Atlanta Stop Sign Accident Attorneys
Except for originally being yellow instead of red, the familiar octagonal stop sign has been in standard use on American streets and roads for more than one hundred years. The message is easily recognizable and its meaning unmistakable; a driver approaching a stop sign must come to a complete stop before proceeding onward. Depending on the cross-traffic, the driver might also be required to yield the right of way before proceeding.
The presence of stop signs controls traffic and gives people the confidence to enter and pass through intersections without fear they might get crashed into by a car coming through from a perpendicular direction. Unfortunately, not everybody obeys stop signs. In fact, thousands of people die every year in intersection crashes controlled by a stop sign. Running a stop sign seems like the very definition of negligent driving, but intersection crashes can be complex incidents, and proving a driver’s liability is not always a simple matter.
At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers are vastly experienced in representing victims of Atlanta car accidents, with a solid reputation for achieving significant results for victims and their families. If you or a family member has been seriously hurt in a metro Atlanta stop sign crash, or if you are an attorney in need of co-counsel or a trusted referral for your client’s car accident, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 for a free consultation.
Stop Sign Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries and Death
Whether a negligent driver is rolling or floating past a stop sign or speeding through the intersection, stop sign intersection crashes can be serious and deadly. Statistics from various sources reveal hundreds of thousands of stop sign crashes every year, with about one-third ending in injury. Nearly three-fourths of fatal intersection crashes occur at unsignalized intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
The most common and dangerous stop sign accidents are T-bone crashes, where a car entering an intersection is struck by a driver coming from the cross-street who ignores the stop sign. Slightly over ten percent of stop sign accidents involve rear-end collisions, where a driver slowing or stopped at a stop sign is rear-ended by a following driver who is not paying attention to the road ahead. These rear-end crashes can cause whiplash and back injuries and can also prove fatal when the struck car is pushed into the intersection and broadsided in a secondary collision.
Stop sign accidents are especially dangerous because the driver who misses the stop sign is often engaged in other negligent behavior, such as speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving. These behaviors make it more likely the negligent driver will not recognize the danger and try to stop or avoid the collision, meaning the impact will be more forceful than other types of collisions.
Stop Sign Violations Are Evidence of Negligence
Section 40-6-72 of the Georgia Code requires that a driver “shall stop” when approaching an intersection controlled by a stop sign. The driver must further yield the right of way to a vehicle already in the intersection or one that is approaching on another roadway so closely that it would create an immediate hazard for the stopped driver to enter the intersection.
Similarly, the law requires a driver approaching a yield sign to slow down, stop if required for safety, and yield the right of way as described above for stop signs. This section of the law also states, “If a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima-facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way.”
The fact that a driver broke the law is often offered as proof that the driver was negligent in causing an accident. A driver in this situation could be held negligent “per se,” meaning that no other evidence is needed to prove the driver was negligent and liable for causing the crash. Negligence per se is applicable when a person violates a law that was created to protect people from a certain kind of harm, the accident was a member of the group of people the law was designed to protect, and the victim suffered the same type of harm the law was meant to avoid. A victim of a stop sign crash will generally meet the requirements for holding the other driver negligent per se.
Running the stop sign creates a presumption that the driver was negligent and responsible for the accident, but they may be able to rebut that presumption in a number of ways, such as by showing they had an obstructed view of the stop sign or an obstructed view of oncoming traffic. They might also claim the victim was at least partly to blame for the accident as well, arguing that if the victim were paying better attention to the road, they would have seen the oncoming vehicle and stayed clear of the intersection. An argument like this might be enough to reduce the amount of compensation an accident victim can recover, and if they are considered to be 50% or more to blame, they can be prohibited from recovering any compensation at all from the negligent driver who ran the stop sign.
For reasons like these, it’s imperative to get representation from an experienced and successful car accident attorney who knows how to build a strong case proving the other driver’s negligence and fault and will fight to recover the maximum in compensation available. At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, this is what we are known for and what we do every day.
Get Help After a Metro Atlanta Stop Sign Accident
If you have been hurt in a stop sign accident in metro Atlanta, or if you lost a beloved family member in a crash at an Atlanta intersection, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 for a free consultation. We take on cases involving the most serious catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, and we fight to secure significant compensation for our clients who were hurt because of another’s negligence or wrongful conduct.