There are many rules of the road that Elgin drivers must abide by, including those that are meant to prevent dangerous head-on collisions. However, after an automotive wreck, it can be difficult to determine if a traffic law violation may have been a contributing factor.
These direct impacts often occur in a split second and can leave injured victims in no position to investigate the wreckage or pursue compensation from the at-fault party. As such, it is important to work with a skilled car accident attorney, like those at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., in pursuing compensation for your injuries. Our persistent legal team could help with determining fault in Elgin head-on collision cases to ensure a fair settlement in insurance negotiations or civil court.
Who has the Right-of-Way on Elgin Roads?
All drivers are required to follow traffic laws and right-of-way rules to keep others on the road safe. Importantly, these include a duty to yield and a duty not to pass on a two-way road except in a designated zone. When drivers neglect these duties, serious traffic wrecks often result. However, right of way can be difficult to determine in certain head-on collision cases and often requires the help of an investigative lawyer in the area to establish.
For instance, a case involving a truck that runs a red light and directly impacts another vehicle might have clear liability with the trucker being at fault. But many accidents involving a duty to yield are far more complex. Because the motorist with the right of way still has a responsibility to drive safely and avoid head-on collisions, liability can be contested, especially in incidents involving yellow lights.
Liability for Front-End Crashes on a Yellow Light
In Elgin, fault is often unclear in head-on accidents that occur at intersections with traffic lights. Often, a driver will be waiting to make a left-hand turn and yielding to oncoming traffic when the light turns yellow. The driver may be concerned about making the turn before the light turns red, but a dangerous front-end collision could occur if the oncoming traffic enters the intersection on yellow.
In this scenario, the duty to yield is on the left-turning driver. Even if oncoming traffic is still passing through the intersection on a yellow or red light, the driver must wait in order to avoid a head-on collision.
Determining Fault for Speeding Through an Intersection
However, drivers who are traveling straight through an intersection also have a duty not to speed. If an Elgin driver steps on the gas to make the light, they could be at fault for a head-on collision with a left-turning vehicle if they entered the intersection on red. This often occurs when drivers are distracted and do not notice the changing traffic light. For example, an inattentive driver would be liable if they sped into an intersection on a red light and collided with a vehicle that had the right of way on a green left-turn arrow.
Evidence of Fault for Head-On Crashes in Elgin
Although fault can be difficult to determine in many cases, there are several types of evidence that a local attorney could gather to establish liability for a head-on collision. Fortunately, traffic cameras are becoming more commonplace at intersections. A skilled legal team in the neighborhood could order that footage, which often provides clear and compelling evidence of what happened in causing the front-end wreck.
Other forms of car crash evidence that a savvy legal investigator could procure include:
- Security camera videos from nearby businesses
- Dash cam footage from a passing police car
- Photographs taken after the accident by residents in the area
- Eyewitness statements
Photographs, videos, and witness statements gathered by a well-practiced lawyer are often key in assigning responsibility for a head-on collision court case or insurance company settlement. However, obtaining objective evidence is often a time-sensitive process, so it is important for injured victims to reach out to nearby legal counsel immediately after a front-end car crash.
Call an Attorney with Experience Determining Fault in Elgin Head-On Collision Cases
Even front-end crashes involving a clearly negligent driver may be difficult to prove in civil court without consistent legal support. At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, our attorneys have over thirty years of practice investigating car accidents and determining fault in Elgin head-on collision cases.
If you were injured by an oncoming vehicle, work with a law firm that understands the rules of the road and could explain how right of way applies in your specific situation. Call today for a free consultation.