Faulty Traffic Light Accident And Injury Claims
By Lewis Aaliyah. Last Updated 6th April 2023. If you’re injured in a faulty traffic light accident, you could be entitled to compensation. You could claim for this type of accident if you were driving when it happened. Cyclists, passengers and pedestrians can also potentially claim compensation if they are in this type of accident.
In this guide, we explain what to do if you are involved in an accident caused by a faulty traffic light. We also discuss how compensation claims for this type of accident usually work.
Get In Touch With Our Team
Do you have any questions about claiming for an accident caused by faulty traffic lights? If so, you can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on making this type of claim.
Our panel of lawyers can also advise on other types of personal injury claims. You can contact us now online by using our live chat service or our claim online form. You can also call us on 020 3870 4868.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Faulty Traffic Light Accident Claims
- What Is A Faulty Traffic Light Accident?
- Who Is Responsible For Traffic Light Maintenance?
- How Do You Report A Faulty Traffic Light?
- Faulty Traffic Light Accident Compensation Calculator
- What Should You Do At A Faulty Traffic Light?
- Who Is Responsible For Faulty Traffic Light Accidents?
- How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For A Faulty Traffic Light Accident?
- I Suffered A Faulty Traffic Light Accident, What Should I Do?
- Do You Handle Faulty Traffic Light Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Contact Us For More Help
- Other Information
- FAQs About Car Accident Compensation Claims
Traffic lights have two important jobs to do on the roads. One of them is to allow pedestrians to safely cross the road. Their other main task is to control traffic at junctions and roundabouts so that it flows in a consistent and safe manner.
However, traffic lights can sometimes
become faulty and this can make things more difficult and dangerous for road users.
We’ll explain in this guide how a faulty traffic light can cause accidents. We also look at who is responsible for traffic light maintenance.
Also, we’ll explain what to do if you encounter a faulty traffic light. We’ll also break down how to claim compensation for an accident involving a faulty traffic light.
Remember, if you have any questions, please get in touch with our team.
A faulty traffic light accident occurs when two or more road users collide on the road and an issue with a traffic light system is at least partially responsible for why the accident occurred. An accident involving faulty traffic lights can involve multiple vehicles hitting each other, a vehicle hitting a cyclist, or a vehicle or cyclist hitting a pedestrian.
Traffic lights can become faulty in several different ways. At junctions and roundabouts, the lights are usually operated by a timed computer system. This allows the lights to let different sets of traffic through in a safe, organised and consistent manner.
If something goes wrong with the system, then the flow of traffic can be disrupted. For instance, two different lanes of traffic may get the green light to go at the same time, which ultimately leads to a collision. Alternatively, traffic lights around a junction may break completely, leaving road users in an awkward situation, trying to work out how to progress safely.
Some pedestrian crossings also use traffic lights and these usually operate on a switch that a pedestrian can press by the crossing. When a pedestrian presses the switch, the lights should turn red to give the pedestrian a safe window of time to cross the road.
However, traffic lights at pedestrian crossings can potentially go wrong due to a technical failure or adverse weather. Such issues can increase the risk of a road traffic accident involving a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian.
If you’ve been harmed in any of these ways, get in touch with our personal injury claims team for free legal advice on your options.
Local councils and highways authorities are responsible for maintaining traffic lights within their areas of jurisdiction.
So for example, traffic light maintenance for local roads in the Greater London area is overseen by Transport for London (TfL).
If you notice a traffic light is broken or faulty, you can report it to the relevant local authority or a highways authority. It depends exactly where the light is located.
If the faulty traffic light you’ve noticed is on a local road, you can report it to your local authority. The Government has an online page to assist with reporting a problem with a traffic light to the correct local authority.
If you see a faulty traffic light on a major road or motorway, you can report this to the responsible highways authority. There are different highway authorities for different parts of the UK:
Faulty traffic lights should be reported as soon as possible. The risk of a road traffic accident happening near a traffic light is much higher if something has gone wrong with the light.
As part of your claim for road traffic accident compensation, you would receive general damages. Any pain, suffering or loss of amenity inflicted by your injuries are covered under this head of claim. The amount of time it may take for you to recover and any mental health effects are also factored into general damages.
