Car accidents come in all varieties and occur in just about every type of place imaginable, but traffic intersection accidents are among the most dangerous and catastrophic. There are also many unique factors to consider after an intersection accident, so it is important to have a dangerous intersection car accident lawyer on your side.
At the Jeffcoat Law Firm, we provide support and guidance at every step of the personal injury claim process. Our team can help you navigate the complexities of a dangerous intersection accident and understand how much compensation you deserve for your damages.
What Makes Intersections Dangerous for Car Accidents?
Traffic intersections are places where many specific rules apply and where all motorists must pay constant attention to those rules, to signs and lights as well as to the actions of other drivers. A moment of misunderstanding or a lapse in judgment can quickly cause a devastating accident. There are also common conditions or poor design choices at an intersection that can increase the likelihood of an accident without necessarily being the fault of an involved driver.
Conditions that can increase the danger of car accidents at an intersection include:
- Unclear signage
- Missing traffic lights
- Poorly maintained roads
- Unusual traffic patterns
- Objects obstructing the view of other lanes
Additionally, accidents become infinitely more likely when other drivers act negligently and violate their duty of care to those around them. Speeding, driving while distracted, failing to yield the right-of-way and outrunning a yellow light are all examples of reckless behavior that often cause severe damage or injuries in intersection accidents.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in an Intersection Accident?
Car accident injuries can vary greatly depending on the nature of the collision. At traffic intersections, rear-end collisions are particularly common when drivers approach stopped traffic at high speeds and fail to slow down in time. T-bone crashes can also frequently occur when drivers attempt to outrun a yellow light, as traffic from other directions might already be rightfully entering the intersection.
Common injuries that can result from these types of intersection accidents include:
Keep in mind that many injuries and symptoms are not apparent immediately after an accident, so it is important to seek medical attention even if you do not feel pain or any other signs of harm.
When Should You File a Claim for an Intersection Accident?
If you sustain any property damage or personal injury in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you have every right to pursue a claim for compensation. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a claim after a car accident is three years following the date of the incident. While this provides plenty of time to pursue action, involving a personal injury attorney and filing a claim sooner rather than later can give you a better chance of securing your full compensation due to the potential for evidence to disappear over time.
There are a few other steps you should prioritize in the moments after an accident not as well, for both your personal well-being and for strengthening your injury claim. Before taking any other action, it is necessary to call 911 and wait on the scene for police responders to arrive. Take the time to ensure that you and anyone else involved in the accident are in good medical condition. If possible, document the scene by taking photos and exchanging information with the other driver as well as any witnesses.
After reporting the accident to your own auto insurance provider, you can begin the claims process with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This can be a complex and overwhelming process, and there is a possibility that the insurance adjuster will attempt to offer a lowball settlement amount. Your personal injury attorney can handle the administrative burden for you and help ensure that you get a fair settlement.
How Do Authorities Determine Fault in an Intersection Accident?
Proving fault in an intersection accident requires establishing that the other party had a duty to uphold certain traffic laws and that they violated their duty of care toward you by violating those laws. To have a valid personal injury claim, you must also prove that this negligent action directly caused your injuries or the property damages you are claiming.
In the case of an intersection accident, the at-fault party tends to be an individual who violated right-of-way rules. Law enforcement officers and insurance investigators will often look at photographic evidence, take witness statements or examine the nature of the damage itself to determine which driver violated the right of way.
At a controlled intersection with traffic lights, anyone who does not abide by traffic signals is in violation of the right of way. Anyone who causes an accident by running a red light or by failing to yield when making a left turn on a solid green light, for example, is clearly at fault for the crash.
At two-way stops and four-way stops with stop signs, each driver must come to a complete stop and yield the right of way in the order of vehicle arrival. It can be difficult to prove who had the right of way in such cases, making witness testimony and photographic evidence all the more important. Keep in mind also that it can be common for multiple drivers to share in the liability for these types of intersection accidents.
What Damages Can You Recover After an Intersection Accident?
Receiving compensation in a car accident claim requires proving that you suffered damages and that the negligence of the other driver directly caused those damages. These are your recoverable damages, and they can be both economic or non-economic in nature. Types of damages you can recover after an intersection accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
Your personal injury attorney can play a key role in compiling documentation that proves the overall monetary value of your economic damages. They can also advocate for you when it comes to proving the presence and severity of non-economic damages such as your pain and suffering or disabilities.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
Intersection accidents can be complex cases in which multiple parties might point the finger blaming one another. Insurance companies rarely make the process easier, often subjecting injured individuals to complicated negotiations and making settlement offers below what is actually deserved.
Our personal injury lawyers at Jeffcoat Law Firm can help you by:
- Investigating the circumstances of your intersection accident
- Filing your claim and handling any other paperwork
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Representing you in court if you choose litigative action
Letting a personal injury lawyer handle these burdens for you is an important step in making sure you can focus on recovery as your top priority.
Choose the Right Intersection Car Accident Lawyer To Settle the Case
Intersection accidents have unique factors to consider that set them apart from every other type of car crash. Working with an experienced dangerous intersection car accident lawyer can ensure that you have the right support and expertise in your corner. Call the Jeffcoat Law Firm today at (803) 200-2000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.