Running a red light is one of the most careless and dangerous mistakes a driver can make. Failing to stop for a red light can place many people in harm’s way, including the driver, passengers, other motorists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians. Obeying traffic signals may seem common sense, but many accidents are caused when negligent drivers risk the lives and safety of others by driving through a red light.
If you were injured by a reckless driver who ran through a red light, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida law. However, you will be required to prove that the other driver caused the accident by running through the red light. You may wonder what evidence might be used to hold someone accountable when they run a red light?
Whenever you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is always advisable to consult with an injury lawyer to learn how to prove your claim. Your attorney will help you identify the most important pieces of evidence to help prove the other driver is responsible. Each case is unique, but some common forms of evidence in red light-running accidents are discussed below.
A recent report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety shows over 300,000 car accidents are reported each year. Motor vehicle accidents are unfortunately common. Because accidents happen so frequently, eyewitnesses can almost always provide first-hand details about a particular car crash. Eyewitnesses are particularly important in cases where a collision is caused by a driver running a red light.
Eyewitnesses can provide sworn statements, sometimes called affidavits or declarations, which describe their view of the negligent driver running a red light before a crash. These witnesses may be nearby pedestrians, customers at a nearby business, or other drivers or passengers who saw the accident. If you were injured by a driver running a red light, you should attempt to track down contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the accident. You should provide any information about potential witnesses to your attorney, so your legal counsel can track down any important witnesses to establish the liability of the at-fault driver.
Another common form of evidence in motor vehicle collision cases is an accident report prepared by law enforcement. An accident report will sometimes contain useful information about the at-fault driver, like estimated speed or whether the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Accident reports might also provide clues about eyewitnesses. In some cases, law enforcement officers write down statements made by the at-fault driver, like admissions of guilt. This type of evidence can be incredibly helpful to your attorney as they fight to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Red Light Camera Video
In a recent Florida Supreme Court case, the court ruled that red light cameras are legal in the State of Florida to protect the public safety. One governmental report states there are 638 red light cameras in Florida at various intersections throughout the state. The images and video captured by red light cameras can be some of the best evidence to prove liability in a red-light running case.
If your accident occurred at an intersection with a red light camera, the video evidence of the careless driver could be a compelling visual to support your claim. One hurdle you may encounter is getting access to the video recorded by these cameras. You may need to submit a public records request for the video to the local government responsible for operating the camera. However, there is no need to undertake this task on your own. If you are working with an experienced injury lawyer, your attorney will be able to track down this video footage on your behalf.
Red light cameras are not installed at every intersection in Florida, but video footage of an accident may be stored on surveillance cameras at nearby businesses. This footage can sometimes prove a driver ran a red light. Often, gas stations, parking lots, restaurants, and other businesses have installed surveillance cameras that may capture images of an accident. If there are no surveillance cameras in the area of your accident, you might also use video recorded by a dashboard camera if you or another driver recorded the accident.
If you are able to locate surveillance cameras in the area of an accident, you should try to request the video as soon as possible. Some surveillance systems automatically delete footage after a certain amount of time. If necessary, your attorney may need to request the surveillance video by issuing a subpoena to the camera owner.
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Examining the damage to your vehicle might also help prove a driver is responsible for causing an accident after running a red light. It is always important to take photographs of the damage to your vehicle. Typically, when a driver runs a red light and collides with another vehicle, the damage to the at-fault driver’s vehicle will be seen on the car’s front end. On the other hand, damage to the other vehicle will likely be seen on the car’s side panel. Photographs of the damage to your vehicle can tell the story of how the accident was caused.
When other forms of evidence are lacking or unpersuasive, your attorney may seek to hire an expert in the field of accident reconstruction. An accident reconstructionist can analyze the scene of the collision, estimate the speed of the vehicles, and provide an opinion about the cause of the crash. This type of scientific evidence is often helpful to prove liability in motor vehicle collision cases.
If you need help establishing that a careless driver ran a red light and injured you in an accident, you should consider hiring Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers. With over 30 years of experience fighting for injured clients in Florida, Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers have the competence and skill to represent your best interests. Call today to Demand More!