Who Is at Fault for a Yellow Light Car Accident in Texas?
Posted on August 9, 2021
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Car accidents are one of the main causes of serious injuries and deaths in Texas. Some of the most devastating vehicle collisions take place at intersections. At an intersection, it is a driver’s legal responsibility to pay attention to and obey traffic control signals. If you were injured in an accident at an intersection while you or another driver had a yellow light, fault can be difficult to determine. You may need assistance from a Dallas car accident attorney.
What Are a Driver’s Responsibilities at a Yellow Light in Texas?
If a traffic light is red, drivers must stop. A yellow light is a warning that a red light is coming. Its purpose is to give drivers enough time to stop before the red light appears. However, many drivers take it to mean the opposite – they use the yellow light as a chance to speed up and “beat” the red light. This dangerous practice can lead to a driver unintentionally running a red light and causing a catastrophic high-speed accident.
According to Texas Transportation Code Section 544.007, a driver must take a steady yellow light to mean that the green signal is ending and a red signal is to be given. This means that the driver should let off the gas or gently apply the brakes to come to a complete stop by the time the signal shows a red light. The driver should only continue to pass through the yellow light if he or she has plenty of time to make it through the intersection before the light turns red.
Who Is Liable?
Fault for a yellow light car accident in Texas will depend on the circumstances of the collision. If a driver should have slowed down at a yellow light to have time to stop before it turned red, the driver could be financially responsible (liable) for an accident caused by running the red. If, however, the driver still had plenty of time to make it through the intersection at a yellow light and another driver preemptively ran a red light, the other driver would be at fault.
It is also against the law for a driver to make a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming driver. Even if the light has turned yellow, the driver making the left-hand turn must yield to oncoming traffic rather than assuming an oncoming driver will stop. Cutting off an oncoming car could make the turning driver liable for a collision. However, if the driver turning left had a green turn arrow and an oncoming driver ran a red light, the oncoming driver would be liable.
How to Prove Another Driver’s Fault for a Yellow Light Car Accident
If you get injured in a side-impact crash, head-on collision, rear-end collision, or pedestrian or bicycle accident at a yellow light in Dallas, consult with a car accident attorney for assistance proving fault. A lawyer will understand Texas’ traffic laws, as well as who had the legal obligation to come to a stop at the intersection. If another driver ran a red light, failed to proceed through an intersection with caution, was driving drunk or was guilty of another reckless act, that driver is most likely responsible for a related car accident.
An attorney can help you prove that the other driver is at fault by collecting evidence such as an accident report and eyewitness statements. Then, your lawyer can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for maximum financial compensation on your behalf. If you passed through an intersection at a yellow light, your lawyer can help you refute the fault for the accident or settle your claim using the comparative negligence law.
A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options after any type of intersection or yellow-light crash in Dallas. Speak to a car accident attorney today for assistance with your specific car accident case.