Collisions at intersections are as common as they are dangerous. Two drivers entering an intersection may collide head-on or may sideswipe each other at great speeds that can cause severe injuries and substantial vehicle damage.
If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident at a busy junction or intersection, then you know how devastating the crashes can be.
This article addresses:
- The Seriousness of Junction or Intersection Collision Cases
- What Type of Intersection Accident Cases Lead to Big Settlements and Verdicts?
- Sample of Settlements and Jury Verdicts in Junction or Intersection Wreck Cases
- Getting a Maryland Lawyer to Help You
How Serious Are Accidents at Junctions or Intersections?
Auto accidents that occur at intersections and junctions account for a large portion of all of this country’s auto accidents. Although the rules of the road dictate otherwise, motorists run red lights, proceed through stop signs, and speed through intersections daily. The statistics behind these intersection collisions are evidence of this.
Consider that 43% of all auto accidents occur at an intersection or junction. Also, consider that 21% of traffic-related fatalities can be attributed to a collision at an intersection or junction. Further, nearly half (49%) of all accidents that occur in an urban setting, such as Baltimore or the D.C. metro area, occur at intersections or junctions. These types of accidents pose a serious risk to traveling motorists.
Which Chain Reaction Collision Cases Lead to The Largest Payouts?
We answer this question in greater depth elsewhere which probably sheds more light on the, “What is my case worth?” question because the type of accident is less important than the injuries suffered or the venue of the claim. But our intersection car accident lawyers do see trends in settlement and verdict size based on the type of crash, too. These claims seem to lead to larger verdicts than some others:
- Rear-end accidents at stoplights or stop signs
- A driver runs a red light or a stop sign at an intersection and broadsides another vehicle
- A driver attempts to make an illegal U-turn at a busy traffic light and cuts off oncoming traffic, creating multiple potential collision points
- Left-turn intersection collisions
Why Are Intersection Accidents So Dangerous?
We have all seen it. Intersections are like the crossroads of chaos. You’ve got cars coming and going in all directions. Some drivers are speeding up to make a light, others are slamming on their brakes to stop in time. Intersections are often a circus under the best of circumstances.
This mix of speeds and directions can be a recipe for disaster, especially if someone’s not paying full attention.
Intersection accidents are particularly dangerous due to several factors:
- Multiple Directions of Travel: Intersections involve traffic from multiple directions, increasing the likelihood of collisions, especially if drivers are not paying attention or fail to yield the right of way.
- High Speeds and Sudden Stops: Drivers often approach intersections at higher speeds and may make sudden stops due to traffic signals or stop signs, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions or T-bone accidents.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Intersections are common sites for side-impact (or T-bone) collisions, where the front or rear of another vehicle hits the side of one vehicle. The sides of a car are, in many ways, its Achilles’ heel. The front and rear are designed to absorb impact, with crumple zones and engine or trunk space acting as barriers. But the sides? They’re much thinner and offer less buffer between the outside and the passenger. So, when another car slams into the side, it can cause significant intrusion into the cabin where occupants are less protected.
- Complex Traffic Signals and Signs: Intersections can have complex signaling systems and road signs that may confuse drivers, leading to mistakes in judgment and accidents.
- Pedestrians and Cyclists: Intersections are often busy with pedestrians and cyclists crossing, which adds another layer of risk, especially if drivers or pedestrians are distracted.
- Limited Visibility: Buildings, parked vehicles, or other obstructions near intersections can limit a driver’s visibility, the circus we talked about makes it harder to see oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
- Increased Congestion: Intersections are typically areas of higher traffic density, increasing the chances of collisions, especially in urban areas during peak traffic times.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers may be more likely to be distracted at intersections because they let their guard down, checking the traffic signal, navigating, texting, or other activities, leading to a higher risk of accidents.
When determining settlement amounts in intersection car accidents, there are a million possible relevant factors. Sometimes the plaintiff’s lawyer does not fully understand the specific pressure points that brought the insurance company to the settlement amount at which they arrived. But these are the key factors our intersection car accident lawyers see over and over again driving settlement amounts.
