Car Wrecks at Flashing Red Light Intersections: Liability Explained

Traffic Lights

One of the most basic traffic control devices that we encounter almost every single day is a traffic light. We all know that a red light means stop, green means go, and yellow means the light is changing to red so stop or proceed with caution.However, when a red or yellow light is flashing, it seems to confuse the situation. The meanings behind these colored lights do not change, but the flashing nature of the light means that the right-of-way does not change like a regular red, yellow, green traffic light; one direction will always have a flashing red, and the other direction will always have a flashing yellow.  This makes flashing light intersections significantly more dangerous because vehicles will need to proceed based on their understanding of the traffic rules, rather than the change of a light.  This can result in very serious Colorado Springs auto accidents causing personal injuries or wrongful death.Here at Springs Law Group, our Colorado Springs auto accident lawyer knows that collisions occurring at flashing red or yellow lights can result in permanent and debilitating injuries.  Victims may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earnings, medical bills, future medical expenses, and other damages.  If you or a loved one have been injured in a Colorado Springs auto accident, call to schedule a FREE appointment by dialing (719) 421-7141.

Liability in Flashing Red Light Car Accidents

There are two grounds to establish liability in flashing red light car accidents. The first is pursuant to the common law (judge-made law) standard for negligence, which imposes a duty of care on all motorists that they use reasonable care in the use and operation of their motor vehicle. This includes complying with traffic control devices such as a flashing red light. When a motorist fails to abide by traffic control devices and causes a car crash, that motorist will be liable for all damages caused by the car crash because he or she may be found to be negligent. This is the basis for almost all personal injury cases.

In addition, the second ground for establishing liability in flashing red light car accidents is known as the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine applies when the violation of a statute causes harm to a person that the statute is meant to protect. In a flashing red light car crash, the statute that applies is CRS section 42-4-605. This section provides under subdivision (1) (a) that “[w]henever an illuminated flashing red or yellow signal is used in conjunction with a traffic sign or traffic signal or as a traffic beacon, it shall require obedience by vehicular traffic . . . [that] [w]hen a red lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk or the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.”

Therefore, when a motorist reaches a flashing red light, the motorist must stop prior to entering the intersection. To begin again, the motorist must yield to the right-of-way of other vehicles (such as those which have a flashing yellow light). If a motorist runs through a flashing red light and causes a Colorado car crash, that motorist may be found to be automatically negligent under the doctrine of negligence per se.

Victims of a Colorado Flashing Red Light Collision Should Call Our Colorado Springs Auto Accident Lawyer

There are multiple causes of action (claims) that you can use to establish the negligence of a motorist who ran a flashing red light and caused your injuries. Victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and lost wages, but need to be able to establish liability and that the damages are related to the subject accident. Call our Colorado Springs auto accident lawyer at Springs Law Group to learn how we can help fight for your right to compensation by dialing (719) 421-7141 or use the convenient and easy to use “Get Help Now” submission box available here. We can help walk you through the process, together, and help you get on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule for FREE consultation.