Traffic Signal Violation Accidents
Traffic signals are designed to safely regulate the flow of traffic. Unfortunately, some motorists insist on pushing through these devices and fail to yield to a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian who has the right of way. Tragic accidents and even deaths may occur when a careless or reckless driver disregards a traffic control device. If you have been injured in a traffic signal violation accident, the knowledgeable Pembroke Pines car accident lawyers at Cohn & Smith are here to assist you in filing a claim for damages against the responsible motorist.Taking Legal Action After a Traffic Signal Violation Accident
To recover damages for harm resulting from a motor vehicle collision caused by a traffic signal violation, a plaintiff must be able to make out a case of negligence. To do so, four steps are required. First, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed a legal duty to them. Statutes, local ordinances, regulations, and other laws pertaining to traffic signals may be useful in showing the defendant’s duty to stop, yield the right of way, or use extra caution in proceeding through an intersection. The second requirement of a negligence action is that the plaintiff prove that the defendant breached the applicable duty of care. A breach of duty is usually a factual question that may be proven by evidence such as eyewitness statements, the testimony of the parties, photographs, or video footage.
In traffic signal violation accident cases, a defendant’s citation, conviction, or guilty plea to a criminal charge arising from the accident may also be useful in proving a breach of duty. However, even if a driver is criminally prosecuted due to a violation of a traffic control device, this does not conclusively prove liability in civil court because a negligence case also requires proof of the elements of causation and damages. Causation means that the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the crash. The defendant may readily admit that they ran a red light but may argue, for example, that the plaintiff’s injury was pre-existing or that a subsequent work injury exacerbated their condition. To show damages, the plaintiff must provide evidence supporting the full extent of their injuries. In many cases, this requires testimony from the plaintiff’s treating physician regarding the nature, extent, and cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Under Florida’s comparative fault law, a defendant in a negligence lawsuit may also argue that a plaintiff’s own fault was a factor in the accident. A plaintiff is only entitled to compensation for the percentage of fault attributable to the defendant. Fortunately, contributory negligence is not a complete bar to a plaintiff’s claim in Florida, as it is in some states, but it is important that a plaintiff enlist an injury attorney who can anticipate and aggressively rebut a comparative fault argument if it arises.Explore Your Options with a Pembroke Pines Lawyer After a Car Accident
To set up a free appointment with the skillful Pembroke Pines attorneys at Cohn & Smith, call us at 954-431-8100 or use the contact form on this website. We represent victims and their loved ones throughout South Florida, including in Hollywood, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Aventura, Coral Springs, and cities throughout North Dade County. You should consult a motor vehicle collision attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that your legal rights are protected and asserted to the fullest extent.