Who is Liable for an Accident at a Stop Sign?

Even though they might seem like the most basic rule when it comes to driving, it’s common for people to ignore or miss stop signs. When they do, other drivers could be seriously injured or killed. In 2020, the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reported 10,626 fatalities at intersections without traffic signals, intersections with stop signs, yield signs, or no signs at all.

Even if the speed of the at-fault driver doesn’t seem extreme, your life could be disrupted. Under Ohio law, you’re entitled to compensation when someone’s reckless actions lead to damages. Learn more about Ohio’s right-of-way laws.

What Are Ohio Right-Of-Way Laws at Intersections?

Following stop sign laws is one of the basics covered in driver’s education classes. However, the law determines who can go through the intersection first.

Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.41(A) explains the right-of-way for two vehicles. If they are approaching or entering an intersection from different streets at approximately the same time, the driver of the left-most vehicle will yield to the driver on the right. ORC 4511.42 says a driver trying to turn across traffic will yield to any vehicle coming from the opposite direction. And ORC 4511.43 explains that unless directed by law enforcement, all drivers will stop at a stop sign at the stop bar, before the crosswalk, or without entering the intersection.

There are different variations of intersections using stop signs. Four-way stops have signs for all lanes of traffic. Two-way stops have signs for two parallel lanes with no signs for perpendicular lanes. Some T-shaped intersections have three stop signs that function like four-way stops. Other T-shaped intersections have two stop signs and one yield sign for near-continuous traffic.

What Causes Crashes at Stop Signs?

Like other accidents, there could be several reasons for a driver’s negligent actions. Some stop signs may not be visible behind overgrown vegetation. Others may not be far enough back from the intersection for safe stops.

Besides ignoring stop sign laws, negligent drivers can be responsible for your damages if they are:

  • Driving under the influence: A driver’s reaction times and judgment will be affected whether they’re on the road while drunk or using controlled substances.
  • Distracted driving: whether it’s a car radio, texting, or talking to other passengers, anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road can be dangerous.
  • Lack of patience: some drivers put themselves ahead of others, ignoring right-of-way laws.
  • Lack of vehicle control: the driver might be speeding or late with the brake pedal, but if they aren’t stopping before the designated area, they could enter the intersection or rear-end drivers ahead of them.

What Injuries Happen at Stop Signs?

Crashes at stop signs can be dangerous for everyone, especially drivers who aren’t moving at the time of impact. When the human body is subjected to sudden jolts or unexpected movements, it can suffer serious injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Abrasions
  • Leg injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damages

The severity of these injuries will depend on a number of factors and will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, you can expect any injury you experience to disrupt your way of life. An at-fault driver is obligated to compensate you for your losses.

Damages Available in Ohio Stop Sign Accidents

Under Ohio personal injury law, you are entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic losses caused by someone else’s negligence.

Your economic losses are your out-of-pocket expenses, items that are tangible and that have precise costs. You can recover compensation for your medical bills, including future costs related to the crash, your long-term injuries, lost wages, property damages, and diminished earnings.

Your non-economic losses are conceptual. These result from your economic losses. For instance, any mental anguish you’ve experienced because of your injuries counts as non-economic losses. Under the law, the at-fault party is responsible for making you financially whole, which includes your wellbeing.

You may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are “exemplary” damages designed to punish the at-fault driver and dissuade others from following their example. They don’t always apply, so discuss punitive damages with your personal injury lawyer.

How to Prove The Other Driver’s Fault for a Stop Sign Accident

To have a successful case against the driver who caused your crash at a stop sign, you’ll need compelling evidence to show they were negligent. If you’re taking your claim to court, your evidence must persuade a judge or jury that the driver was the most responsible for your losses.

There’s a variety of evidence to show the other driver had a duty of care to follow stop sign laws, and you were hurt because they didn’t obey the law. You can use:

  • Police reports
  • Video and photographic footage
  • Physical evidence
  • Witness statements

What to Do After a Stop Sign Accident

If you’ve been in a crash at a stop sign, try to remain calm and call emergency services. Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers, then get treated for your injuries. Even if you think you’re fine, some injuries have delayed symptoms. Your claim could be hurt if you don’t identify your injuries.

You should call an Ohio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You can file an insurance claim on your own, but a lawyer can help you cover all the necessary information and help you prepare a lawsuit if necessary.

Get Help from an Ohio Stop Sign Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt in an accident at a stop sign in Ohio, you need an attorney who cares about your wellbeing, not just the settlement. The car accident injury lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, are prepared to hear your story and get you the settlement you deserve.

We understand how traumatizing car accidents are, even if they appear minor. No one plans to be hurt in a crash, but we can help you get back on your feet and get the maximum compensation possible.

Call (419) 625-7770 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.