- Liability and Fault: Of course, it starts here. To get settlement compensation from an insurance company, you need to be able to win the case. So the first step is determining who is at fault for the accident. In some cases, fault might be clear-cut, but in others, it might be shared between parties.
- Medical Expenses: This includes all costs related to medical treatment following the accident. Emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatments like physical therapy are considered. Future medical expenses are also estimated and included if the injuries have long-term implications. Plaintiffs’ lawyers pretend we do not use medical bills as a marker for pain and suffering. We do. But you cannot be blinded by it. Some cases have low medical bills and high pain and suffering and a settlement amount has to reflect that.
- Lost Wages and Earning Capacity: If the injured party misses work due to the accident, the lost wages during this period are calculated. Additionally, if the injury impacts the person’s ability to work in the future, the loss of earning capacity is a huge driver of settlement amount in intersection accident lawsuits.
- Property Damage: Another marker to injury that insurance companies really rely upon in determining compensation payouts.
- Pain and Suffering: This is a non-economic damage and can be more subjective. It compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to the accident. Calculating pain and suffering often involves complex legal formulas and varies widely based on the severity of the injuries and their impact on the individual’s life.
- Insurance Policy Limits: There has to be money behind the claim. So the settlement amount is also influenced by the insurance policy limits of the parties involved. If the at-fault party has low coverage limits and our client does not have a strong uninsured motorist policy, it will limit the settlement compensation amount, regardless of the actual damages suffered.
- Negotiation and Legal Representation: Hiring the best lawyer matters. The skills of the lawyers involved can significantly impact the settlement amount. Experienced attorneys can effectively negotiate and advocate for a higher settlement compensation payout because they know the value of the case and the insurance company knows they will be a force to be reckoned with at trial.
- Jurisdictional Factors: The laws and legal precedents in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred can also influence settlement amounts. Some jurisdictions are known for higher jury awards, which can impact settlement negotiations. In a serious injury or wrongful death case in Maryland, you want to be in Prince George’s County or Baltimore City above all other jurisdictions.
Intersection Accident Verdicts and Settlements
Here are examples of jury payouts and settlement compensation amounts paid to victims in intersection cases.
- 2023, Baltimore County: $511,400 Verdict. The plaintiff was actually standing just outside of her vehicle when the defendant proceeded through the intersection and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from the side. The plaintiff suffered unspecified personal injuries. It is not entirely clear why the plaintiff was outside of her vehicle in the intersection, but the jury found that the defendant was negligent for running a red light.
- 2023, Baltimore City: $100,000 Verdict. The plaintiff was driving her vehicle at an intersection in a mall entrance with co-plaintiff as her passenger, when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with the defendant.
the plaintiffs asserted the defendant was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to maintain a safe distance, and driving too fast. The defendant contested the plaintiffs’ claimed injuries and damages, arguing some were the result of a pre-existing condition.
- 2023, Baltimore County: $40,000 Verdict. The plaintiff was traveling northbound at an intersection when the passenger side of an eastbound vehicle, operated by defendant, collided with the front end of his vehicle. The plaintiff asserted the defendant was negligent, including in failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to maintain a safe distance, and failing to operate her vehicle at a reasonable speed. Liability was admitted but injuries were disputed.
- 2022, Baltimore City: $219,500 Verdict. The plaintiff proceeded into an intersection on a green light when the vehicle occupying the left turning lane adjacent to her suddenly changed lanes into her lane of travel and caused a collision. The plaintiff reported injuries including disc tears and herniations to her lumbar spine at L5-Sl, which required injection therapy, as well as concussion and soft tissue cervical and thoracic strains.
- 2021, Montgomery County: $75,125 Verdict. A female pedestrian was struck at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Montgomery Lane. She suffered a concussion, soft-tissue cervical and lumbar injuries, and right-side bruising. The woman underwent physical therapy, chiropractic care, and neck ablations. Her chiropractor — not our lawyers’ idea of the best choice as an expert — testified that her injuries were permanent. But the plaintiff got a good award for those injuries, assuming they were not too serious.
