If a driver runs a stop sign and causes an accident, the driver is generally liable for damages. However, what happens when the stop sign is knocked over and the driver never saw any stop signal? A knocked over stop sign can be dangerous for drivers and may complicate accident insurance claims for injury victims.
Right of Way and Car Accidents
Stop signs and other traffic signals control the flow of traffic. Stop signs can be placed at intersections to reduce the risk of an auto accident. When a person runs a stop sign, does not come to a complete stop, or does not follow the right-of-way rules, that can be used as evidence of negligence.
Violating a traffic law that causes an accident could be seen as per se negligence. In a personal injury claim, the injury victim could seek damages from the negligent driver. Damages can be used to compensate the driver for:
Knocked Over or Missing Stop Sign Accidents
An Uber driver got into an accident when another driver ran through an intersection where the stop sign was missing. The driver and passenger both suffered injuries. When the police showed up after the crash, they told the driver no one was at fault for the accident because the stop sign was missing. Instead, the city may be at fault for failing to replace the stop sign.
Another accident involving a missing stop sign led to the injury victim getting sent to the hospital on a medical helicopter. According to news reports, the stop sign at that intersection had been knocked over at least 3 times by semi trucks making a sharp turn. If the county transportation department had already replaced or repaired the stop sign that many times, it should have served as notice that there was a safety hazard at that intersection.
Is PennDOT At Fault for a Missing Stop Sign?
Depending on the location of the stop sign, traffic signals are usually the responsibility of the city, county, or state. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is generally responsible for making sure stop signs are maintained and visible. Drivers in Philadelphia can report damaged or missing stop signs at 1-800-FIX-ROAD. However, even if no one reports a missing stop sign, the government is still responsible for making sure the intersections are safe.
Filing an injury claim against the government in Philadelphia is different than a personal injury claim involving another driver. There is generally a different time limit when the government is involved that is much shorter than other cases. In most personal injury claims in Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations. However, claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the City of Philadelphia have to provide notice within 6 months, or your claim may be denied.
Philly Car Accident Injuries
If your accident involves a claim against the city or county government, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney with experience handling cases against government agencies. If you were injured in an accident because of a missing stop sign or broken traffic signal, talk to experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys about your rights. Contact Gilman & Bedigian online or by calling (800) 529-6162.