Traffic Signal Violations
Car accidents are often the result of traffic signal violations. These may occur in many different scenarios, including a driver who runs a red light or turns left without yielding to oncoming traffic. California's rules regarding traffic signals are found in its Vehicle Code. A failure to abide by these rules is likely to be considered negligence, and it can result in serious or catastrophic injuries, or even death to an innocent bystander. If you are hurt due to a traffic signal violation, you should consult the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm, PLC about pursuing damages.Pursuing Compensation for a Crash Caused by a Traffic Signal Violation
Many car accidents are the result of negligence by one or more people. In most cases, a victim of a car accident must prove another driver's negligence by establishing the other driver's duty toward the victim, a breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and actual damages. In California, all drivers owe a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to drive using reasonable care to avoid injury to others. In most cases, failing to abide by traffic signals is considered a breach of this duty.
Under California Vehicle Code section 21450.5, a traffic signal displays one or more directives in response to the presence of traffic. It is supposed to be installed and maintained to detect bicycle and motorcycle traffic as well. Section 21451 specifies how drivers are to respond to various signals. For example, a driver facing a circular green signal is supposed to proceed to drive straight through or turn right or left. A U-turn is permissible unless a sign prohibits it. Drivers are supposed to yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic.
In many cases, a violation of the California Vehicle Code will be found to be negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law. This cause of action requires an accident victim to show a violation of a statute, proximate (legal) cause linking the violation to the crash, proof that the statute violated was designed to prevent the type of accident that happened, and proof that the victim is part of the class of people whom the statute was enacted to protect. If this is established, the defendant is presumed to have been negligent in his or her actions or omissions.
The use of negligence per se can be beneficial to the victim of a traffic signal violation. It means that the plaintiff will not have to prove quite as much as someone making a standard claim of negligence. The primary issue becomes the amount of damages. However, even if a trier of fact (judge or jury) determines there was no traffic violation, or the violation was not a substantial factor in causing the accident, an at-fault party may still be held responsible by proving that he or she was negligent.Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation if a crash was caused by someone else's traffic signal violation. We can put our experience, legal knowledge, and strong reputation to work for you. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form to schedule a free consultation. Our motor vehicle collision attorneys also represent people in Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, and Riverside, among other Southern California cities.