Who is at Fault in an Intersection Car Accident in Miami?
In Florida in 2016, there were 2,933 fatal car accidents. Of those, 1,160 involved an intersection, highway on/off ramp, driveway, or other crossroad. With nearly 40% of fatal car crashes involving intersections, intersection car accidents are some of the most common and dangerous car accidents in Florida. Since the question of who was at fault for the accident usually comes down to which driver was violating traffic laws, understanding how these rules apply to your situation is important. For representation on your car accident claims, contact the Miami car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244.
Types of Intersection Car Accidents in Florida
Car accidents occur in thousands of different ways. Different speeds, different intersection shapes, and different signs can all change the way a car accident case comes out. However, there are basic rules that apply to every car accident. Many of these rules may be familiar to those who drive every day – or at least sound familiar if you’ve previously passed a drivers’ test. In many cases, these rules are guidelines; some circumstances may switch the blame to other parties and still allow you to collect compensation if you were partly to blame for the accident. Regardless, the following rules typically come into play in car accidents at intersections:
Left Turns Must Yield
When making a left turn on a straight road, at an intersection, or from a stop sign, the driver turning left must yield to other drivers. This means they must let all oncoming traffic pass before they can complete their left turn. They may pull-up into the intersection during a green light and wait their turn, but only the first car can do this. If you were not the first car waiting to turn left, the law requires you to wait behind the stop line until the car in front has already cleared the intersection.
Many people cause accidents when they make a rushed left-hand turn. Common problems include failing to signal, underestimating the speed of oncoming traffic, or taking the turn too quickly and losing control. If you were hit by a driver making a left turn, the accident should never be your fault unless you sped up to pressure the driver or continued at your same speed when you had adequate room to slow down.
Stopping Before Making a Right on Red
Though it is okay to make a right turn at a red light, many drivers fail to come to a full stop before making a turn. If you approach an intersection too quickly, you may not get a good look at cross traffic before entering the intersection. Drivers must always make a complete stop at a red light, even if they are going to turn right. This gives you the time to check if the coast is clear and complete the turn safely.
Failing to signal or failing to make a full stop can be a danger to other drivers around you. Since cyclists often pull in front at red lights so that other drivers can see them, this is also a common cause of bike accidents.
Four-way stop sign intersections are easy enough to understand with practice. However, many city drivers may be used to traffic lights rather than 4-way stop sign intersections. When multiple cars meet at the intersection, whichever car got there first gets to go first. From there, you always yield to the car on your right.
Stop signs always require a full and complete stop. Making a “rolling stop” is the same as running the stop sign, and if it causes an accident, the driver who failed to stop should be at-fault. Moreover, if you are at a stop sign waiting to cross a roadway or turn into cross traffic, you must wait until the coast is clear. A driver at a stop sign must yield to all other cars on the road. Suddenly pulling out of the stop too close to other cars often puts you at fault for the accident.
Also, be careful when cross traffic uses turn signals. Sometimes, drivers put their signals on too early or too late, and it may not be clear where exactly they are turning. Wait until the path is clear, just to be safe.
Yielding on On-Ramps
Entrance ramps to highways often have a yield sign at the end of the ramp. Even if they don’t you may still be required to yield to drivers already on the roadway. Just like changing lanes, it is illegal to force your way into the lane, especially if it causes an accident. Wait until you have adequate room before making your move. Drivers who fail to yield are often at fault for the accidents they cause.
Miami Auto Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Miami or anywhere in South Florida, contact a Miami car accident lawyer today. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked has tried numerous cases in Florida and fights for compensation for injured accident victims. To schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244.