Traffic signals are a common staple on any roadway. Particularly in metropolitan areas. Many assume that these traffic signals cannot be defective. However time and time again courts have awarded substantial compensation for those injured in catastrophic auto accidents and pedestrian collisions caused by the negligent placement of defective or faulty traffic signals. Unlikely motorist are almost never aware that they have a potential claim against a city or state municipality. To learn more about your potential rights read below. We are here to answer any of your questions.
Rights of Victims to Compensation for Accidents involving Defective Traffic Lights
Individuals who have suffered harm due to accidents caused by defective or improperly installed traffic lights and signals are entitled to financial compensation for all harms suffered including…
- All medical and health related costs and rehabilitation expenses.
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic based damages.
- Cost in terms of loss of income due to injuries suffered.
- Compensation for all property damages including damage to property.
Duty to Have Safe Traffic Signals
Unless otherwise provided for a public entity is considered to be liable for injury caused by a dangerous road condition or defective traffic signal. Any person using a public roadway is entitled to have the road maintained in a manner which is reasonable. Reasonable care of roadways is based on a reasonable standard. This standard is measured against what other states or districts consider to be reasonable. If the highway or road is frequently traveled and there are known issues, then the city will have a duty to inspect and correct. The degree of care required depends on a number of different factors involved. In order to bring a cause of action for negligence against the companies you will need to show that their standard of care fell below that of other districts or municipalities.
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City or State Liability for Faulty Traffic Lights and Signals
In order to hold a city or state liable for a dangerous condition one of two critical elements must be established. The first element needed is negligence. The Injured party or plaintiff must establish that there was a “negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the public entity within the scope of his employment which created the dangerous condition.” If this is not possible the plaintiff must show whether or not the public entity had notice of the dangerous condition. Notice can be either actual or constructive. Actual notice is when the city or municipality knows of the condition. This can be through routine inspection or when other parties put them on notice. Constructive notice applies when the party should have known or a reasonable party in the same position would have had notice. When the city, state or municipality has notice they will be held liable for the injuries sustained by motorist.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (888) 649-7166.
What Makes Traffic Signals Defective
Red Light and Traffic signals will be considered defective for a number of reasons. Here a list of some particular reasons from previous cases in which traffic signals were considered defective.
Conflicting Signals: What happens when there is conflicting traffic signals and an injury occurs? In certain jurisdictions there is immunity for injuries resulting from such conditions. However this immunity may not always be considered applicable. In certain circumstances when the traffic signals were improperly positioned it is possible that the immunity will be applicable.
Blocked Stop Sign: When public entities fail to position a stop sign correctly or fails to remove branches or any object that may block the view of the stop sign they may be held liable. In such cases the city will likely claim that the injured party was negligent. However, courts have often denied this contention and ruled in favor of the driver. When the city fails to clear an obstructed view on a stop sign or traffic signal and an accident results, then the city will be held liable for injuries.
Insufficient Walk Time: Certain traffic signals are improperly programmed and do not provide enough time for a pedestrian to cross. The cross time should be set based on the distance from post-to-post. However many times traffic signals provide insufficient time to properly cross. Therefore the municipality or city will be held liable for injuries that occur as a result.
Find out more about how we can help you. Call (888) 649-7166 to speak with a representative now.
Malfunctioning Traffic Signal: A malfunctioning traffic signals is also cause for a negligence claim against the transportation authorities for negligence. Transportation departments are required to have proper warnings to inform motorist of malfunctioning traffic signals. Failure to do so will expose them to liability in the event of an accident. Motorist or pedestrians who are ultimately harmed will have a claim against a such entities for injuries sustained.
Time Line for filing a Personal Injury Claim
Generally there is a two year statute of limitations for filing a product liability lawsuit in the court of law. In matters where the defendant is a public entity (ie. Cal-trans, City and State traffic light administrative agencies) the courts place a 180 day (6month) time period to file a grievance. There are certain instances where the stature of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit can be tolled (halted) for a period of time. If you have been injured from a defective road or traffic light you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our law offices today for a free case evaluation. (888) 649-7166