Intersections tend to be hotspots for motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, in Arizona and throughout the country at-large. According to a 2008 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were roughly 2.31 million crashes that occurred at intersections in that year alone.
If you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident that occurs at an intersection, and the intersection was designed in a way that contributed to the accident, then you are entitled under Arizona law to sue the person or entity that owns or possesses the intersection property.
Whether an intersection represents a hazard depends on a number of factors, but ultimately rests on a determination that the intersection presents an unreasonable risk of danger to users of the intersection. There are a number of different factors to consider, of course. Let’s take a look at a few.
Oftentimes, intersection accidents occur due to problems with visibility — whether caused by inadequate lighting, narrow or otherwise constrained sight lines leading up to the main intersection, and various physical obstructions such as poorly placed signage, trees, and other items. When designing and maintaining an intersection, those responsible must consider the ability of drivers and pedestrians to identify the presence of the intersection (and others near the intersection) in advance, thus giving them the time necessary to make adjustments.
Non-Functioning Traffic Signals
Intersections must be properly maintained to ensure that the traffic signals are in good working order. In some cases, for example, an errant traffic signal may give a pedestrian confidence to enter the intersection and cross the road, thus luring them into a dangerous situation. If the signal doesn’t work, then the pedestrian could be hit by an incoming vehicle.
Inadequate Traffic Signals
The traffic entering certain intersections can be high-volume, complex, and chaotic. Intersection design must take this into account — if additional, visible, easier-to-read traffic signals are necessary to properly control traffic, then it must be implemented to ensure that the intersection does not pose an unreasonable risk of danger.
Lack of Speed Control Mechanisms
Speed control mechanisms (i.e., radar signs, speed bumps, etc.) are an effective way to slow down incoming traffic. Unfortunately, administrative bloat and lack of care can lead to inadequate speed control implementations. With the aid of a skilled attorney, you can investigate the roadway and determine whether traffic speed would benefit from such mechanisms, and whether the implementation thereof might have prevented your injuries.
Design Inconsiderate of the Circumstances
Intersection design must be reactive to the circumstances. For example, if there is an elementary school down the street from the intersection, it’s important that the intersection be highly visible to both drivers and pedestrians — further, the traffic signals must be implemented to give schoolchildren sufficient time to cross the street safely. If the traffic signal is too “fast” to countdown, then this might encourage unsafe behavior when crossing the road.
Contact a Skilled Phoenix Accident Lawyer for Help
Poor intersection design poses a serious risk of injury to drivers and pedestrians alike, and litigation may be worth pursuing — not only to ensure maximum compensation for your injuries, but also to force the defendant to correct the design of the intersection and prevent others from suffering similar harms.
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, we have decades of experience assisting injured plaintiffs with a range of motor vehicle accident claims, including those that involve road hazards and dangerous conditions of property at intersections (public and private). We pride ourselves on being a firm that values clients and their time. We make ourselves readily available to answer any questions or concerns that clients may have, and further, we offer discounted contingency fees so that our injured clients can keep more of what they ultimately secure in a verdict or settlement.
Call (602) 535-1900 or send us information about your claim online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix accident lawyer. We look forward to assisting you.