Red light accidents in Chicago provide unique challenges. In a traffic light accident, one car usually proceeds through the intersection during a red light or when the driver otherwise does not have right of way—turning left into oncoming red on a green light without a turn arrow, for example.
That’s especially true in Chicago, where diagonal streets like Milwaukee, Elston, and Lincoln cross major grid streets and form unusual, complicated six-way signaled intersections. You can usually see the lights that control the traffic on roads other than the one you’re on, making it hard to tell which lights are telling you to go and which are telling you to stop. The snow and ice that frequently cover our roads in winter can make those intersections even more treacherous to navigate.
In just one year alone, more than 900 people lost their lives in accidents at intersections controlled by traffic lights. Even more suffered severe injuries. Evaluating these accidents can prove tricky—and you will want to call the Chicago red light accident attorneys at Abels & Annes to support you throughout the process.
About Abels & Annes
David Abels and Gary Annes founded our award-winning firm in 2008 to help injured people recover from the accidents that other people and entities caused. Since then, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Among our recent successes, we helped to obtain:
- $3,000,000 for catastrophic injuries after a crash
- $825,000 for a client with injuries after a rear-ender
- $600,000 policy limits settlement for a passenger
- $460,000 for surgeries to repair a herniated disc after a Chicago car accident
- $250,000 for surgeries to repair a herniated disc after a car accident
- $220,000 for the wrongful death of two minor children who were fatally injured in a car accident
- $200,000 in compensation for two herniated discs after a drunk driver struck our client
- $135,000 after a driver failed to yield while making a left turn and injured our client
- $125,000 for a shoulder injury after a rear-end car accident
- $105,000 for a Chicago car accident
In addition to good reviews from happy clients, our peers have recognized us for our accomplishments through the awards we have earned from Super Lawyers, AVVO, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
We cannot promise you results similar to the ones listed above, but our Chicago red light accident lawyers know our city well. We know its intersections and what to look for when an accident takes place in one. Please call us now so we can evaluate your case and see what we can do to help you.
Four Things About Accidents at Red Lights You Should Know
Here’s four things you need to know.
1. Chicago red light accidents can quickly turn into “He said/she said” scenarios.
At a red light, the normal flow of traffic allows each driver to proceed through the intersection, with the traffic light determining which segment of traffic has the right of way. Unfortunately, that can make it difficult to determine which driver ignored the right of way and the proper flow of traffic during an accident. Often, it devolves into a “he said/she said” argument in which no one, potentially including the two drivers involved, really knows who ran a red light.
2. It may take independent evidence to prove who caused an accident at a red light.
Police officers responding to the scene of the accident may struggle to clearly determine who caused the accident. Fault in a Chicago red light accident relies on knowing which driver failed to yield the right of way—that is, which driver chose to proceed through the intersection despite a red light. Unfortunately, a responding officer may not know which light was red at the time of the accident on his own. In some cases, the driver that caused the accident may not even know for certain that the light was red, since an instant’s distraction can give the light enough time to change or prevent the driver from recognizing that challenge.
Evidence may include:
- Witness statements. Independent witnesses—those who did not drive or ride as a passenger in one of the vehicles in the accident—can give an unbiased statement about the accident. Witnesses may give a clearer picture of how the accident occurred than either driver. Unfortunately, memory can fade quickly after an accident, especially if the witness felt traumatized. Getting a statement soon after the accident may prove critical to ensuring an accurate statement.
- Camera footage. Some drivers use dash cameras to help provide evidence in the case of an accident. Dash cameras show a full, unbiased account of the accident and what led to it, at least from that vehicle’s point of view. Camera footage may also come from traffic cameras, which can display clear, overhead views of the accident and how both vehicles behaved moving into the intersection. In some cases, there might be security camera footage from local businesses positioned to catch the red light.
Evidence can disappear quickly after an accident. The sooner you start working with our Chicago red light accident attorneys, the easier we can collect the vital evidence you need.
3. A driver confessing fault at any time can serve to establish liability in a red light accident.
After a Chicago red light accident, as with any type of auto accident, you should avoid any statement that could indicate fault in the accident. If a driver admits fault, even in a seemingly minor way, it could cause the balance of liability to shift in the accident. On the other hand, if the other driver does confess liability, you should ensure that the police officer that responds to the scene takes note, since this could help establish liability legally and put you in a better position to get the compensation you deserve.
4. Many factors can contribute to Chicago red light accidents.
Most Chicago drivers do not set out to deliberately run red lights. Several factors, however, can substantially increase the risk of Chicago red light accidents:
- Driver distraction. Chicago’s red lights can change quickly—in some cases, faster than the driver anticipates. A moment’s distraction can cause the driver to miss the light changing. Anything from fumbling for an item in the vehicle to checking a text message or answering a call can cause a driver to lose focus on the road and increase the risk of an accident.
- Speeding. A speeding driver may struggle to stop fast enough at a Chicago red light, especially on a short yellow light. The driver may choose to proceed on through the intersection rather than slamming on his brakes, or he may not have the chance to stop before an accident occurs. The higher the rate of speed, the greater the likelihood of an accident.
- Ignoring a yellow light. Yellow light lengths vary across the nation. Drivers should use yellow lights as a warning to slow down and stop, not an invitation to speed up and try to make it through the light before it changes. Rushing to get through a yellow light can quickly lead to an accident.
- Rushing to make a left turn without an arrow. Impatient drivers who are forced to wait for a long time at an intersection may attempt to speed through a left turn during a small break in traffic. Unfortunately, that break may not leave enough time for the driver to get safely through the light, resulting in an accident.
- Reckless driving. Some Chicago drivers do attempt to run red lights deliberately, either to make up time or because they do not want to stop. Such reckless driving substantially increases the risk of accidents.
Call Abels & Annes’s Chicago Red Light Accident Lawyers Today
Determining liability in a Chicago red light accident can prove incredibly difficult without significant evidence or a direct admission of liability. If you suffer catastrophic injuries in a red light accident, however, an experienced Chicago red light accident attorney at Abels & Annes can help.
Get in touch with our Chicago red light accident lawyers as soon after your accident as possible—it will make it easier to collect evidence that can help prove liability and make it easier for you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
You can reach us anytime for a free case evaluation at (312) 924-7575 or through our online contact form.
“This firm was great to work with. Very fast and understanding. Every time I called I was able to receive an update about my case and always had a polite conversation. I was able to get through my case with less stress then I anticipated. I will be sure to come back if I am ever in need of their services again.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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