicated and confusing though an experienced auto accident lawyer from the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida can help you hold any negligent parties liable for your losses. If you have suffered injuries in an accident, call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



[1] https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811366.pdf
[2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.123.html