The failure to stop at a red light is one of the most commonly ignored rules of the road. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the leading causes of car accidents. So, if someone ran a red light and hits you, you could sue them for the resulting property damage, medical bills, and other losses you incur. A car accident lawyer could provide valuable assistance to ensure these bills don’t overwhelm your financial situation.
Running a Red Light in Georgia
Like every state, motorists must come to a complete stop at a red traffic light in Georgia. Unfortunately, violating this law has serious and sometimes fatal consequences. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 143,000 people suffered injuries from red-light running collisions in 2019.
Despite the risks of breaking the law, many drivers proceed illegally through a red light, claiming that the traffic signal changed to red as they entered the intersection. If you sustained injuries or property damage due to a driver who denies running a red light, pursuing compensation might be more challenging than usual.
Fortunately, Georgia uses automated cameras at some intersections to identify red-light violators. You can utilize the captured photographs and videos to support your claim and seek compensation from the negligent driver. However, building your case may be difficult in jurisdictions without red-light cameras.
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Filing a Lawsuit Against Red Light Violators
You could sue a motorist for running a red light and hitting you only if their action resulted in your bodily injuries or damaged property. Otherwise, you might have no recourse to hold them responsible.
When taking legal action against them, you must prove they acted negligently. To establish the other driver’s negligence and liability for the accident, you must show:
- They owed you a duty to stop at a red light
- They breached that duty by driving through the intersection despite the signal
- Their action caused the collision and your injuries
- The accident resulted in damages, such as bodily injury or destroyed property
Remember that the burden of proof lies with you. Simply sustaining an injury does not automatically make a case. It is crucial to have enough supportive evidence to demonstrate how the other driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care should make them responsible for your losses.
Suing Even if You Were Partly at Fault
Not all car crashes are the fault of only one errant driver. Sometimes, you may have also been negligent with your duty of care, partly causing the collision.
Georgia follows the modified comparative fault system. Thus, understanding how this applies to your case will impact its outcome. You may still recover monetary compensation from the driver running a red light even if you have somehow contributed to the accident.
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, your portion of liability to the incident proportionally reduces your damages. For example, if a court determines that you were 25 percent responsible, you will recover the remaining 75 percent as compensation. The comparative negligence rule holds as long as your degree of fault is less than 50 percent; otherwise, you will not be entitled to receive any compensation.
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You Have Limited Time to Take Legal Action
Suing the driver who ran a red light and hit your vehicle may be the right course of action for your case. It happens when their insurance company rejects your claim or offers insufficient compensation during settlement negotiations for your injuries. In addition, you might consider taking legal action if the accident resulted in damages requiring substantial financial support.
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 gives you two years to file a lawsuit against liable parties from the accident date. Once the deadline lapses, you may be unable to pursue compensation, even if you have a compelling case.
Therefore, it is crucial to begin working on your lawsuit as soon as possible if you decide to take legal action. An attorney from our firm can help you build your case by keeping records of medical bills, lost wages, repairs or replacement of damaged property, and other out-of-pocket expenses. They can also gather supporting evidence, including photos and videos of the accident, police reports, and witnesses’ statements.
Consider Legal Help When Suing Red Light Runners
The Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team has decades of experience pursuing injury cases following traffic violations. Therefore, we can help you sue someone for running a red light and hitting you. We can handle your insurance claim or file a lawsuit and help you avoid costly missteps when pursuing compensation. So, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.