Finding out who is liable for an accident at an intersection means determining who will pay for the losses associated with the crash. The signs and signals at an intersection can create additional questions about who caused the accident and whether they were negligent.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident at an intersection, contact an auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., today.
Types of Accidents at Intersections
Types of accidents that happen at intersections include:
- T-bone accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Head-on collisions, and
- Fender benders.
In some cases, the type of accident can give your attorney a starting point for determining who caused the crash.
Liability for Accidents at Intersections
Fault-based states like California allow injured victims to file a car accident lawsuit against the party who caused the collision to recover their losses. The tricky part is determining who caused the accident.
Determining who caused an accident at an intersection requires proving negligence. Proving negligence requires providing evidence of four distinct elements:
- Duty of care,
- Breach of duty,
- Causation, and
We outline these four elements in further detail below.
A driver owes a duty of care to everyone on the road to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. All drivers owe this duty of care.
A driver breaches their duty of care by failing to act in a reasonably safe manner. In other words, a driver breaches their duty when they fail to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. Ways a driver may breach their duty of care at an intersection include:
- Failing to obey posted traffic lights;
- Failing to stop at a stop sign;
- Hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk who has the right-of-way;
- Speeding through the intersection; or
- Failing to yield to other drivers at a four-way stop.
To prove causation, you must show the driver’s breach of duty caused the collision that led to your injury. You can do this by proving that your injuries would not have happened if the at-fault driver had not breached their duty of care.
Finally, you must prove you suffered harm from the at-fault driver’s breach. You cannot file a lawsuit if you did not incur any actual losses from the accident.
Dangerous Intersections in California
Los Angeles, California, is well-known for its extensive highways and bumper-to-bumper traffic jams. Along with the major interstates, side streets and intersections present their own unique dangers. MoneyGeek collected information on 13,851 intersection traffic collisions that resulted in injury or death between 2020 and 2022.
The five most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles sit in South Central LA, the area south of downtown from Interstate 10 to approximately Interstate 105. The most dangerous intersection, S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue, recorded nineteen eligible collisions over the two years. The following four intersections each recorded eighteen eligible collisions:
- W. Manchester Avenue and S. Normandie Avenue,
- Victory Boulevard and Lindley Avenue,
- W. Manchester Avenue and S. Vermont Avenue, and
- E. Manchester Avenue and Avalon Boulevard
Although these intersections see the highest volume of accidents, the problem exists throughout the city. Approximately 86 intersections saw more than ten eligible accidents over the two years.
In 2022, Axios collected data to determine which San Francisco intersection was the most dangerous. The intersection of 5th Street and Market saw the highest overall number of injury accidents, recording 146 since 2005.
What If Multiple Parties Share Responsibility for an Accident?
In some intersection accidents, multiple parties share responsibility for the collision. California allows parties to file a personal injury claim as long as they were less than 50% to blame for the collision. Once the plaintiff recovers, their award is reduced by their percentage of fault. This is referred to as modified comparative negligence.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Represent Me?
Hiring a car accident lawyer can give you a critical advantage in your case.
An experienced car accident attorney can assist by:
- Gathering evidence to prove the defendant’s negligence;
- Finding witnesses to testify about the accident;
- Requesting police reports;
- Locating any surveillance footage of the accident;
- Estimating the cost of your losses; and
- Preparing your case to go to trial, if necessary.
We can also negotiate with the insurance company to ensure your settlement fully compensates you for your losses.
The insurance company might contact you right away to give you a settlement offer before you can reasonably estimate the total value of your losses. Insurance adjusters use these predatory tactics to convince victims to settle their cases for as little money as possible. The insurance company maximizes its profits when it settles car accident claims for as little as possible.
Do not let an insurance company pressure you into a settlement offer before speaking to a qualified personal injury lawyer. Speak to a lawyer to help you compile the extent of your losses and determine whether a settlement offer is fair.
Your personal injury attorney will handle any communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company and attorney to help ensure you receive an offer that compensates you for your losses.
Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident at an Intersection in California? Talk to a Lawyer at Our Firm to Find Out
Our team at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., knows what it takes to recover compensation for clients injured in car accidents. Ali Yousefi prides himself on offering high-quality legal services to clients throughout California. Ali’s prowess is proven by an impressive 9.4 rating by AVVO, his selection to Super Lawyers, his inclusion in the “Top 10 Under 40” list by the National Academy, and his recognition as one of the 10 Best Attorneys in California by The American Institute.A car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., will keep you updated through each step of the legal process and answer your questions along the way. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can recover a settlement to reimburse you for the losses you sustained in the accident. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.