Tampa Stop Sign Accident Lawyer
What is more instantly recognizable and immediately understood on the road than a stop sign? For nearly as long as there have been cars and roads, there have been eight-sided signs (although originally yellow, not red) that tell the approaching driver to STOP. Unfortunately, not everybody does.
Stop sign car accidents are responsible for crashes in the hundreds of thousands every year, ending in injury about a third of the time and causing thousands of deaths annually. If you’ve been hurt in a Tampa stop sign accident because the other driver failed to heed a stop sign, call our office for a free consultation. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other legal damages caused by that driver’s negligence.
Stop Sign Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
The Federal Highway Administration notes that the vast majority of fatal intersection accidents (almost three-quarters) happen at unsignalized intersections (intersections not controlled by a traffic signal). This includes uncontrolled intersections as well as two-way STOP-controlled intersections, two-way YIELD-controlled intersections, all-way STOP-controlled intersections, and roundabouts.
T-bone crashes are the most common type of stop sign accident, and they are also some of the most catastrophic and deadly kinds of accidents. Less common stop sign accidents are rear-end crashes, which are typically less serious but which can also cause painful and debilitating whiplash or permanent back injury. Rear-end stop sign accidents can also be fatal when the struck car gets pushed into the intersection at the moment another car is coming from the other direction.
What is the Florida Law on Stop Signs?
Drivers approaching a stop sign in Florida must stop and stay stopped until it is safe to proceed. Florida Statutes 316.123 requires drivers to stop at a clearly marked stop line. If there is no stop line, they must stop before entering the crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk, they must stop at the nearest intersecting roadway where they have a view of approaching traffic. At a four-way stop, the driver who stops first is also the driver who gets to go first. If both cars approach their stops signs at the same time, the driver on the left yields the right-of-way to the driver on the right.
Once stopped, drivers must yield the right-of-way to any vehicle that has already entered the intersection or is approaching so closely that it would constitute an immediate hazard for the driver to proceed into the intersection.
By following these rules, drivers can avoid needless tragedies caused when one driver fails to obey these vital safety laws.
When Yield Means Stop
The requirements of Florida Statutes 316.123 are similar for intersections controlled by a yield sign, except that drivers are not necessarily required to stop before continuing into the intersection. However, they may be required to. The law requires drivers approaching a yield sign to slow down to a speed that is reasonable for the existing conditions and stop if required for safety. Whether slowing or stopping, they must yield the right-of-way to drivers coming from the other direction.
If a driver gets into an intersection accident after driving past a yield sign without stopping, this is considered prima facie evidence that the driver failed to yield the right-of-way. This means the driver will be considered at fault absent other evidence to the contrary.
When Are Drivers Not Responsible for Stop Sign Accidents?
Drivers who get into a crash after failing to heed a stop sign are generally presumed to be at fault, but this presumption can be rebutted in a couple of different ways. The driver might claim that the stop sign was blocked by tree branches or some other obstruction so they couldn’t see the sign. Similarly, they might claim that their view of oncoming traffic was obstructed, so they thought it was safe to go through even though it wasn’t.
Drivers might also claim that the accident victim was partly at fault because they were speeding or not paying enough attention to the road. Had they been more careful, the driver claims, they would have been able to avoid the accident. If the accident victim is considered partly to blame, the legal damages they can recover from the negligent driver will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of negligence assigned to them.
Our team at Anderson & Anderson is experienced in holding negligent drivers accountable for the damage they cause in a stop sign accident or other car accident. We know the law, and we know how to gather evidence and build a strong case that proves the other driver’s fault and liability to you. At the same time, we know how to fight back against unfounded claims of your own negligence that could reduce the amount you recover. Our goal is to get you all the compensation you need and are fairly entitled to after being injured by another driver’s negligence.
Call Anderson & Anderson After a Stop Sign Accident in Tampa
If you have been hurt in a stop sign accident or other Tampa car accident, call Anderson & Anderson at 813-251-0072 for a free consultation. We’ll work to see that you get the care and compensation you need and deserve, and we won’t charge any fee until after we are successful on your behalf.