We emphasize the importance of retaining an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been involved in an accident. Accidents that occur at stop signs, traffic lights, or other intersections often involve multiple drivers who each believe they had the right of way. In this post we will examine how hotly contested liability disputes arise in intersection accident cases. If you need assistance, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
All drivers are expected to understand and follow the established traffic laws. As every driver knows, failure to do so, such as speeding, reckless driving, or texting at the wheel can lead to traffic citations issued by law enforcement. In the context of a Fort Worth car accident, a driver will be held responsible if their failure to abide by the rules caused the accident. Intersection crashes create unique issues as compared to typical roadway accidents because it is often more difficult to determine which driver was at fault. It is not uncommon for each driver to believe that they were correct and the other party did something wrong. One can imagine how disputes over liability can become complicated in these situations.
Consider the following examples. A driver on a vacation road trip exits the highway to fill up his tank. He is unfamiliar with the area and finds that he has chosen an exit with a particularly confusing traffic pattern and multiple traffic lights. As he tries to navigate his way to the gas station, he turns right as the stop light turns yellow. He is hit by another driver who was turning left across the intersection, also as the light turned yellow. Both drivers believe they had the right of way to make their turns. When law enforcement arrives to assess the scene, they are unable to determine who was at fault, which is reflected in their report. This dispute may be difficult to resolve without witness statements, camera footage or other independent evidence.
Now suppose a driver on his normal commute home comes to a four-way stop sign just outside of his neighborhood. The intersection is always busy after work and he lines up behind the other cars awaiting their turn to cross. When he gets to the stop, it appears that one of the drivers is unsure who has the right of way. After waving the uncertain driver through the intersection, a third driver gets impatient, turns left without looking and hits the uncertain driver. If the impatient driver was reckless, he may be liable for the accident. He may believe, on the other hand, that it was validly his turn to pass and that the uncertain driver proceeded out of turn. Absent any clear violation of the law, one can imagine how the parties may disagree on who was ultimately responsible.
Given the difficulties in proving who may be liable for an intersection accident, some law firms are hesitant to take on these cases. Without clear proof of responsibility, insurance companies commonly deny coverage as a matter of course. If you have been seriously injured in an intersection accident, this attitude can be devastating. For these reasons, it is imperative to select a law firm willing to push back on uncooperative insurance adjusters. A firm that employs investigators and has the financial resources to retain reconstructionists on your behalf can help preserve your rights. We suggest locating a firm with multiple attorneys who are board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We also recommend law firms who are willing to handle your case from the beginning and through litigation if necessary. These recommendations apply regardless of whether the incident took place in Fort Worth, Dallas, or another Texas area.