Liability for Intersection Accidents in Bucks County

According to the most recent information released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than half of crashes that cause injuries or fatalities occur at intersections. Liability in these intersection accidents can be difficult to determine, but we can help.

If you suffered serious injuries in a Bucks County intersection crash, Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you get just compensation for your damages. We can determine liability and manage all aspects of your claim, getting you the maximum settlement possible. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule your free case evaluation.

Are Bucks County intersections dangerous?

There are a number of dangerous intersections in Philadelphia and Warminster, and Bucks County is actually home to the most dangerous intersection in the country.

In addition to the dangers they pose to motorists, intersections are also especially dangerous for pedestrians. Pedestrians often suffer devastating injuries in accidents when drivers fail to properly yield the right of way to traffic on foot, or when they fail to see pedestrians in the crosswalk.

What do we know about what causes intersection accidents?

Driver error causes 96 percent of accidents (reports the NHTSA), especially those that occur at intersections. There are several types of driver error that lead to accidents, but some of the most common include:

  • Failure to survey the intersection
  • Failure to slow down
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way

Intersection accidents can also be the result of drivers running red lights or racing to beat a yellow light.

What causes Bucks County intersection accidents?

In 2015, there were 2,409 intersection crashes in Bucks County alone, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Approximately half of these accidents resulted in injuries and 14 resulted in fatalities.

Many factors played a role in these intersection accidents, but the statistics show:

  • 589 of the crashes involved rear-end impacts
  • A driver ran a red light in 248 accidents
  • More than 245 of the collisions involved distracted drivers
  • About 145 of the crashes were alcohol-related
  • Motorists in 141 of the accidents ran a stop sign

Who is liable for an intersection accident?

Liability falls to the driver who fails to properly navigate the intersection according to Pennsylvania traffic laws. For example, a driver turning right on red may be liable for a crash that occurs because s/he fails to:

  • Come to a complete stop and check for oncoming traffic
  • Obey a “no turn on red” sign
  • Yield right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk

Turning left also requires a driver to pay careful attention. S/he may be liable if s/he:

  • Turns left on red
  • Fails to yield to oncoming traffic at a green light (this includes drivers turning right)
  • Fails to check for pedestrians in the intersection before turning

When approaching an intersection marked by stop signs, drivers must know how to determine who has the right-of-way. If a motorist fails to yield the right of way and causes a crash, he may be liable for any injuries sustained. Common errors at stop signs include:

  • Not coming to a complete stop
  • Failing to yield right of way to a motorist who arrived first
  • Failing to yield right of way to a motorist to the right
  • Proceeding before cross traffic clears, when cross traffic does not have a stop sign

Some of the most complicated situations occur in an uncontrolled intersection, where there are no traffic signals or stop signs. Liability is often difficult to determine in a crash that occurs at this type of intersection. A good rule of thumb is to always treat it as a four-way stop when there are other motorists in the vicinity, which will help to prevent an accident.

Who has the right of way when a pedestrian is crossing the road?

Motorists must be especially careful of pedestrians. A car versus pedestrian accident can lead to severe injuries or even death for the pedestrian. In fact, more than 40 of the intersection accidents in Bucks County in 2015 involved pedestrians (this totals almost half of the pedestrian accidents for all of Bucks County in 2015).

Pennsylvania’s pedestrian laws give people on-foot the right of way anytime they are in a crosswalk and crossing in accordance with the crosswalk signals. Pedestrians also have the right of way when they cross many “informal” intersections, such as those at the end of a driveway or entrance to a parking lot.

There are a few cases when the pedestrian may be liable — at least partially — for his/her own injuries after a collision. Most commonly, this occurs when the pedestrian crosses against a red light, disobeying the crosswalk signal. Other times may include jaywalking and darting out into traffic.

How can I prove liability in a Bucks County intersection crash?

In order to win compensation in a Bucks County car accident claim, you need to prove the other driver acted negligently by failing to follow traffic laws. Then, you need to show that this careless behavior led to the accident and your injuries. Lastly, you will need to provide evidence of your financial and emotional damages.

Some of the evidence you might need to show fault and prove damages includes:

Having a Bucks County car accident attorney on your side is the best way to ensure you have the evidence you need to build a strong case. At Cordisco & Saile, LLC, we will collect all available evidence in your case, identify all possible liable parties, and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the settlement you deserve.

Call our Bucks County office today at 215-642-2335.