How To Prove Fault When the Other Car Ran a Stop Sign

Stop SignIf you are hit by a car that ran through a stop sign, it can be both frightening and dangerous. Suddenly, your life may be in peril, and through no fault of your own.

Accidents like this can be quite severe, because one car going through a stop sign when another car actually has the right of way means that the right-of-way vehicle may be hit broadside in what some call a T-bone collision. The term refers to the 90-degree angle of the collision, where the red light-running car hits either the driver or passenger side of the other vehicle with the front of the car.

This kind of accident can cause fatalities or severe injuries. As a result, you might want to bring a legal case for damages, to receive compensation for medical bills, surgeries, damage to your car, and more.

To win a case, you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent. This means that the law was clear, the stop sign was posted, but that the driver ignored the instruction to stop.

Proving Negligence

Proving negligence is not always easy. You need evidence that the other driver ran the stop sign. Evidence can be gleaned in several different ways.

1. Witnesses

If there were witnesses to the collision, get their statements. They may be called on to say what happened if the case goes to court. Get the contact information of any witnesses as well.

2. Surveillance cameras

Some traffic intersections have surveillance cameras. If they do, the surveillance tape can be very helpful in proving that the driver ran a stop sign. However, since not every intersection has cameras, this can’t be relied on.

3. The location of the damage to both cars

Many judges and juries will accept the location of damage as indicating what happened in an accident, even in the absence of witnesses. In a T-bone accident, the car with the right of way will sustain damage to the side, in all likelihood. The car that ran the stop sign will likely sustain damage on the front.

4. Pictures taken at the scene

If you have a smartphone, take multiple pictures at the scene. Take pictures of your car from all angles, the other vehicle from all angles, the stop sign, and any skid marks. Take pictures of any injuries as well.

Remember, car damage can be repaired. The negligent driver may repair damage in an attempt to deny culpability. One picture is worth a thousand words.

5. A police report

If you have been hit by another vehicle, it’s very important to call the police right away. They can also interview witnesses, of course. They will also file a police report that can be used as evidence.

6. Draw a picture

It’s useful to draw a picture of what happened if you don’t have a camera. Show the intersection and approximately where the car that ran the stop sign entered it.

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a driver who ran a stop sign in New York or New Jersey, we can help.

NY & NJ car wreck lawyers at KGG have decades of experience successfully litigating these kinds of cases. Call us toll free or fill out the form on our website to schedule a consultation in our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. We will review your case thoroughly. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Harris, Tom. How Red-light Cameras Work. How Stuff Works. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/red-light-camera2.htm
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Red light running. https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/red-light-running/topicoverview