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Who’s to Blame for a Stop Sign Accident? 

Stop Sign Accident

Many car accidents occur at intersections — including those with stop signs. These types of crashes can be serious and involve property damage and severe physical injuries to a driver and their passengers. Whether you were rear-ended by another vehicle while you were stopped at a stop sign or struck by a car that drove through one, it’s crucial to hold the negligent party accountable for your damages. If you were hurt in a stop sign accident because of the reckless actions of another, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury action.  

Causes of Stop Sign Accidents

Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 1142, a vehicle approaching a stop sign is required to stop — and after stopping, they are required to yield the right of way to any vehicle that has entered the intersection. Similarly, under § 1172, every driver approaching a stop sign must stop at a clearly marked stop line, crosswalk, or at the point nearest to the intersecting roadway where they have a view of approaching traffic. When a driver disregards these provisions of the VTL, they are breaking the law and can cause serious physical injury to another.     

Critically, there are a wide variety of reasons a driver may disregard the VTL and a stop sign accident may occur. Common reasons for stop sign accidents can include the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impatience
  • Drunk driving
  • Recklessness or carelessness
  • Inattention 
  • Failure to observe

Additionally, if a driver followed too closely behind another and failed to pay attention, they could rear end that vehicle. No matter how a stop sign accident happens, the effects of a vehicle disobeying the traffic control device can be devastating. A victim may also suffer from a wide range of injuries, including broken bones, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, disfigurement, lacerations, and permanent disability. These types of injuries may require extensive medical treatment and result in a significant amount of time lost from work.  

Liability and Compensation for Stop Sign Accidents 

No-fault insurance will cover up to $50,000 in medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages in connection with the accident. But in some cases, your damages may exceed this threshold. If you have suffered what is defined under New York Insurance Law as a “serious injury,” you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.  

A victim of a car accident must typically prove two things to prevail in a personal injury action: liability and damages. In other words, you need to show that someone else was responsible for the accident and that you suffered harm as a result. If you can demonstrate that someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for both your economic and noneconomic damages. However, in a stop sign accident, the legal doctrine of “negligence per se” can come into play — and liability may automatically be established based on violation of the applicable VTL violation alone. 

Economic damages are meant to compensate for things like unreimbursed medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, and future loss of earnings in connection with the accident. Noneconomic damages — also known as pain and suffering — can be awarded to compensate you for the impact the crash-related injuries had on your daily life and livelihood. 

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you were hurt in a stop sign accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to have the counsel of a skillful personal injury attorney. A proficient attorney can help ensure you secure the monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Dearie Law Firm P.C. has represented car crash victims for more than three decades and has assisted them with obtaining the best possible outcomes in their unique cases.

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.