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Hit by a Driver Running a Red Light: What are my Rights in California?

Common Damages and Liability Explained After Being Hit by a Driver Running a Red Light

From an early age, we learn the difference between a red light, a yellow light, and a green light.  This formula is used not only throughout the United States but also internationally on some of the busiest roadways in the world.  But even though everyone knows that red means stop, far too many motorists recklessly, negligently, and even intentionally run red lights.  When this happens, it can result in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident causing serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent person.  Victims who are hit by a driver running a red light in California should call our law firm for help protecting their rights.

Here at The Broadway Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles handle all types of catastrophic personal injury cases including motor vehicle accidents resulting in permanent, disabling, or even fatal injuries after an innocent person is hit by a driver running a red light in California.  Learn more about your rights below and how we can help recover compensation for you by calling for a FREE consultation.

Common Causes of Running a Red Light 

There are many different causes and reasons why a motorist may run a red light.  Whether it is intentionally or negligently, the reasons are usually avoidable and preventable.  This means that victims who are injured by a driver running a red light are causing unnecessary harm to innocent people.

The most common causes of running a red light in California include the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Intentionally running a red light
  • Drugged driving
  • Cell phone use
  • Driver inexperience
  • Aggressive driving or rushing
  • Mechanical failures
  • Falling asleep at the wheel, and
  • Many other common causes.

Liability Under California Law

When a motorist runs a red light in California, there are two main ways to prove liability.  The first is through the common law (judge-made law) cause of action for negligence.  A motorist is negligent when he or she breaches a duty of care owed to another person and causes that person damages.  All motorists have a duty of care to exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of a motor vehicle.  When a motorist fails to exercise reasonable care, for example by running a red light, that motorist could be said to be negligent.

The second way to prove liability is through the doctrine of negligence per se.  This doctrine usually a statutory violation, or legislative-made law, to automatically establish liability if 1) the statute was violated, 2) the victim was a person supposed to be protected by the statute, and 3) the harm caused to the victim was supposed to be prevented by the statute.

In California, the application statute is Vehicle Code Section 21453.  Subsection (a) requires “[a] driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown . . . .”

If an innocent person is hit by a driver running a red light, California Vehicle Code section 21453 is likely violated and a victim may be able to establish liability through the doctrine of negligence per se.  This means that a victim and his or her family will only have to prove causation and damages.

If You Were Hit by a Driver Running a Red Light in Los Angeles or Anywhere Else in California, Call Us For a FREE Consultation

There may be no more traumatic of an accident than being involved in a motor vehicle accident.  The good news is that motor vehicle accidents are usually avoidable with the proper exercise of reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle.  The bad news is that far too many motorists fail to follow the vehicle and traffic laws and operate a motor vehicle with reasonable care. Even children know that running a red light is wrong, but unfortunately far too many motorists run red lights and harm innocent people.

Our experienced California auto accident lawyers are here and able to help you with your motor vehicle accident cases in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale, Pasadena, and anywhere else in California.  We can help victims and families recover compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other damages caused by the negligence of another motorist.  We accept cases on a contingency fee agreement which means that we do not get paid until you get paid.  Learn more about how we can help you during a FREE consultation by dialing (888) 824-1025.

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