How Red Light Cameras Affect Accidents in Illinois | Staver
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How Red Light Cameras Affect Accidents in Illinois

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents

The concept and use of cameras at intersections have become increasingly common in many American cities. Chicago, for instance, installed its first red light cameras in 2003 at the intersections of Peterson and Western and 55th and Western. The cameras are meant to enforce stopping at a red light by taking a picture when a driver goes through the light as evidence for a traffic citation, which will be sent to the driver.

But with so many red-light cameras installed at intersections, can they do more than collect traffic fines? For example, car crashes at red lights can be dangerous, especially when one car travels much slower than the other. Do red light cameras play a role? Here we’ll discuss using red light cameras as evidence in an injury claim to recover compensation after a car crash.

What Do Chicago Red Light Cameras Do?

Chicago’s Red Light, Camera Enforcement Program, is meant to increase the safety of everyone on the city’s streets. Cameras are strategically placed at intersections throughout the city, recording drivers that do not stop at red lights. There are more than 140 cameras in place.

The cameras capture footage of speeding cars traveling through an intersection illegally. Cameras record the time and location of the incident and the license plate. The car’s registered owner is issued a speeding ticket; these can vary in price, depending on various factors.

Do Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes?

The matter is up for debate. Some studies say yes, and others point out that red light cameras don’t reduce crashes. Some research has found that intersections without traffic lights see nearly three times as many crashes during a red light.

What Kind of Accidents Happen at Red Lights?

Various crashes can happen at a red light, ranging from low impact to significant damage. The outcome of a crash will depend on different factors, like speed, vehicle size, and travel direction.

Some types of accidents that can happen at a red light include:

The kind of intersection and where the cars are traveling can also affect the crash.

Injuries Linked to Red Light Crashes

When cars collide, it’s common for the occupants to be injured. They could experience several injuries, such as:

  • Neck injuries— Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury experienced after a rear-end crashWhiplash happens when your head is snapped back and your neck extends beyond its standard length. Pain can be excruciating and lingering. Herniated discs or spinal cord damage also are often seen in people who have been rear-ended.
  • Back injuries — Herniated discs and spinal cord damage may result from a rear-end crash.
  • Head Injuries— People involved in rear-end crashes may experience a concussion, brain injuries, bruises, or head cuts.
  • Broken Bones— A forceful enough impact can result in broken arms, legs, or ribs.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries— Painful sprains, strains, and tears in your muscles, ligaments, or tendons may result from a rear-end collision.

Can You Use Red Light Footage In An Insurance Claim?

If you’ve been in an accident because a driver ran a red light, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Illinois is an at-fault state, so that you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. To stand the best chance of recovering compensation, you will need evidence to prove that the other driver held the majority of responsibility for your crash.

Evidence in a car crash claim can range from eyewitness accounts, police reports, or photos. Therefore, it’s possible to use footage from a red-light camera if triggered before the crash. Some cameras only cover two directions of travel in the intersection. In some crashes, a red-light camera might not capture any of what happened because the circumstances didn’t call for its activation.

If the camera did capture the crash, the photos or footage could provide compelling evidence of the other driver’s wrongdoing.

How Do I Get the Footage from a Red Light Camera?

Unfortunately, access to red light camera footage can be challenging to secure alone. Police and the people receiving the ticket typically have the most access to the footage.

However, you should speak with your personal injury lawyer about how to best pursue the footage. They will understand when you can request the footage and help you secure that evidence.

A Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

After a crash at a red light, you should focus on your recovery. Dealing with legal troubles alone will not benefit you – mentally, physically, or financially. A personal injury lawyer with experience working on red light crash cases can help you.

Access to red light camera footage can be challenging, but your attorney will know how to request it. They can also investigate your crash, calculate the losses available for compensation, and determine liability. A lawyer will work with you and for you to tackle your legal issues, allowing you to recover your health.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers Today

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that crashes are traumatic and jarring. Even though drivers know that an accident at an intersection can happen, it’s a nasty wake-up call when they happen to you. That’s why we’re prepared to use every option and asset to fight for your compensation.

Using the footage from a red-light camera is complicated, but it’s one way to have an edge in a personal injury case. Footage from a red-light camera is solid evidence and hard to challenge. We’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call (312) 270-0386 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation with Staver.

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