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Can You Sue Someone for Running a Red Light and Hitting You?

Running a red light is extremely dangerous. It is also extremely common. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that drivers who run red lights cause more than 120,000 injuries annually; and, according to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, more than 1 in 40 fatal accidents involve a driver who ran a red light. 

So, what does all of this mean for you if someone ran a red light and hit you? 

The short answer is, it means you’re not alone. The costs that victims and families can incur when drivers run red lights are well known; and, because of the number of serious and fatal accidents caused by drivers who run red lights, it is also well-settled that these drivers can be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. So, yes, you can sue someone for running a red light—and it is best if you take legal action as soon as possible. 

Suing a Driver Who Hit You After Running a Red Light in Alabama 

Running a red light is illegal in Alabama—just like it is in every other state. While this means that drivers who run red lights can face fines and other penalties, it also has important implications for victims of red light accidents.

To sue for a car accident in Alabama, you need proof of negligence (in most cases—there are exceptions for specific scenarios, such as accidents involving vehicle defects). Normally, proving negligence requires evidence from the crash site, and perhaps evidence from other sources as well. 

But, when a driver violates a law that exists to protect public safety—like Alabama’s red light law—this is known as negligence per se. When a driver commits negligence per se, this alone is enough to establish victims’ right to just compensation. 

Of course, if you got hit by a driver who ran a red light, there will most likely be plenty of evidence available, as long as you hire a law firm to investigate in time. These are often serious accidents that result in significant vehicle damage, and there are usually multiple witnesses. Car accidents at intersections are also increasingly being caught on camera. 

As a result, while you can rely on negligence per se if the driver is found guilty of running a red light, you might not have to—and you should not wait to take action until you find out if the driver is found guilty of violating the law. To the contrary, you should hire a law firm to help you assert your legal rights as soon as possible. 

Dealing with the Insurance Companies After a Red Light Accident

While you can sue someone who hit you after running a red light, in most cases asserting your legal rights will involve dealing with the insurance companies. All drivers are required to carry liability insurance (the insurance that compensates accident victims) under Alabama law. Additionally, your insurance company is required to provide uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage unless you specifically reject it. 

When dealing with insurance companies, there are two things you need to prove: You need to prove negligence, and you need to prove the losses (or “damages”) you are entitled to recover. This would be the same if you sued the driver who ran the red light in court. If the insurance companies refuse to settle for just compensation you may still end up suing, so these are critical steps regardless of how your case progresses. 

With this in mind, if you need to seek just compensation after a red light accident in Alabama, there are some important steps you should take promptly. Whether you have a liability insurance claim or UIM claim (or both), and whether you ultimately receive a fair settlement offer or end up needing to take your case to court, it will be important for you to:

  • Preserve any evidence you have from the accident;
  • Write down as many details as possible;
  • Follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion, if necessary); 
  • Hire a law firm to investigate the accident promptly; and, 
  • Work closely with your law firm to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. 

Talk to an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer for FREE

After a serious car accident, you need to know your rights. Depending on the details of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses, If you need to know more about suing someone for running a red light and hitting you, we encourage you to contact Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC right away. 

To arrange a FREE case evaluation as soon as possible, call 844-654-6228 or tell us how we can help online now. With offices in Dothan and Mobile, Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC represents car accident victims throughout Alabama.