Road traffic accident lawyers compare evidence with compensation amounts featured in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to estimate general damages in a personal injury claim. Using figures from the 16th edition of the JCG, we have created the table below to give you some insight into the value of your claim.
|Back Injury||Severe (i)||Spinal cord damage may lead to serious consequences.||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Face Injury - Scarring||Very Severe||The psychological reaction is severe.||£29,780 to £97,330|
|Eye Injury||Loss Of Sight In One Eye||This award also considers the risk of sympathetic ophthalmia.||£54,830 to £65,710|
|Face Injury - Scarring||Less Severe||Disfigurement is substantial.||£17,960 to £48,420|
|Back Injury||Moderate (i)||There is a substantial risk of constant pain and discomfort.||£27,760 to £38,780|
|Neck Injury||Moderate (i)||You are vulnerable to further trauma.||£24,990 to
|Face Injury - Scarring||Less Significant||You may have one or a number of small scars.||£3,950 to £13,740|
|Back Injury||Minor (i)||Without surgery, a recovery to some extent is made within two to five years.||£7,890 to £12,510|
|Eye Injury||Minor||Vision may be temporarily affected.||£3,950 to £8,730
|Neck Injury||Minor (i)||A full recovery is expected by two years.||£4,350 to
It’s worth noting that the figures above are only to be used as guidelines. Solicitors will also assess any special damages when determining the value of road traffic accident claims. This head of claim relates to any financial harm you have experienced as a result of your injuries.
For example, you might suffer from the following losses or out-of-pocket expenses:
- Any prescription fees if you have required medication to alleviate symptoms of your injuries.
- A loss of earnings if your injury led to you taking time off work to recover.
- Travel costs incurred as a result of travelling to and from a hospital when seeking treatment for your injuries.
You will need evidence to prove special damages, such as:
- A receipt of your prescription
- A wage slip can prove a loss of earnings
- A bus or train ticket, or petrol or gas receipt to prove travel expenses
An experienced road accident solicitor from our panel could assess both general and special damages you could be awarded to give you a more accurate estimate of your claim value. Get in touch for free and any time for more information.
If you come across a faulty traffic light, then it is worth reporting it to the relevant local authority. Doing so benefits the safety of yourself and other road users. The sooner it can be reported, the better.
If you do report a faulty traffic light, it is important to do so in a manner that is safe and responsible. You could follow the steps below when you encounter a faulty traffic light:
If you are approaching a traffic light that is faulty, then you may be unsure of what to do at first. There are different ways the light may be faulty. It could be stuck on red, for instance. Or there may be no lights displayed at all.
If you can tell something is wrong with the traffic light, then it’s usually best to stop at the light the same way you would if it was a normal red light. Section 176 of The Highway Code states that you should treat areas with faulty traffic lights like unmarked junctions and proceed with great care.
Apply common sense
Getting past the faulty traffic lights and onto the road you want to be on safely can be tricky. How difficult it is depends on numerous factors. The type of road you’re currently negotiating, the amount of traffic around you and where other traffic could potentially cross your path all makes a difference.
Your common sense is probably the best thing you can rely on in these situations. Take a cautious approach, assess the situation ahead and drive in whatever manner seems appropriate and as safe as possible. If you try to rush through or fail to pay much attention to your surroundings, then an accident is more likely to occur.
Report the issue
As soon as it is safe to do so, report the faulty traffic light to the relevant local authority by phone or online. It may not be safe to report the issue as soon as you notice the problem, especially if you are still amidst traffic. You can pull over somewhere safely before reporting the issue.
It can sometimes be difficult to identify who is to blame following a road traffic accident. If faulty traffic lights were a contributory factor in a road traffic accident, then that can complicate things further.
Local authorities are responsible for maintaining highways and crossings in their jurisdiction. If it’s ruled that a road accident occurred because of poor conditions on the road, then the relevant agency would be deemed responsible. The same agency could also be held liable for any injuries caused.
You might assume then that the local authority will always take responsibility for faulty traffic light accidents. But this is not actually always the case.
If the faulty traffic light was not reported to the relevant authorities before the accident, then they are less likely to take the blame. Also, even if the local authorities are aware of the faulty traffic light, the road it’s located at will likely still be used by motorists before it’s fixed.
When a traffic light accident is being investigated, the speed of the relevant local authority’s response may be considered. It may be asked whether the local authority could have realistically fixed the faulty traffic light before the accident occurred.
