Sometimes, the wait at a traffic light can feel like a lifetime—but this is never grounds for disobeying traffic signals. When drivers willfully run a red light, they not only place themselves, but everyone on the road, in danger. On particularly busy traffic days, cars may be moving through a busy intersection, and running a red light or speeding through a yellow light at the last second could result in deadly consequences and significant injuries for everyone involved. Those who choose to recklessly operate their vehicles and cause these issues can be held accountable in a variety of ways under Maryland laws.
A recent local news report discusses a major car accident and fire that left two Maryland drivers dead. An initial investigation revealed that a Subaru was speeding northbound and ran a red light. The Subaru subsequently crashed into a Ford, which was crossing the intersection at a green light. Upon impact, the Ford caught on fire. When local deputies arrived on the scene, one vehicle was engulfed in flames with at least one occupant was still inside. Both occupants of the Ford were pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the Subaru suffered significant injuries and was transferred to a local hospital. Although an investigation is still ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the crash, local authorities believe that speed and failure to obey traffic lights were primary contributing factors to the collision.
Are Drivers Who Run Stop Signs Liable for an Ensuing Accident?
Yes, in Maryland, stop light and stop sign violations are typically misdemeanors that carry a $140 fine. If a stoplight or stop sign violation leads to an accident, the fine is increased to $180.A red light or stop sign accident can also result in the at-fault driver facing civil liability through a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury liability is not contingent upon the at-fault driver being cited for a violation, so even if the at-fault driver didn’t get a ticket an accident victim can still pursue a claim.
In some circumstances, however, running a red light could even result in a reckless driving conviction in Maryland. According to Maryland law, if the driver was driving with willful disregard for the safety of people or property or even operated their vehicle in a manner that indicates a willful disregard for the safety of people or property, they could be charged a $560 fine.
In severe cases, running a red light and causing an accident could result in severe injury or even death. If this takes place, representatives of the deceased may have grounds to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. In Maryland, the deceased’s spouse, parents, or children are permitted to file a lawsuit. If none of these individuals are available, any person who was related to the deceased by blood or marriage and was substantially dependent on them may bring a suit.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or someone you love was recently injured or killed in a Maryland car accident or personal injury accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have spent decades aggressively representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and can provide the support, advocacy, and advice you need to navigate your claim with ease. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team today, contact us at 800-654-1949. Calling is free, and we will never bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation in your case.