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Who’s At Fault in a Yellow Light Accident?

It’s a tale as old as time… or at least as old as automobiles. You’re driving home from work and someone runs through a yellow light they really should have stopped at. All of a sudden, your car’s damaged beyond repair and you’ve sustained injuries through no fault of your own.

Whether you think there’s a solution to these accidents or not, seeking compensation is important after being involved in one. Read on to learn who’s at fault in a yellow light accident, how you can prove that you don’t bear the brunt of the blame, and how an attorney can help you recover damages.

Yellow Light Accident Causes

There are many causes of yellow light accidents. This is because drivers in Florida can legally drive through a yellow light. They just need to time their movement carefully so that they can make it through the intersection.

Some people accelerate through a light right before it changes simply because they want to make it across. They then hit someone making a legal right turn or blow through hitting someone who’s already started to drive after their light changed.

Another cause of a yellow light accident is the sudden stop. This is the opposite of blowing through a yellow light recklessly. Some people stop really suddenly as soon as a light turns yellow because they’re anxious about blowing through a red.

Unfortunately, this often results in a rear-end collision. The car behind them just can’t stop fast enough if they are already accelerating.

Left turns also frequently result in yellow light accidents. Florida drivers can legally turn on yellow lights, but they need to yield to other drivers making legal moves. If someone turns before the light changes and cuts in front of other legal traffic, an accident is likely.

Distracted driving is another huge cause of yellow light accidents. Some people blow through stoplights and don’t register their color because they are texting, eating, or engrossed in a phone conversation.

The distracted driver may then blow through a yellow light or even a red. This results in them being assigned a huge chunk of fault since they were negligent and could have prevented the accident. Distracted drivers (or those driving under the influence) also tend to get higher penalties than those involved in other types of accidents.

Comparative Negligence in Florida

Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means neither party will likely be assigned 100% of the blame after an accident. Instead, each party will be assigned a percentage of the blame.

Consider a rear-end collision at a yellow light because of a sudden stop. Even if the person who stopped suddenly bears more fault than you do after rear-ending them, you still will be assigned some fault. You may have been driving too closely to their car.

In this case, you may be 40% at fault while the other driver is 60% to blame.

Let’s say now, that the other driver was making sudden stops and jerky movements because they were texting. You were driving a little too closely but were otherwise following all traffic laws. This may result in the driver being 90% at fault and you getting 10% of the blame.

Florida’s modified comparative negligence system still lets you seek compensation if you were the less-at-fault party. This means that anyone with lower than 50% of the blame is entitled to damages.

However, your compensation will be based on the fault percentages distributed. Someone who bears 40% of the fault will get less compensation than someone who only bears 10%, even if both can recover damages.

Seeking Compensation After an Intersection Accident

If you think that the other party is over 50% at fault for your accident, it’s imperative that you talk to a lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney will help you understand what happened. They’ll educate you on legal terms and what road rules may have been broken in your specific situation.

They’ll then help you determine what types of compensation are available to you. Some expenses that you may get covered include:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future/projected medical expenses
  • Ongoing treatments (physical or psychiatric therapy)
  • Mobility aids to help with injuries sustained in the accident
  • Funds to cover wages and benefits lost because of time off work
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Temporary disability
  • Loss of quality of life (if the injuries are severe)
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

What you get will depend on your specific expenses and how at fault you were for the accident. Your lawyer will work tirelessly to maximize the compensation you can get.

How Attorneys Prove Fault

Lawyers begin the process of proving fault by talking to you about what happened.

You’ll give your attorney a true and accurate account of the yellow light accident. They’ll give you a preliminary estimate of how much compensation you’re due. This guess will be based on past cases similar to yours.

For example, if you’re dealing with someone who hit you after a left turn on yellow, the lawyer will consider damages recovered in other turning-on-yellow cases. This is why an experienced car crash lawyer is essential.

Your lawyer will then begin collecting evidence about the crash. This will include things like police reports, photos of the accident site, pictures of injuries and property damage, information about weather conditions, and anything that people said after the crash. Sometimes a lawyer will also work with a reconstruction expert to recreate the accident and understand it better.

Then, the lawyer will negotiate with the opposing party’s insurance company to get compensation. They’ll work painstakingly to reach a fair settlement. At this point, they’ll agree, cash out, and give you the funds you’re owed.

Get Legal Help From Experienced Professionals

Now that you know the ins and outs of fault after a yellow light accident, it’s time to begin the process of getting compensation. Our team is committed to providing you with a free case analysis, consulting with you about the situation, and reviewing evidence.

Together, we’ll put together a case that helps you recover appropriate post-collision damages. Contact us to begin assessing your case immediately, assembling evidence with a legal team, and negotiating with insurance agents professionally.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.