Stops signs are used to help determine who has the right of way at an intersection and to make sure that traffic flows smoothly and efficiently. When a driver fails to stop at a stop sign, it can lead to an accident resulting in serious injuries and damages to other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
If you have been harmed by a driver running a stop sign, you may be eligible to file a legal claim for compensation. An experienced lawyer at our firm is ready to review your situation during a free consultation. There are no upfront fees for our services and no fees if we take on or work on your case.
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Law Regarding Running a Stop Sign
Section 136(1)(a) of the Highway Traffic Act states that each driver approaching a stop sign at an intersection must come to a complete stop at a marked stop line or crosswalk – if there is no marked stop line. A driver runs a stop sign when he or she fails to stop or stop completely at an intersection.
If there is no marked stop line or crosswalk, drivers must come to a complete stop before the intersection. A driver who fails to stop and wait for his or her turn to proceed through the intersection is also considered running a stop sign.
Reasons a Driver May Run a Stop Sign
A driver may run a stop sign for several different reasons, negligent or otherwise.
- The driver was in a hurry
- The driver was speeding
- The driver was distracted
- Bad weather conditions (i.e. snow)
- The stop sign was not clearly visible
- The stop sign was vandalized
- The driver was impaired
- The driver misjudged where to stop
While there is no excuse for anyone to run a stop sign, there are circumstances that can make it harder for drivers to see the stop line. Stop lines usually fade over time. A two-way or four-way intersection may not even have stop lines. This could cause a driver to accidentally run through the stop sign without realizing it.
A stop sign may also be hidden from a driver’s view. For instance, if the sign has been damaged (i.e. bent or knocked over, backward or twisted around, or broken in half). The risk of an accident can also increase if a driver fails to see a stop sign that was blocked by a tree, low-hanging branches, hedges, or tall bushes.
Penalties for Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign
In Ontario, the penalty for failing to stop at a stop sign is a fine and three demerit points added to a driver’s license. If the stop sign was located in a school or construction zone, the fines can increase significantly and result in six demerit points added to a driver’s license.
As a moving violation, a conviction for running a stop sign will remain on a driver’s record for three years. It also has the potential to increase the offending driver’s car insurance rates.
Determining Liability for a Stop Sign Accident
All drivers must comply with traffic laws to keep the roads safe. If a car accident occurs because a driver failed to stop at a stop sign, he or she may be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages.
To file a successful legal claim, you (the plaintiff) must be able to prove that the other driver (the defendant) was negligent and in clear violation of the law. However, this will require substantial evidence.
Fortunately, our Windsor-based car accident lawyers are ready to advocate for your fights and help you build a strong case for compensation. There is no cost to talk to a lawyer about your potential case.
Determining fault for a stop sign accident can be challenging. We will need to discuss the following:
- If the other driver failed to stop at the stop sign
- Who had the right of way just before the accident
- If you or the other driver reached the four-way stop at the same time
If you have a case, your lawyer can start gathering evidence to prove the other driver was negligent. The police report may show that the other driver was ticketed for failing to stop. Anyone present at the accident scene may have seen what happened. For instance, if the other driver was distracted before running the stop sign.
Your lawyer may even retain the services of an accident reconstructionist in order to identify any driver errors that may have contributed to the accident, such as excessive speeding.
Call Today for Dedicated Legal Experience
Drivers who run a stop sign and cause serious car accidents may be held liable for a victim’s losses, which may include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more. If you were injured by a negligent driver, we recommend reaching out to our firm to discuss your available legal options.
We have decades of experience helping car accident victims and their families get the justice and compensation they need. The initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to have us represent you.
Call (866) 320-4770 for a Free Case Review.