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Can You Sue Someone for Running a Red Light?

Jun 11, 2021 | Personal Injury


You can sue someone for running a red light if they collide with you and you sustain injuries as a result. This applies to pedestrians and bicyclists as well as other motorists.

When you get behind the wheel of a car, you are committing to driving safely to protect the lives of others on the road. Anytime another driver breaks the law when operating a motor vehicle and causes an accident, they are guilty of negligence.

Failing to stop at a red light is a negligent act for several reasons. We’ll examine how negligence plays a role in car accident cases and what you need to know about pursuing damages from the at-fault individual.

Negligence in Car Accident Cases

Personal injury cases require that you prove that the at-fault party was negligent in some way. Negligence includes four important elements. They are:

  1. The person had a duty of care toward the injured party. Drivers have a duty of care toward other motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and the personal property of others when they operate a vehicle.
  2. The person breached that duty of care. A breached duty of care means failing to obey posted traffic signals, such as a red light, not signaling when turning or changing lanes, speeding, driving recklessly, etc.
  3. The breached duty of care directly caused your injuries.
  4. You sustained injuries from the breached duty of care. For you to have a valid lawsuit, you must have sustained some form of injury. This can be physical or mental harm from the accident. Property damage (such as to your vehicle) is generally not enough to warrant a lawsuit.

Surprising Red Light Accident Statistics

The AAA Foundation found that more than two people die every day from other drivers running a red light.

More than one in four of all accidents at intersections with a traffic light are due to a driver running a red light. And it’s not just other motorists who are dying due to drivers being reckless at signalized intersections. Pedestrians and cyclists are also losing their lives at the hands of these negligent drivers.

Moreover, the driver running the red light is not the one who is most at risk of death from the action. Only 35 percent of those killed in red light crashes were the negligent drivers.

Tragically, running red lights is far more common than you might expect. Though the good news for Indiana residents is that it’s not the riskiest state for red light crashes. Arizona has the highest per capita rate of fatalities related to running red lights.

What to Know About Pursuing Damages When Negligent Parties Break the Law

Generally, lawsuits where the other driver clearly broke the law are simpler cases to prove. You’ll still need experts and witness testimony to prove that the driver was in the wrong.

Navigating these cases alone is not simple, and it’s smart to have a trustworthy attorney alongside you providing their expertise. Stewart & Stewart is a team of outstanding attorneys skilled at getting results no matter the circumstances of your car accident.

For skillful negotiations and impressive case results, contact us. We’ll schedule you for a free consultation to meet our team and gain important insights into the strength of your case.

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If you have been involved in an Indiana personal injury accident, contact us at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers represent victims throughout the state, including Carmel and Anderson. We have also successfully advocated for clients throughout the area, including Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend. Complete a free online consultation form or call us at (800) 33-33-LAW!

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights in the following areas of Indiana injury law: auto accident, brain injury, drug injury, defective product, fire and burn injury, insurance dispute, medical malpractice, motorcycle accident, nursing home abuse, slip and fall,  truck accident, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.