You are sitting at a stoplight, patiently waiting for the light to turn green, when suddenly your vehicle is hit by another car. The damage to your vehicle becomes the least of your worries as you realize that you and your passengers may have serious injuries to deal with.
The resulting injuries can result in time lost from work and mounting medical bills. A split-second car accident can result in your finances quickly spiraling out of control. Fortunately, in many cases, there are legal options that can help you in such a situation.
Injuries That Can Occur When Hit at a Stoplight
When you are hit by a car at a stoplight, there are a number of injuries one may incur. The severity of the injuries often depends on the speed at which the car that hit you was traveling.
Some injuries that are common in such a car accident include neck injury and back injury. In more severe cases, more serious injuries can occur such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, and internal injuries.
Psychological injuries are also possible when being hit by a car at a stoplight. Although psychological injuries are not physical in nature, they can be as serious as any physical injury you may endure.
When a car is hit while parked at a stoplight, there are a number of things that can happen. The car can be hit head on, from the side, or rear-ended. The most common way a car is hit at a stoplight is to be rear-ended.
No matter what the nature of the accident, if you are properly parked at the stoplight and are hit by another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle is almost surely at fault.
There are a couple of things that you have to do when your car gets rear ended at a stoplight. The first thing is to check if you or any passengers have any injuries. You should seek medical attention for any injuries suffered. You then should call the police and report the accident.
If your car gets rear ended at a stoplight, make sure to take pictures and document the accident. You should then get information from the other driver and then ask the police officer for the accident report. Notify the insurance company of this accident as soon as you get home.
Filling a Claim After Being Hit By a Car at a Stoplight
If you are hit by a car at a stoplight, you will need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. This means getting the driver’s contact information as well as his or her insurance information. If you are unable to do this at the time of the accident due to injuries you may have incurred, an officer at the scene will likely have the information ready for you.
You will need to contact the driver’s insurance company to report the accident and file a claim. It will be important that you prove fault, although this is not hard to do when you were hit at a stoplight. Still, you may want to retain the services of an attorney, as it is not in the insurance company’s best interests to pay you as much as you are entitled to.
An attorney will ensure the claim is properly filed with the insurance company and that you are given the damages you are entitled to including:
- Damages for repair of your vehicle
- Damages for medical bills
- Damages for lost wages
- Damages for any pain and suffering you may have incurred
Examples of Accidents at a Stoplight
If you are sitting a stoplight when another car hits you, you may suffer property damages to your vehicle as well as injuries. There are many causes for such accidents, but almost always the other driver is to blame for your damages. In such cases, you will want to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver so you can recover compensation for the damages that you suffered.
There are a few ways that a car could hit you at a stoplight. You may be stopped for a red light when a car hits you from behind. That driver may be speeding, following too closely, or driving while distracted.
The driver could be operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You could be hit at a stoplight because a driver ignores the red light, drives through and crashes into you.
Stoplights are the site for rear-end collisions and T-bone crashes as well as a variety of other accidents. Chain reaction crashes can occur because of the proximity of vehicles and because of how traffic may back up at intersections. Crashes at a stoplight can lead to serious damages and result in various injuries, some of which are life-altering.
Liability at a Stop Light
You will want to hold the liable driver responsible for your damages. To prove liability, you must show how all four elements of negligence come into play with your crash. The four elements of negligence include showing that the other party has a duty, that the duty was breached, that the duty caused an accident, and that the accident caused by the breach of duty led to the damages that you suffered in the crash.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you build a claim around negligence, so you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for the damages that they caused when they hit you at a stoplight. Of course, the laws surrounding personal injury claims vary from one state to the next, so you want a lawyer who is licensed to practice in your state so he or she is familiar with the state laws and can represent you in court should your claim advance to that level.
Negligence in a Rear End Accident
There is not one answer that to determine who will be paying the damages from a rear end accident. The process is complicated and varies from state to state. It is also dependent on who is at fault during the accident.
It is quite possible that both drivers were at fault for the accident. Most states use systems of negligence that will take into account how much each party contributed to the scenario that caused the accident. The percentage that you contributed to the accident will directly affect how much you are rewarded or required to pay.
