- 1. Crosley Law Intersection Accident Case Studies and Results
- 2. How Crosley Law Investigates Intersection Accidents
- 3. Why Are Intersections Dangerous?
- 4. What to Do After an Intersection Accident
- 5. Why Calling an Attorney as Soon as Possible Is So Crucial After an Intersection Accident
- 6. Injured? Call Crosley Law Today
Whether you’re talking about frequency or severity or crashes, intersections are especially hazardous places for road users—drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, around 40% of all car crashes occur at an intersection, as well as more than half of the accidents that ultimately result in injuries or traffic fatalities. In other words, it’s not just that a crash is more likely to happen there, but also that the crash is likely to be more severe.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an intersection accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s time to get sophisticated legal representation on your side as soon as possible. Because it may be difficult to prove who had the right of way at the intersection, these cases often devolve into “he said, she said” scenarios that make it hard for innocent victims to receive fair compensation.
Crosley Law Intersection Accident Case Studies and Results
Crosley Law represents clients involved in intersection crashes all the time. Here are a few examples of some of the cases we’ve handled, all of which illustrate the dangers of intersection accidents—as well as our firm’s success in winning big for our clients.
- We represented the mother of a young woman who was killed while making a legal left turn from a four-lane road with a large median. A semi-truck driver heading the opposite direction completely ignored a solid red light, despite having plenty of time to see it and slow down, and smashed into Amanda’s car at 43 miles per hour. After a thorough investigation that revealed several shocking examples of recklessness and dishonesty from both the truck driver and the trucking company, we negotiated a $9 million settlement.
- Our client Carl suffered severe injuries, including a brain injury and multiple broken bones, when his bicycle was struck by a pickup driver pulling into an intersection directly in front of him. The unfortunate truth is that cyclists are often endangered by careless drivers who remember to check for oncoming cars, but don’t notice bikes or pedestrians. The insurance company refused to pay based on a single (and ultimately incorrect) eyewitness account suggesting Carl hadn’t been using his headlight. Our thorough investigation proved otherwise and helped secure a $1.5 million settlement after mediation.
- We represented the family of Earl, a pedestrian who was seriously injured at an unpainted crosswalk after being struck by a speeding motorcyclist. He ultimately passed away due to his injuries. Because Earl’s view of the roadway was limited by a large hill, he had no way to know the oncoming motorcyclist was even there before he entered the intersection. This is an example of how driver negligence and poor intersection design can both contribute to traffic accidents. Our firm was able to negotiate full policy limits settlements from two different insurance companies.
- Our client John was crossing a downtown intersection on foot. He had already taken a few steps into street when a truck driver failed to yield at a stop sign, made a left turn without checking for pedestrians, and hit John. Not only did John clearly have the right of way, but he had no reason to think that the driver would make such a reckless and unexpected decision, as John was already in the road before the truck began turning. As liability was clear and the driver even admitted his conduct was reckless, Crosley Law pushed aggressively for punitive damages in the case and convinced the insurance company to meet our $178,000 demand. (They had previously offered only $50,000.)
- Our client Errica rolled her car four times and broke her arm after the other driver completely ignored intersection signage and attempted a left turn from a right turn only lane. There was no way for Errica to predict such an unexpected and careless maneuver, and no way for her to avoid the collision. Although insurance coverage was extremely limited in this case, we got Errica a full policy limits payout and negotiated a large reduction in her medical bills so she could cover them with the settlement.
How Crosley Law Investigates Intersection Accidents
We take a sophisticated and aggressive approach to handling personal injury claims involving intersection accidents. To prove who really had the right of way—and who was at fault—we may employ a variety of tactics:
- Cell phone metadata records (to see if a distracted driver was on their phone while approaching the intersection)
- Event recorder data from the involved vehicles that may be able to tell us things like how fast a vehicle was traveling and whether the brakes were applied and recovering dash cam or security cam footage that may have captured the wreck
- Hiring an accident reconstruction expert to examine the damage and debris (ideally at the scene itself, but also from photographs) to piece together what happened
- Chasing down all possible eyewitnesses and gathering statements
- Consulting with physicians, life planners, and other experts so we can precisely calculate your damages
Over the years our firm has earned a reputation for going above and beyond for our clients—examples include getting a brain injury victim into an experimental research study and interviewing dozens of a crash victim’s family and friends to help her mother get a just settlement for her wrongful death, and many more.
Why Are Intersections Dangerous?
Intersections Introduce Complexity and Conflict
Intersections are places where different modes of traffic moving in different directions cross paths. When one car wants to go one way, and the other car wants to go the other, those movements must be controlled by some system—like a stop sign, a traffic light, or a roundabout.
