Stop sign violations are responsible for hundreds of thousands of car accidents in Pennsylvania and all across the United States each year, while failure to stop a vehicle at a stop sign is one of the most common traffic violations in our state.
In theory, the motorist who failed to stop at a stop sign can and should be held liable for any resulting damages and losses. In practice, unfortunately, proving that the other motorist committed a stop sign violation may not be easy, unless you seek legal help from a Pittsburgh stop sign violation accident attorney.
Under Pennsylvania law, all motorists have a legal obligation to stop when approaching a stop sign in the form of vehicle control signs and traffic signals. In fact, there is the specific point at which an approaching motorist must stop his or her vehicle (typically, it’s either a marked stop line just before the marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk before an intersection).
It may sound absurd, but the mere fact that the other driver disregarded the stop sign rule does not automatically make him or her at fault for the accident. Our experienced stop sign violation accident attorney in Pittsburgh at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman explains that you, as a victim, have the burden to prove that the other motorist was negligent. Meaning: you might have to prove that the stop sign was clearly visible and seen by the other driver, and that any other reasonable and prudent motorist would have seen the stop sign and stopped his or her vehicle under similar circumstances.
For example, if the stop sign was obscured by trees or was missing, you may have a hard time proving negligence, and, thus, recovering damages from the motorist who failed to stop at a stop sign. In that scenario, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the city, county, municipality, state, or other government agency that was responsible for inspection and maintenance of the road and all surrounding traffic signs and signals in the area where the sign is standing.
Causes of stop sign violation car accidents vary from one case to another. More often than not, drivers fail to stop at a stop sign due to:
Oftentimes, the police will indicate the cause of the accident in the police report after conducting initial investigation at the scene of the crash. However, relying solely on the police to do everything for you would be a mistake, which is why it is important to talk to witnesses, take photos at the scene, as well as seek legal help from an experienced car accident lawyer to collect evidence proving the other party’s liability. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence would be footage showing that the other motorist committed a stop sign violation on one of the surveillance cameras in the area. The only way to obtain access to that footage is through a lawyer.
You will also need a lawyer by your side to determine the value of your personal injury case by evaluating the severity of your injury, past and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other tangible and non-tangible economic losses and damages.