Who is at Fault If Someone Runs a Red Light and You Hit Them?

For many, this sounds like a question with a very simple answer. The guy who ran the red light is at fault, right? Be careful. That assumption gets a lot of people in trouble. And the red-light cameras don’t shoot video, so they are no help either.

If Someone Runs a Red Light and You Hit Them Who is at Fault?

Stop SignUsually, when someone runs a red light they will get cited for causing the accident. If it is a property damage-only case, the insurance company for the other driver is likely to accept responsibility and pay the claim unless it is a fly-by-night company. However, you need to know that if you are claiming bodily injuries as a result of the auto collision, you can bet the insurance company will try to reduce their liability by blaming you too.

How an Insurance Company Blames the Person with the Green Light

Under Texas law, all drivers have a duty to keep a proper lookout while driving. This means that when you arrive at an intersection you are expected to look left and look right. If you see a car coming too fast to stop, then you should stop to prevent an intersection collision. If you don’t see that car in time, the insurance company will blame you for not keeping a proper lookout. This is a blame-the-victim catch-22 tactic that people fall for all the time.

How They Get Away with It

Under Texas law, like many states, all parties’ actions are judged under a comparative negligence standard. This means that the jury does not simply decide that party “A” is at fault or party “B” is at fault. The jury considers both parties’ conduct and apportions or divides responsibility for the accident between the parties. If your percentage of responsibility is less than 50%, you collect that percentage of your awarded damages. If your percentage is over 50%, you get nothing.

How Insurance Companies Trick You

Insurance adjusters are highly trained at tricking injured victims to save their company money. So they call you and they act like they are there to help. They get you to allow a recorded statement. Then they lead you into agreeing that you did not take the time to look before you leaped.  The questions may go like this:

Adjuster: “As you approached the intersection were there any buildings or shrubs that prevented you from being able see and enter the intersection safely?”

You “Uhhh no…”

Adjuster “Did you see our driver before you hit him?”

You: “No”

First, you admitted that nothing obstructed your view (had you been keeping a proper lookout). Then you admitted you never saw him. Implicitly, you did not keep a proper lookout.

Suddenly, that simple situation where clearly the other guy was at fault for running a red light became unclear and defensible by the insurance company. Why? Because you did not seek legal advice before giving a statement to a trained insurance adjuster.

Don’t Be a Victim Twice

If you have been in a car accident, don’t get victimized twice. Talk to a Houston car wreck lawyer before you talk to an adjuster. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury and Accident Lawyers, we have been fighting for accident victims since 1979. Talk to a lawyer with experience before you let a tricky insurance adjuster screw up your case.




If you have a personal injury case and would like to know whether it is something that our law firm can help you with, please fill out the form to the right and submit your information or pick up the phone and call us between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM on Monday through Thursday and 8:30 AM  and 5:00 PM on Friday and out intake team can go help evaluate your case and determine who the best person is for you to talk to about your case. Consultations are 100% free and you have no obligation to hire us.


Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., rooted in Christian values, exclusively handles personal injury cases, advocating for the rights of accident and negligence victims. Our Houston-based team, dedicated to compassion and excellence, handles cases across car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other types of cases with a commitment to personalized care. Upholding integrity and client-focused service, we strive for impactful legal outcomes. For a detailed understanding of our approach and team, visit our attorneys page.

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