Who May Be At-Fault for a Red-Light Crash?

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Apr 06, 2021 in Auto Accident

red traffic light at city intersectionRed-light crashes are on the rise. Tragically, these accidents, which are easily preventable, often cause serious or fatal injuries. In fact, a recent AAA report reveals that red-light runners are on the rise, causing as much as 28 percent of all deaths at intersections with traffic signals.

Learn more about red-light crashes in Oregon, including who may be liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

The attorneys at Rizk Law are ready to help. Call for your free case review today.

The Red-Light Runner Caused the Crash

When traffic signals turn red, it is a driver’s duty to obey the law and come to a full and complete stop. If a driver fails to stop at a red light, he or she has committed a traffic offense. If a red-light runner crashes into another vehicle, he or she has also violated the duty of care he or she owes to others.

Red Light Exceptions

Drivers must fully stop their vehicle for a red light and stay stopped while waiting for the traffic signal to turn green.

However, there are some red-light signal exceptions that are handled differently:

  • A police officer is directing traffic due to an accident, construction or some other reason – you should follow his or her directions, proceeding with caution.
  • After stopping fully, drivers are permitted to turn right at a red light in Oregon – but only after checking whether traffic is clear, and it is safe to proceed.
  • The traffic signal is a flashing red light – regardless of driver debate, you must still come to a complete stop and check in all directions for traffic. Only when it is safe to proceed can you move through the intersection.
  • A red light is being used to signal lane direction control – if the light is red, it is against the law to even enter that lane.
  • You are driving an ambulance or other emergency vehicle – legally, you may proceed, but you must still take the proper precautions to avoid endangering others.

What if the Driver Says the Light Was Yellow?

Red-light runners who claim that the traffic signal was yellow when they drove through may still be at-fault if they cause a collision.

In many states, drivers are permitted to proceed through a yellow light if there is sufficient time to safely travel through the intersection before the light changes. However, in Oregon, drivers are required to stop at a yellow light. The only time Oregonians are legally allowed to proceed when a traffic signal is yellow is if it would be more unsafe for them to try to stop.

Can Fault Be Shared for a Red-Light Crash?

Red-light car accidents may seem like they should always be straightforward. However, sometimes both parties may swear that they had a green light. A situation that ends up being one driver’s word against another’s may be extremely difficult to prove.

Establishing Evidence of a Red-Light Crash

As with any auto accident, the burden of proving negligence is on the plaintiff. There are various pieces of evidence that may go a long way in supporting your claim, including:

  • One or more credible witnesses who saw what happened
  • Camera footage that shows which driver skipped the red light
  • Dash cam footage captured by another driver
  • A police officer who observed the traffic violation
  • An investigation of the vehicle damage supports your claim

In Oregon, Willamette Week reported that Oregonians are more likely to die from drivers who run a red light than those living in nearby states.

Call Our Law Firm for Legal Help After a Red-Light Crash

Our knowledgeable Portland auto accident lawyers at Rizk Law are prepared to help you after a crash involving a negligent driver. We are an experienced team of legal professionals with a proven track record, recovering millions on behalf of our clients.

We are ready to fully manage your case throughout the legal process, working hard to achieve a maximum recovery on your behalf. There is no risk to you as we take car crash cases on contingency. For you, this means no upfront costs or attorney fees. In short, we do not get paid unless we first win compensation for you. Contact our firm today – one phone call is all it takes to get started.