The most common ways that a state will determine the amount of damages that are required is comparative negligence. This looks at the actions of both cars involved and assigns a percentage of blame. For example, if the first car is found to be 25% negligent in the accident, the second driver would only be liable to pay 75% of the damages incurred. This is known as pure comparative negligence.
Another form of comparative negligence looks at who was most at fault in the accident. This is similar to pure comparative negligence because the contributions of both parties are taken into consideration. However, in modified comparative negligence if one party is found to be more at fault, then the would be liable to pay all of the damages.
The last for of negligence is contributory negligence. This is not as common, but there are still some states where it is practiced. In a state that used contributory negligence, if the car that was hit is found to have contributed to any part of the accident, they will not be eligible to receive any damages.
Navigating the different forms of contributory negligence can be difficult which is why it is important to have an expert on your side to help determine the negligence laws in your state and gather evidence for your case.
Proving Fault When Hit at a Stoplight
If you have been hit at a stoplight, you will need to prove fault or liability. You must prove fault to have a successful personal injury claim against the other driver. You should always call the police.
The responding officer will investigate the crash and determine liability, and often preliminary fault will be indicated in your accident report. Your accident report will serve as the foundation of your personal injury claim against the other driver.
If you are physically able to do so, get photos of the accident scene. Get pictures from all different angles and get photos of the damages. You should also get photos of any visible injuries. Check to see if there are any witnesses.
You will want to get written statements from any witnesses and be sure to get the names of any witnesses along with their contact details. Documentation is a necessity for a successful personal injury claim, so maintain thorough records and documentation that indicates your losses.
You should establish medical care right away. Some injuries are not apparent right away, or some injuries are actually worse than they initially appear. If you postpone medical care, it may be difficult – if not impossible – to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident in question.
You will need to get examined by a medical professional the day you were hit by a car at a stoplight, and you will also want to keep copies of all medical bills, medical records, and medical excuses. You should maintain documentation to show any missed work and lost wages.
Supporting Documentation For a Personal Injury Claim After Being Hit At a Stoplight
You will need to be able to provide documentation to support your claim and to show your damages. Here are a few of the supporting documents that you can use to back up your claim:
- Accident report
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Damage repair estimate
- Tow bills
- Rental car receipts
- Proof of missed work and lost wages
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of the damages and injuries
- Statements from any witnesses
A personal injury attorney who handles accident injury claims will be able to help you get your personal injury claim on the right track. The insurer of the at-fault driver will have legal representation looking out for them, so you will want to make sure you have an attorney standing up for your rights and helping you recover compensation for your damages.
Rear Ending Someone Who Stopped Suddenly
In general the driver who was hit in a rear end accident would not be at fault. The second driver is supposed to be driving in a way that it is possible to stop in time to avoid an accident. Most rear end accidents happen at low speed where the driver in the rear was distracted or following too closely. However, if the first driver is operating in a way that is unpredictable, this could have played a part in the accident.
An abrupt stop, a false turn signal, or last-minute turn are things that every driver has seen. If you are in the unfortunate position where the driver in front contributed to the accident, there are a few things that you should know about how negligence is factored into the amount that you are able to be rewarded.
Whether you are the car that was hit, or you hit another car, you should be prepared to gather evidence to show your role in the accident. This will be important in determining the amount of the damages that will be paid in the accident.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
When you retain the services of a personal injury lawyer, your attorney will review the details of your case and will investigate your stoplight accident. Your attorney will also help you gather supporting evidence and documentation that will prove the damages and losses you suffered. For your claim to be successful, you must have supporting evidence that backs it up and helps prove liability and damages.
When you retain an attorney, you will most likely not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, personal injury attorneys take cases on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that your lawyer will not be paid until you recover compensation for your damages.
At that time, your attorney will get a percentage of your judgment or settlement. This percentage will be agreed to when you hire your lawyer.
Every state has a time limit for pursuing a personal injury claim after an accident. This is known as the statue of limitations If you wait too long, you will not be able to recover compensation for your damages. It is imperative to get your claim underway as quickly as possible. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of being hit by a car at a stoplight with an accident injury lawyer in your area today.