Who Is Liable For An Accident In A Dangerous Intersection?

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When a driver gets behind the wheel of a car it is normal to expect some inherent dangers. There is no way to safeguard against unpredictable vehicle problems or the behavior of other drivers and pedestrians. Drivers expect the roadways to be safely designed and properly maintained by local government, but more often than expected roadways present serious dangers. Intersections in particular, tend to present a range of dangers such as a lack of traffic lights, uneven or unmarked pavement, sharp curves, improper drainage, insufficient signage, complex design, overgrown or ill-placed foliage, and obscure signs.

Dangers and Liability in an Intersection Accident

The Federal Highway Administration studied intersection safety on a national, state, and local level finding that of the approximately 2 million intersection related crashes occur annually which is 40 percent of all reported crashes. This means that according to data compiled in the last year of the testing period, intersection accidents represent a disproportionate amount of the total yearly crashes and as such account for nearly 8,000 fatalities and 800,000 injuries.1 One of the largest dangers created by intersection accidents is the likelihood for the more risky types of crashes. The small surface area, operational function, and basic nature of intersections make side impacts very likely to occur.2 Due to the little amount of vehicle protective structure, side impacts tend to have higher rates for serious injuries and deaths.3 The type of crash can affect the determination of liability in an intersection accident. For instance, drivers who fail to stop at red lights, drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, excessively speed, or do not follow other laws will be held liable in the same manner regardless of accident location. Sometimes accidents are less related to driver behavior, but more about official government entity’s failure to ensure safe intersections. If the local government responsible for the intersection failed to install a traffic light or guardrails, constructed inadequate shoulders, placed poles or objects too close to the road impairing visibility, allowed for improper landscaping that created overhanging trees or high shrubs, fading centerlines, no reflective road markers, unsafe crossing for pedestrians, no warning signs, complicated merging or turn lanes, or any other obstruction or negligent maintence that poses increased risk for intersection accidents. Therefore, no matter if an intersection is dangerous due to poor maintence, flawed design, or failure to correct a known issue, proper documentation of the accident and the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney can help to seek fair compensation.

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an auto accident, because of a dangerous intersection it is important to discuss the circumstances of the crash with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.

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If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.

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References:

  1. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/resources/fhwasa10005/brief_2.cfm
  2. http://www.saferoads.org/intersection-safety
  3. Ibid.