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Nahon, Saharovich, & Trotz

Accidents Caused by Traffic Signal Violations

Accidents Caused by Traffic Signal Violations

Memphis Lawyers Helping Car Crash Victims

Drivers do not always obey traffic signals. A failure to obey traffic signals, such as by running red lights or stop signs, may result in a devastating accident involving a collision with one or more other vehicles, which may injure innocent bystanders and people who were following road rules and etiquette. If you are hurt in an accident caused by a traffic signal violation in Tennessee or elsewhere in the South, you may be able to recover compensatory damages from the driver who violated the traffic signal. It is important to consult a Memphis car accident attorney at our firm before talking to the insurer for the driver who broke the law. NST is the way to go.

Accidents Caused by Traffic Signal Violations

Drivers who violate traffic signals put many others at risk. Many fatalities result from a driver running a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield the right of way while making a left turn. Sometimes drivers speed to try to make it through a yellow light or fail to come to a complete stop at an intersection controlled by multiple stop signs. Drivers may fail to follow no-U turn signs or no-left turn signs. Each driver should follow traffic signals and signs to keep roads safer.

If you were injured in an accident, it is important to call the police to the scene. This is particularly crucial in a case involving an accident caused by a traffic signal violation. Officers at the scene may issue a citation to the driver whom they believe to be at fault, and this citation may be useful to establish negligence per se. Negligence per se is applicable when a driver violates a safety law and in so doing causes injuries of the type that the law was intended to avert. A citation may go a long way toward establishing fault. Other evidence that might be helpful for a plaintiff includes accident reconstruction or a traffic camera.

Even if negligence per se is not established, proof of a traffic signal violation may be evidence of negligence. Negligence consists of certain elements: a duty of reasonable care, a breach of this duty, causation, and damages. All drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to act reasonably and prudently by obeying traffic signals, and in most cases, violations of traffic signals will be perceived as unreasonable by a jury.

Sometimes, in spite of violating a traffic signal, a defendant will try to shift the blame back to the plaintiff through the doctrine of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence allows a plaintiff’s damages to be reduced by their percentage of fault. Different states handle comparative negligence differently. In Tennessee, for example, if a plaintiff is 50% or more at fault for an accident, they will be barred from recovery.

If you establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These damages include all of your economic and noneconomic losses, including medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of consortium. When a loved one dies due to an accident caused by running a red light or committing another traffic signal violation, certain family members may be able to obtain compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages in that case may include loss of companionship, funeral and burial expenses, loss of support, and other noneconomic damages related to the relationship of a surviving family member to the victim.

Retain a Car Accident Attorney in Memphis or Beyond

If you are injured in an accident caused by a traffic signal violation in Tennessee or another Southern state, you may be able to recover your economic and non-economic damages. Our firm, which employs more than 120 staff members and over 30 stellar trial attorneys, may be able to help you. We serve accident victims in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, including in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.

Content Reviewer Box for A. Parker Trotz with his awards and credentials

Our Memphis Office

488 S. Mendenhall Road Memphis, TN 38117

Phone: 901-683-7000

Fax: 901-462-3350


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Our client was walking in a Tennessee gas station parking lot when he was struck by a commercial concrete truck. He broke both of his legs and underwent extensive medical treatment.


Represented a Tennessee couple involved in an accident with a driver who hit them head on while driving on the wrong side of the road.


Our client, a logistics worker, suffered a severe ankle injury involving four surgeries and years of ongoing pain management. He was unable to return to work. After extensive discovery, the insurance company’s “best” offer was $18,000.00.