Grand Junction Intersection Accident Lawyers
Intersections see some of the worst traffic collisions in Colorado. Whether you were coming up to a major traffic light, or paused before being struck at a four-way stop sign, chances are another person acted stupidly to cause the crash. Human error causes almost every intersection accident, in our experience.
We don’t know what it is about two different lanes of traffic having to interact with each other, but it seems many drivers forget their rulebook at the crossing. There is a “right of way” at each intersection, even if a signal is malfunctioning. Licensed drivers have to know the rules and obey them, or they can be held liable for a victim’s medical bills, vehicle repairs, time off of work, and more.
The Grand Junction car accident attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC, have decades of experience handling these claims. Give us a call at (970) 243-4357 to set up a free consultation. Maybe we can help you get the money you deserve and get your life back on track.
In June 2019, KOOL 107.9 FM had locals vote on the most dangerous intersections in Grand Junction. Who would know better, right? As personal injury attorneys, we’d vote for several on this list:
- 7th and North
- 7th and Patterson
- 12th and Ute
- 25 1/2 and Independent Ave
- 28 1/4 and Orchard
- Starbucks/City Market in Clifton
- Walmart on Rimrock Avenue
- The diverging diamond interchange on Highway 6 & 50
- Courthouse/Sheriff’s Office on Rice Street
Rimrock Walmart won nearly half of the vote. Next came City Market, and then the diamond interchange. We would have voted for the area around Mesa County District Court ourselves, but maybe that’s because we spend more time there than the average person. But you can still get into an accident at the lowliest cross street, because intersection crashes happen wherever two roads of traffic come together. And they can be pretty severe.
By far, the most common accidents we’ve seen at intersections include:
- Making left turn in front of someone else. When the light goes yellow, that’s not a “go ahead” for people sitting in the left turn late – the cars traveling straight have the right-of-way until the light goes red. It doesn’t matter that they’ll often slow down to let someone turn left – the left-turner does not have the right of way unless he has a green arrow, pointing left. These collisions range from head-on to T-bone, depending on how much turning was done.
- Making a right turn into a pedestrian, car turning left, or someone exiting a driveway. For practical purposes, pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Yes; they are supposed to obey traffic signals and use crosswalks, and they can be held partially to blame if they don’t. But the driver who hits them will likely bear more blame, and more of the cost. On the other hand, the vehicle that is already moving has the right-of-way, as opposed to a vehicle entering traffic. Follow traffic signals, and look before you move.
- Being rear-ended. With distractions galore these days, lots of drivers in Grand Junction are hitting the brakes too late. Rear-end collisions, even at low speeds, can actually be quite devastating for the people in the front car. The back-and-forth snapping motion of the head and neck can lead to whiplash, which is barely visible but very painful.
There are other things that can go wrong in an intersection, like someone who goes straight at a stop sign when it’s not her turn and plows into another vehicle that’s lawfully turning, but these three are the most common. Injuries can range from deep bruises to broken bones, with a special emphasis on head injury: if you hit your head at all during the impact, get checked out by a medical professional right away. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not be visible at first, but they cause real brain damage.
Municipalities may be partly liable for a crash in certain situations. Let’s talk about power outages. Most traffic signals don’t have emergency backup power, but a power outage isn’t related to the signal itself – it’s the power grid the signal is on, and that is the power company’s responsibility. After the malfunctioning traffic light is reported to your local public works department, the city should dispatch a crew immediately to fix it, set up traffic signs (like “stop signs” on sandwich boards), or have an officer controlling traffic. However, signals can also malfunction if they aren’t maintained. Grand Junction, and other cities, are required to document their routine and extraordinary maintenance of traffic lights. If they don’t, they can be held liable if poor maintenance allows a crash.
But the real problem is almost always individual drivers. When an intersection defaults to a flashing red “safety position,” people just don’t seem to know what to do. Every intersection in “flash” is supposed to be treated like a four-way stop sign, but some drivers think they can blow through. They can’t… and they should be held liable, because there are right-of-way laws for every situation.
We know intersections well, and not just because we live and work in Grand Junction. We’ve also helped people who suffered serious, life-changing accidents through no fault of their own. We’ve recovered tens of thousands of dollars for people who were injured by another driver’s negligence. If you’re hurt on the Western Slope, we want to help you. Call Peters & Nolan, LLC, at (970) 243-4357 to set up a free consultation.
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Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.