Visitor Question

Who is to blame when there’s a yellow blinking light at an intersection?

Submitted By: Linda (Great Bend, Kansas)

I was driving east bound on a road that has a red blinking light and another driver was north bound on the cross road that has a yellow blinking light. I stopped and looked both ways before crossing the intersection. No cars were within a block of the intersection so I drove through.

As I got to the other side of the intersection, I noticed a bug on my left shoulder. I took my foot off the gas and swiped the bug away. I was almost at a standstill because I was going slow through the intersection. Suddenly, the car driving north bound entered the intersection and slammed into the passenger side of my car.

Other drivers say she was going very fast and likely over the speed limit of 30mph. She never slowed down or hit her breaks and was distracted by her phone, so she didn’t see me until she hit me. I was seriously injured and my car was demolished by her larger SUV. She didn’t even call 911 or check to see if I was hurt. She bumped her head but was otherwise not hurt.

Because I was still in the intersection by the time she reached it, and she had a yellow blinking light, who is really at fault here? How can I prove how fast she was going? Was she required to yield to traffic already in the intersection? This happened in Great Bend, KS at around 5:30am.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Linda,

Let’s begin by reviewing Kansas laws regarding car and truck insurance. Kansas law requires every automobile insurance policy sold in the State have these minimum amounts of coverage:

Liability coverage:

  •  $25,000/person for bodily injury
  •  $50,000/accident for bodily injury
  •  $25,000/accident for property damage

Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No-fault):

  • $4,500/person for medical expenses
  • $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income
  • $25/day for in-home services
  • $2,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expense
  • $4,500 for rehabilitation expense

Uninsured/Under-insured:

  • $25,000/person
  • $50,000/accident

Let’s move on to addressing the laws governing your accident.

Kansas State Motor Vehicle Law, Article 15, Section 8-1526 states in part:

“…when two (cars) are entering an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver on the left shall yield to the driver on the right.”

In your case, if you were heading eastbound and the other driver was heading northbound, then according to the strict application of Section 8-1526, you would be the party at-fault.

However, it appears you were already in the intersection when the other driver crashed into you.

Section 1528 (c) of the same article states in part:

“…After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.”

Under this scenario the other driver may have been at-fault.

Based on the seriousness of the crash, and of your injuries, it is likely the police were dispatched to the scene.  If you don’t already have a copy of the police accident report, obtain one now. The accident report can serve as a strong negotiating tool. This is especially true if the other driver was issued a traffic citation under Section 8-1526 or 8-1528 (c).

Without the use of radar, it would have been impossible for you to prove the other driver’s speed.

Finally, based on the seriousness of your injuries, you would be best-served by speaking with several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most personal injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. One you have visited with the attorneys you will have a better idea of the strength of your claim, and its likely outcome.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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