Who Can Be Liable In A Red Light Accident?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on October 7, 2020 and updated on March 15, 2022.

red lightMost drivers are taking a risk when the light changes ahead of them. Instead of slowing down, a driver may attempt to beat the red light. This negligent act can lead to catastrophic consequences. Red light accidents can be deadly and entirely preventable.

At Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices, we have helped many accident victims who have suffered at the hands of careless drivers pursue maximum compensation for their injuries and damages. We further discuss the impact of red light accidents, the traffic laws that may apply in your situation and how liability is proven in these cases. Set up a free consultation with a Maryland car accident lawyer today.

Facts About Red Light Accidents

According the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than two people are killed in red light accidents every day. Deaths caused by drivers running the red light have increased nationally – 28 percent – in the past decade. Maryland is ranked 18th in terms of fatalities from red light accidents.

The AAA study also found that in 33 percent of such crashes, the driver who ran the red light died. 61 percent of the victims were passengers in other cars and over 5 percent were cyclists or pedestrians.

Maryland’s Red Light Laws

Maryland Transportation Code §21-202 states that a driver may be found guilty of failing to stop at a red light if there is a steady red traffic signal and he or she does not stop at a clearly marked line.

If there is no clearly marked stop line, a driver must stop prior to entering a crosswalk or intersection without a crosswalk. A driver is required to remain stopped until he or she sees a signal to proceed. However, there are exceptions to this rule under the following circumstances:

  • There is no light stopping a driver from making a right turn or a left hand turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street; or
  • There is a sign in place allowing any other turn and a driver cautiously enters an intersection and makes a turn as shown by the sign

Whether a driver is making a right turn or left turn after stopping at a red light, he or she must follow the standard right-of-way rules. Unlike some states, Maryland law also allows drivers to enter an intersection while the light is still yellow and not after the light has turned red.

Failing to stop at a red light could result in demerit points added to a driving record and a fine that can be increased if the violation led to an accident. Serious injury and/or death could result in a conviction.

Proving Liability in a Red Light Accident

Liability in a red light accident can be difficult and time consuming to prove without an experienced lawyer by your side. You and your lawyer will need to establish that the other driver was negligent.

This means establishing that the other driver owed you a duty to stop at a red light, the other driver breached this duty by failing to stop at a red light, this breach directly caused the accident and your injuries, and it also resulted in damages (medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, etc.).

Failing to stop at a traffic signal is generally good proof that the other driver was at fault. Traffic laws are meant to be obeyed to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe. When a driver decides to run a red light, certain evidence could be collected to help support your claim for compensation.

Your lawyer may request footage from an intersection’s red light camera that may show the other driver running the red light and how he or she may have caused the crash. The location of damage done to your car could also be telling in how the accident happened.

Accidents that result from running a red light usually cause damage to the front of the at-fault driver’s car and damage to the driver’s side of the victim’s car.

We Fight for Just and Fair Compensation

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who failed to stop at a red light, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Our lawyers at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices are prepared to review your claim and answer any questions you may have in a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Contact us anytime, day or night, to get started today. There are no upfront fees to utilize our services. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.

No Upfront Fees. No Risks. Call for legal help: 410-907-3957.