- 2020, Montgomery County: $42,911 Verdict. Two men collided with a police officer. Before the collision, the officer swerved to avoid colliding with another vehicle. Both men suffered soft-tissue injuries. They underwent physical therapy for several months. Both men alleged that the officer’s negligence caused their injuries. A Montgomery County jury awarded the two men $42,911.
- 2020, Baltimore City: $55,000 Settlement. A woman was rear-ended at the intersection of Hillside Road and Falls Street. She suffered unspecified injuries. The other driver died from unrelated causes months later. The woman alleged that the deceased’s negligent driving caused her injuries. This case settled for $55,000.
- 2020, Baltimore City: $145,000 Verdict. Plaintiff is T-boned at an intersection by a driver who leaves the scene of the crash. The woman suffers radiating pain in her sciatic and back. She does not have surgery but gets a good bit of physical therapy. Because the driver is unidentified, she hires a lawyer and sues her own insurance company for failing to step up and pay the appropriate about of uninsured motorist benefits. Erie does what these insurance companies do: it argues she was not hurt all that bad. “You still do all of the family’s shopping, right?” type of argument. A Baltimore City jury sets Erie straight and awards $145,000. Sadly, she was capped at $100,000 by her policy limits (the jury is unaware of the limits).
- 2019, Baltimore County: $413,487 Verdict. This is a classic left turn case. A westbound vehicle made a left turn and strikes a man’s eastbound vehicle at the intersection of Piney Hill Road and Monkton Road. The man suffers permanent injuries that require surgery The other driver admitted liability. A Baltimore County jury awarded $413,487.
- 2019, Baltimore County: $600,000 Verdict. A man suffered neck, back, and chest injuries after being involved in a T-bone collision. He alleged that the other driver’s negligence caused the collision and his injuries. The man hired a Baltimore intersection accident lawyer and filed a lawsuit. The suit claimed that the other driver failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to slow down, and failed to yield to his vehicle. A Baltimore County jury awarded $600,000, exclusively in pain and suffering. (Often, a car accident lawyer will not seek medical bills if they are insignificant because of concerns the jury will “anchor” themselves to the amount of bills.)
- 2019, Montgomery County: $300,000 Settlement. Many intersection accidents are rear-end collisions. In this case, a Miller & Zois client was rear-ended while stopped waiting to merge. She seemed to have suffered no injuries. But, as often happens, it got worse and worse. She ultimately needed back surgery.
- 2019, Baltimore City: $66,000 Verdict. A westbound vehicle ran a red light and T-boned a woman’s southbound vehicle at the intersection of McHenry Street and Monroe Street. The woman suffered severe and permanent injuries. She alleged that the other driver’s negligence caused the collision and her injuries. The woman claimed that the other driver failed to pay attention to the road, failed to slow down, and failed to yield for a stop sign. Following a bench trial, which is the Baltimore City judge awarded $66,000 in damages. (It is really odd for a victim’s accident lawyer to agree to a bench trial in Baltimore City. No clue why this agreement was made.)
You can also get sample Miller & Zois’ verdicts in broadside collision cases, many of which are at intersections.
What is the Definition of an Intersection?
An intersection is defined as having a crossing of two or more roads.
How Many Car Accidents Occur at Intersections?
Nearly 40% of car accidents occur at intersections.
What Is the Most Dangerous Intersection in Maryland?
There are many dangerous intersections in Maryland. The one intersection that appears to be the most dangerous is at Gwynns Falls Parkway and Reistertown Road in Baltimore. There is an incredible number of car wrecks at that intersection.
Getting a Lawyer For Your Intersection Accident Claim
Have you been involved in a collision at a junction or intersection? If so, Miller & Zois are a team of attorneys that can help you. Our track record in intersection crashes and car crash cases, in general, gives us the kind of resume few can match. Contact our Baltimore intersection accident lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or get a free case evaluation online. We are contingency fee lawyers. You do not pay anything unless we get a jury payout or settlement compesnsation amount for you.