When approaching a stop sign, all drivers know they are required to come to a full stop before proceeding through the intersection. Drivers may feel a sense of safety at a stop sign, as they trust all other drivers to follow the rules, stop at their stop sign, and yield the right of way to the appropriate vehicle at the intersection. Sadly, not all drivers stop at stop signs; and, even if you do everything right – you may be in an auto accident caused by a stop sign runner. Each year there are thousands of car accidents in Texas caused by drivers who run stop signs or red lights.
In 2019, there were over 42,000 stop sign and signal violation-related accidents in Texas. Out of those, 13,422 directly involved drivers disregarding or running a stop sign or stop light which then caused a car wreck. These accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. At least 90 people lost their lives in 2019 because a driver in Texas ran a stop sign or signal. When a driver does not stop at a stop sign, they may barrel through a vehicle already in the intersection or put themselves in the way of a driver who has the right of way to cross the intersection, causing an accident. Even if you are a driver who hit another car in an intersection, you may not be at fault if that car ran a stop sign and you had the right of way. These motor vehicle accident cases can be complex and stressful.
Why Drivers Don’t Stop at Stop Signs
Drivers often do not come to a full stop at a stop sign, also known as a “rolling stop.” Many drivers do this due to impatience. They may be in a hurry to get to work or believe that stopping fully does not matter if the intersection is empty. Other drivers may be driving while distracted and not even see the stop sign ahead. These drivers are not paying attention to the road and are instead paying attention to their phones, stereo, passengers, or a variety of other distractions. If a person is driving while extremely fatigued or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their reaction times are going to be much slower, and they may not be able to brake in time to stop at a stop sign. Reckless and aggressive drivers who are speeding or driving in an unsafe manner may run through a stop sign without thinking twice. All of these scenarios can lead to devastating car accidents.
When a driver runs through a stop sign, they are probably not using their brakes to slow the vehicle down and can hit a car going through an intersection at high speed. These sorts of impacts can seriously injure or even kill either of the drivers involved and their passengers. The most common type of car accident caused by running stop signs is a T-bone or side-impact crash. This crash involves one car hitting the side of the other car. When this occurs, if there are people on the side of the vehicle that has been hit, they will absorb more force from the crash. This type of accident can be very violent, can cause the airbags to go off in both vehicles, and can cause severe injuries.
Common Side Impact Car Crash Injuries
All injuries sustained as a result of a car accident should be evaluation and treated immediately to prevent further harm. This may involve being examined by emergency personnel at the accident scene and being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Even if you do not feel injured after a car accident, get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible, just in case some injuries have been hidden by shock. Some of the most common car accident injuries seen after a side impact crash include:
- Head injuries: These may include concussions or traumatic brain injuries. There may also be contusions, bruising, scrapes, and cuts from broken glass.
- Neck injuries: These can include herniated or bulging discs, nerve damage, whiplash (when the neck bends unnaturally as the head snaps from the force of the impact), bruising, and scrapes.
- Spine injuries: These can include herniated or bulging discs, nerve damage, spinal cord damage, bruising, scrapes and cuts, or paralysis.
- Bodily injuries: These can include crushing injuries from a buckled car frame, broken bones, dislocation of limbs, muscle, tendon, and ligament sprains, strains, and tears, bruising, lacerations, bleeding, and more. Internal bleeding is also possible and can be incredibly dangerous.
The medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience as a result of a driver running a stop sign and causing a collision can start to pile up and make you feel overwhelmed. Finding an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights will be critical to receiving maximum compensation for your suffering. In car accident cases like these, the negligence of the driver who ran the stop sign must be proven to show they were at fault for the accident. Some ways to provide liability evidence proving the driver’s negligence include:
- Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the driver running a stop sign and subsequently causing a car crash, make sure to collect their contact information. Their statements will be excellent evidence in your case. A witness statement can go a long way toward proving the other driver was negligent.
- Surveillance Footage: If there were traffic cameras or store cameras near the site of your accident, they may have caught the stop sign runner on video. This will be very helpful in proving the driver ran a stop sign.
- Damage to the Vehicles: The location of damage to your vehicle as well as the at fault driver’s vehicle can be very important to proving who ran a stop sign. Depending on the type of accident, the amount of damage to the vehicles and where the damage is located can help show who was at fault.
- Accident Scene Pictures and Videos: Use your cell phone to take pictures and/or video of the accident scene if you are physically able to do so safely after the crash. Take pictures from all angles to show how the cars hit, where the stop signs are located, if there are any skid marks or road debris, etc. Take pictures of your injuries as well.
- Police Report: When the police arrive to the scene of the accident, make sure to tell them everything you remember from the crash including that the other driver ran the stop sign. They will file a detailed report that can be used as evidence.
Houston Stop Sign Accident Attorney
After being in a car accident caused by running a stop sign, victims can be overwhelmed by the financial burden of medical treatment. An experienced Houston car accident attorney at Adame Garza LLP can analyze the details of your situation and help you obtain full compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no upfront cost for working with us and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you obtain financial compensation.