Can I Seek Compensation for a Stop Sign Accident?

Can I Seek Compensation for a Stop Sign Accident?One of the first rules of the road that we learn is to stop at stop signs; after all, we see them everywhere on local roads, in parking lots, and in neighborhoods. Perhaps that is why so many drivers fail to come to a full stop at stop sign intersections. This is one of the unfortunate ways that people end up in stop sign accidents. Stop sign accidents are a part of the larger category of intersection accidents, and intersection accidents are some of the deadliest types of collisions there are.

“Unsignalized intersections” – ones with stop signs, yield signs, or no signs at all – see a lot of accidents each year. According to the Federal Highway Association’s (FHWA) most recent, complete data, there were 10,011 traffic fatalities at intersections in 2018; 6,737 of those fatalities occurred at unsignalized intersections. In 2020, there were 132 fatal accidents at intersections in Missouri.

If you are injured at a stop sign intersection, you can seek compensation for your losses. This can include damages for:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital stays and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages, including a loss of future earning potential
  • Property losses associated with the crash
  • Pain and suffering, and other less-tangible losses

Because Missouri is a comparative negligence state, establishing who is at fault in your stop sign collision is important to your case.

What are the rules when driving through an intersection in Kansas City?

Determining right of way at an intersection is important. (Failure to yield the right of way is a leading cause of crashes, both at intersections and in other traffic situations, like on-ramps and off-ramps.) According to Chapter 304 of Title XIX of Missouri’s statutes, “the driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.” When vehicles approach an intersection perpendicular to each other at about the same time, as they would at a four-way stop sign intersection, “the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.”

When  approaching stop signs specifically, the statutes say that one must come to a complete stop so as to check if the intersection is clear before proceeding. While it may seem obvious, drivers often fail to stop completely; instead, they come to a “rolling stop,” where they slow down and pause before continuing through the stop sign. These rolling stops are not only illegal; they’re dangerous to boot.

For the record, the rules are the same in Kansas, too: “When two (2) vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.”

These rules also apply to cyclists. In both Missouri and Kansas, people riding bicycles, motorcycles, or other wheeled transport must ALSO stop at stop signs and follow the right-of-way rules. A few of our neighboring states have suspended this rule for cyclists (the so-called “Idaho Stop” allows cyclists to treat stop signs and red lights like yield signs) but it remains in effect here.

Injuries from stop sign accidents

Stop sign accidents can lead to severe injuries, especially if divers are speeding through them and/or distracted. Some of the injuries you can sustain at a stop sign or intersection collision include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. Head trauma can cause the brain to be jostled within your skull. This can lead to bleeding, abrasions, and swelling. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can lead to headaches, memory problems, dizziness, unconsciousness, fatigue, cognitive changes, mood swings, and death.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can cause problems for the rest of the body, as the spine is the main pathway for commands given out by the brain. SCIs can lead to partial or full paralysis, as well as a host of complications. Even if the cord remains unharmed, spinal trauma itself can cause chronic pain, mobility issues, and more.
  • Loss of limb. Accidents at stop signs and intersections can be brutal, as metal can turn sharp and damaging when it crumples on itself in a high-speed crash. Such accidents can lead to the traumatic loss of your limb. Whether you lose your limb directly at the site of the crash or later in the hospital, the complications will affect you the rest of your life.
  • Burn injuries. Burn injuries are common in car accidents as there are flammable liquids in your vehicle along with a combustion type engine. This is why it is important to try and get away from the crash if you see smoke, if you can. Burn injuries are extremely painful and highly susceptible to infections.
  • Scarring and disfigurement. While not necessarily life threatening, the scars you can get from car accidents can be life-altering. It may make interacting with people more difficult or uncomfortable. Often, scars leave the skin stiff and sometimes sore.
  • Wrongful death. In the worst-case scenario, someone you love does not make it out of a stop sign accident alive due to the neglect of another driver.

These injuries can leave a lasting impact on your life. They may make it impossible for you to go back to work, and therefore you may experience a loss of income along with the bills from the hospital and any treatment that you receive. This is why it’s important that you seek out the advice of a Kansas City car accident lawyer who can ensure that you receive compensation for your accident.

If you have been injured at a stop sign due to someone’s negligence, you can seek compensation from that driver. You should not have to pay for the pain and suffering from the injuries received from the stop sign accident. Everyone on the road should be aware of the rules of the road and right of way. It is part of being a responsible driver. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we can help you prove that the driver who caused your injuries had ignored the laws of right of way. To schedule an appointment, call 816-471-5111 or fill out our contact form. We offer free consultations at our office in Kansas City, MO. We also maintain offices in Lee’s Summit, Parkville, and St. Joseph, MO and in Olathe and Overland Park, KS.