An intersection can be a dangerous place for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. When multiple vehicles pass through intersections going in opposite directions or making right or left turns, drivers not actively paying attention to other road users can cause serious, potentially fatal crashes.
When it comes to crashes at intersections, assessing fault will depend on who had the legal right of way, as well as other unique factors that caused or contributed to the car crash. Below, we discuss fault for a crash in a Louisiana intersection in greater detail and what it takes to prove negligence in these cases.
If you have been injured by a careless driver, a Lafayette-based auto accident attorney is ready to review your situation and explain the options available to you during a risk-free, no-obligation consultation.
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What Are Common Causes of Intersection Crashes?
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 50 percent of car crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities occur at or near intersections. Driver error and negligence are commonly cited as factors in intersection crashes. Errors drivers may make when navigating intersections include:
- Following others too closely
- Improperly changing lanes
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Making improper turns
- Disobeying traffic lights and signs
- Unsafely passing or merging
- Executing an illegal U-turn
- Misjudging the speed of oncoming vehicles
When drivers are in a rush or driving aggressively, they may run a red light or fail to yield intentionally at an intersection to get ahead of other traffic. This can lead to serious, if not fatal, car crashes.
Another common cause of intersection-related crashes is distracted driving. A driver who is texting and not fully paying attention to the road can put others at risk at intersections.
Who is at Fault for a Car Crash at an Intersection?
Drivers who chose to disregard the safety of other road users could be liable for any harm they cause.
Assessing fault for a car crash at an intersection will generally come down to determining who had the right of way and taking into consideration other unique factors that caused or contributed to the crash.
The state of Louisiana has clearly established right of way laws to help drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists avoid crashes. These laws dictate when one driver can go and when other road users must yield. If a driver fails to yield the right of way and a car crash happens, he or she could be found at fault.
For instance, a driver making a left turn or a U-turn at an intersection is required to yield to other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction. Otherwise, he or she may be held liable in a crash.
Louisiana is a fault state, which means that the party responsible for causing the car crash is also responsible for paying the damages of all other parties involved. If the at-fault party denies responsibility, the crash victim could take legal action against the at-fault party and his or her insurer.
The statute of limitations in Louisiana for personal injury cases, including car crashes, is one year from the date of the incident. A year may seem like enough time, but it takes considerable time and resources to investigate a crash and gather evidence to build a strong case for compensation.
That is why it is important to act quickly when it comes to pursuing compensation and why you should consider having a lawyer on your side to fight for your rights and guide you through the legal process.
How Do You Prove the Other Driver Was Negligent?
Proving negligence in a car crash can be challenging without strong, supportive evidence. A crash victim must first establish that the other driver had a duty of care. As it relates to car crashes, every driver has a responsibility to ensure that their driving does not endanger the lives of others sharing the road.
A crash victim must then establish that the other driver breached this duty of care in some way. For instance, a driver who was speeding and ran the red light at the intersection disregarded his or her duty to drive safely. The crash victim must also establish that the other driver’s actions or inaction directly resulted in the crash that harmed the victim. This element of negligence is the most difficult to prove.
Lastly, the crash victim must have suffered injuries and damages that could be remedied by a monetary settlement. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A lawyer can conduct a detailed investigation with the help of an accident reconstruction expert and other experts to determine whether the other driver’s actions were negligent or not.
Years of Experience Fighting for Victims. Call Today
If you have been injured in a car crash due to negligence, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced lawyer at our firm today. Crash victims who decide to seek legal representation often recover more compensation than those who decide to handle the insurance company on their own.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we have many years of experience and a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation on our clients’ behalf. We are ready to seek the maximum compensation for you.
Contact us today to get started. The initial consultation is free of charge so there is no risk to you. There are also zero upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation.
Call (337) 984-8020 for a Free Case Review.