Although you may not always be consciously aware of it while you’re driving, navigating even the simplest intersections safely requires drivers to pay close attention and process multiple pieces of information. For example:
- Checking for pedestrians and bicycles
- Accurately gauging the speed or intentions of oncoming traffic before entering the intersection or completing a turn
- Correctly using a turn signal to show intent to other drivers and road users
Because of the multiple points of conflict and the need for careful focus, the risk that even a momentary lapse in attention (or other driver error) could have catastrophic consequences is magnified at an intersection. While distracted drivers, reckless drivers, and other negligent drivers are of course dangerous no matter where they are on a roadway, intersections are the points at which their carelessness is most likely to cause serious injuries or death.
When Someone Doesn’t Stop: Failure to Yield Crashes in TexasRead More
Intersections May Be Poorly Designed
Traffic engineers have a lot to consider when designing roadways and intersections that are both efficient and safe. Decisions about road geometry, number of approach lanes, length of turning lanes, or how long traffic lights stay green or red are determined from projections about how many cars and pedestrians will be using the road, how fast they’ll be traveling, and more.
Unfortunately, this does not always guarantee intersection safety. It could be that the intersection has a fundamental design flaw from the start. Or, it could be that an old intersection is no longer sufficient to meet current traffic demand. Perhaps a simple stop sign was acceptable 30 or 40 years ago, but isn’t anymore.
Particularly dangerous intersections may have characteristics such as:
- High traffic volumes
- High pedestrian usage
- Long pedestrian crossings
- Lack of turning lanes
- Poor or no signage
- Poorly timed light cycles
- Obstructed view of cross traffic and other hazards (due to buildings, trees, hills, overpasses, etc.)
- Poor visibility for other reasons (for example, east-west roads that force drivers to directly face the sun in morning or evenings)
Intersections Are Prone to More Dangerous Kinds of Accidents
Due to the way most intersections are set up, a disproportionate percentage of intersection collisions are T-bone crashes. Statistically speaking, they are one of the most dangerous classifications of motor vehicle accidents.
In a rear-end or head-on collision, drivers and passengers are protected by bumpers, large crumple zones, and the trunk or engine compartment. These serve to dampen the force of the impact, reduce the rate of sudden acceleration or deceleration, and protect the structural integrity of the passenger compartment.
But in a T-bone crash, the point of impact may be only a few inches from vehicle occupants, with only a thin layer of metal and glass to shield them from the full force of the crash. Seat belts are also less effective in side-impact accidents, particularly for those on the opposite side of the vehicle from the crash, as it’s far more likely the driver or passenger will slip out of the restraint.
While it’s true that vehicle safety has come a long way in the last few decades, and side-impact collisions aren’t as often fatal as they used to be, they are still very dangerous.
What to Do After an Intersection Accident
After an intersection accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible even if your symptoms don’t seem severe; injuries can often be worse than they initially seem.
- Contact the police.
- Gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. This includes photos of the crash damage and injuries, contact and insurance info from the other driver, and contact info for as many eyewitnesses as possible. Evidence may not last long after a crash, so it’s important to preserve as much as possible.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Why Calling an Attorney as Soon as Possible Is So Crucial After an Intersection Accident
Many people put off calling an attorney until they’ve been out of the hospital for a few weeks, or after trying to handle their legal case on their own for a while and running into problems. This is almost always a mistake.
It’s important to understand that the longer you wait to contact an attorney, the more likely important sources of evidence will be permanently lost by the time their investigation can begin.
Over time, road debris gets cleared. Skid marks fade. Memories get hazy. Camera footage gets deleted or overwritten. Trucking companies toss old logbooks. If you wait too long, the key information we need to prove your case may become difficult or impossible to obtain, or there may not be enough time before the statute of limitations to conduct a thorough investigation.
Meanwhile, the insurance company will be performing its own investigation, biased in favor of them instead of you. They may even try to take your words out of context to suggest you were at fault.
That’s why you should never hesitate to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The earlier we can get our investigators on the scene, begin reviewing your case, and begin protecting you from the insurance company adjuster, the better the chances we can get you all the compensation you deserve.
Injured? Call Crosley Law Today
Our sophisticated tactics, aggressive legal strategy, and willingness to go the extra mile for our clients is what sets Crosley Law apart. Further, our no-fee policy means we won’t charge you a cent unless we get you a settlement or win your case in court.
Federal Highway Administration. (2021, August 26) Intersection Safety. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://highways.dot.gov/research/research-programs/safety/intersection-safety
S. Kumaresan, et al. Biomechanics of side impact injuries: evaluation of seat belt restraint system, occupant kinematics and injury potential. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2006;2006:87-90. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2006.259384.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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