Red lights are among the most recognizable road signals. From a young age, most people see a red light and know that it means stop.  Unfortunately, catastrophic and fatal accidents may occur when a driver does not stop for a red light.

What Should Happen at a Traffic Light

Drivers have a legal responsibility to drive with reasonable care. As they approach traffic signals, they should understand that a:

  • Green light means they can travel through the intersection with caution at a reasonable speed.
  • Green arrow means they may enter the intersection in the direction of the green signal arrow. They must, however, yield right-of-way to pedestrians and bicyclists that may be within a crosswalk.
  • Yellow light means they must stop unless they are unable to do so safely.
  • Red light means they must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the light turns green. However, they may make a right turn in some situations after coming to a complete stop and checking for other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Flashing red light means they must come to a complete stop before they proceed. A flashing red light is similar to a stop sign.

Unfortunately, drivers don’t always follow these rules of the road.

Common Causes of Red Light Crashes

Families often want to know why their loved one was killed. Every case is unique and an experienced wrongful death lawyer will investigate what happened and help you hold the driver accountable. Some common reasons drivers run red lights include:

  • Distraction
  • Drinking or drugs
  • Drowsiness
  • Being in a rush

You deserve to know why your loved one died. However, what you do after a fatal crash is the same regardless of the driver’s reason for failing to stop at the red light.

What to Do After a Fatal Red Light Accident

If you are at the scene of the crash, then you may call the police, get the name, license number, and contact information of the other driver, take photos, and get the names and contact information of any witnesses if you can do so.

However, many people aren’t with their loved ones when an accident occurs. You can still take important actions to hold the driver accountable for your loved one’s death. Specifically, you may:

  • Get a copy of the police report
  • Find out if a red light camera was installed at the intersection where the crash occurred and make sure that the recording is preserved
  • Get a copy of your loved one’s medical records
  • Talk to an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible

Together, these steps may allow you to hold the driver accountable and make a financial recovery.

Why File a Red Light Wrongful Death Case?

No amount of money will bring your loved one back. It can be difficult to think about money while you mourn, but a financial recovery may help:

  • Pay outstanding medical bills.
  • Pay funeral expenses.
  • Reimburse you for lost income.
  • Make up for the value your loved one contributed to the household.
  • Compensate your family for pain, suffering, and loss of consortium.

The value of the damages is as unique as your loved one, and an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you identify a fair settlement or court verdict.

Get All of Your Questions Answered Before Taking Legal Action

You’ve suffered a significant loss because of a negligent driver who ran a red light. You may have a lot of questions about your legal options and potential recovery. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers are here to answer all of your questions. We want you to know your options so that you can do what’s right for your family.

Over the past 50+ years, we’ve helped more than 70,000 clients recover more than $1 billion in damages. Insurance companies know that our attorneys mean business.

We invite you to contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation in any of our Wisconsin, Illinois, or Iowa personal injury law offices, in your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference.