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Intersection Accidents in Seattle – You’ll Want a Lawyer

Infographic: Do you know your right of way?

Just one poor split-second decision, and several vehicles can end up colliding with catastrophic repercussions. Intersections host thousands of vehicles a day traveling in two or more directions, and because of this, they are often the site of crashes in Washington State.

The attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., know that one major cause of car accidents in Seattle is a failure to yield the right-of-way. Here are more facts about this less-known danger on the road:

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What About Traffic Signals?

Surprisingly, traffic signals don't always make intersections safer. The Washington State Department of Transportation notes that when drivers don't see the reason for a signal, they become impatient and are more likely to make risky maneuvers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates more than 50% of all intersection accidents take place at intersections with a traffic signal.

Traffic signals and stop signs are designed to regulate the flow of traffic, but they only work when everyone pays attention and obeys them!

How Common Are Red Light Accidents in Seattle?

Statistically speaking, running red lights in the state of Washington - as well as the rest of the country - ranks as one of the most frequent causes of traffic accidents. In Seattle, law enforcement officials have attempted to mitigate this problem by installing red light cameras at various high-risk intersections throughout the city. While there is no data suggesting it has lessened the number of crashes, surveys conducted since 2008 suggest the severity of accidents has decreased dramatically.

Common Causes of Seattle Intersection Accidents

Most crashes we see are related to negligent behavior approaching or crossing the intersection. Here are the most common causes of Seattle intersection accidents our clients have reported over the years:

  • Distracted driving: Another driver was talking, texting, adjusting the radio, eating, looking at the scenery, etc.
  • Speeding: Another driver was going too fast to stop at the stop sign or red light in time.
  • Not coming to a complete stop: Another driver performed a "rolling stop" and hit our client.
  • Hazardous road conditions: Another driver didn’t drive safely for the current conditions, whether ice, snow, sleet, rain, oil buildup, loose gravel, or sand. However, hazardous road conditions are sometimes the fault of the company or government agency that was supposed to maintain the road.
  • Worn down tires or brakes: Another driver’s balding tires or poorly functioning brakes kept them from being able to come to a complete stop.
  • Drunk or impaired driving: Another driver was intoxicated and blew through the intersection or attempted to stop but had a slower reaction time than a sober driver would and hit our client.
  • Fatigued driving: Another driver who was a long-haul trucker, didn’t get enough sleep prior to getting behind the wheel and made a mistake they wouldn’t have if they were awake, hitting our client.

It is crucial for all motorists to obey the rules of the road, but they often try to “slide by” at intersections, either because traffic is moving slowly or they really want to make that yellow light. We’ve seen many wrecks caused by someone:

  • Running a red light
  • Running a stop sign
  • Making an illegal U-turn
  • Taking reckless or aggressive driving maneuvers
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way

With so many cars crossing paths at an intersection, it only takes one inattentive driver to cause serious injury or death. If you have been injured in an intersection accident, whether as the driver or passenger of a motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, you may be able to pursue compensation for any injuries and losses you've suffered.

But don’t delay. The state of Washington maintains a statute of limitations on all civil actions that victims may bring forward. This means, if you fail to submit your claim in the state-mandated amount of time, you could lose all right to compensation. After everything you’ve been through, this is the last thing you want to have happen.

Compensation for Damages After an Intersection Accident

Depending on the speed, an intersection collision can range from a fender bender with no injuries to a chain-reaction crash with fatalities. Victims may endure traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, fractured bones, and psychological trauma, not to mention the loss of property if their vehicles were totaled. Through a civil claim, you may pursue compensation for various damages, including:

  • Current medical bills
  • Costs of future medical treatments related to your injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and mental duress
  • Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Household and vehicle modifications (wheelchair ramps, etc.)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of career or earning potential
  • Reduction of earning potential
  • Property loss or damage
  • Loss of joy of life
  • Property loss or damage
  • Wrongful death damages (if a family member was killed)

To gain adequate coverage from the liable drivers and insurance companies, it’s important to have a Seattle injury attorney to investigate the crash and gather evidence. Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., uses accident recreations, video surveillance, and witness testimony to help our clients win the amount they are entitled to. Plus, we have former insurance adjusters on our team.

Contact Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., for Effective Representation

The Seattle car accident lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., have a long history of handling intersection cases. We make sure our clients' rights are protected while pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver or government agency. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Washington intersection, please contact us at (888) 228-3860 to find out how we can help.

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