Just like when the roads are normal, local authorities rely on drivers to act responsibly and use their best judgement when they are approaching a faulty traffic light. If it is found that a road user’s negligence caused a road traffic accident, then they will be deemed responsible for the incident even if the situation was affected by faulty traffic lights.
Camera footage or other evidence of a faulty traffic light accident could show that one or more of the parties involved could have acted more carefully to prevent the accident which occurred.
Who Is Responsible When Cyclists Are Hit At Faulty Traffic Lights?
If a cyclist is hit in a faulty traffic light accident, then who is deemed responsible depends on several factors. The behaviour of the cyclist and other road users involved in the incident will be considered. Whether or not the relevant local authority could have realistically had the faulty traffic light fixed before the accident may be considered too.
The road user who hit the cyclist may be deemed responsible if it’s found that negligent behaviour on their part caused the accident. Alternatively, the cyclist could be deemed the one who caused the accident through negligence.
If it is ruled that the relevant local authority could have reasonably taken action to make the road less dangerous prior to the accident, they may be deemed at least partially liable.
The standard time limit for starting a road traffic accident claim is three years. This is no different for faulty traffic light incidents. The time limit starts from the day that the accident occurred.
While that may sound like a long time at first, it is always best to start the process of claiming as soon as you can. That’s because road traffic accident claims can prove complex.
How could the time limit be affected?
There are certain circumstances that can cause the three-year time limit to be frozen (at least temporarily). For instance, if someone involved in a road traffic accident lacks the mental capacity to make a claim on their own behalf, then the three-year time limit is suspended. If this person later recovers enough mental capacity to act on their own behalf, then the time limit for claiming will start later. It will activate from the first day their mental capacity has sufficiently recovered.
A representative could potentially start a claim on behalf of a road traffic accident victim who currently lacks the mental capacity to act alone. This legal representative is known as a litigation friend. You can become a litigation friend for someone in a court case if you successfully apply or you’re appointed by the court.
The three year limit for claiming on a road traffic accident is also frozen for children injured in the incident. The time limit instead starts from the day the child reaches their 18th birthday. From this day, the injured party can start a claim on their own behalf as long as they do so within a three-year time window.
A claim can not be started by a child before they reach the age of 18. However, a litigation friend could potentially start a claim on behalf of a child injured in a road traffic accident. The litigation friend could be someone close to the child, such as a parent or guardian.
If you’re unsure of the time limits for claiming compensation following a road traffic accident, please get in touch with our team.
Just after the accident, your main focus should be on seeking the medical care you require for any injuries you’ve suffered. If you were in a vehicle and other passengers were on board, then they should prioritise medical treatment as well.
You should acquire any medical evidence you can get for the treatment of your injuries. This evidence could prove useful if you wish to make a compensation claim later.
If you do want to pursue a claim, you should collect other evidence once you’ve sufficiently recovered from your injuries. Evidence could include dashcam footage, photos, CCTV footage and witness contact details.
When you’ve finished gathering the evidence available, you may then wish to contact a road traffic accident solicitor who can support your potential claim. We recommend you choose a solicitor who is experienced in handling road traffic accident claims. A solicitor with this specialist background should be more familiar with the steps involved in making claims like yours.
When you’ve chosen a solicitor to contact, you can explain to them what has happened to you and they can review the evidence you have. The solicitor should be able to advise who it is appropriate to claim against following the faulty traffic light accident you were involved in. They should also be able to determine if your case has a good chance of succeeding.
If the solicitor agrees to support your case, you can sign a contract with them. Your solicitor will then guide you through all the formal steps required to make your compensation claim.
You can contact UK Law for free specialist advice on starting a compensation claim following a faulty traffic light incident.
If you sign a contract with a solicitor from our panel on a No Win No Fee basis, you receive certain benefits:
- You will not need to pay solicitor fees upfront.
- There should be no need to pay any solicitor fees while your claim is in progress either.
- If your case is unsuccessful, then you won’t need to pay your solicitor’s legal fees.
- You only need to pay your solicitor if you win your case.
Following a successful claim, your solicitor will take a small percentage from the compensation you’re awarded as payment. This is common practice when you sign a No Win No Fee agreement.
If you are looking for more information or support on your road traffic accident claim, then we are happy to help. Our panel of lawyers can provide free specialist advice if your accident was caused by a faulty traffic light. You can contact UK Law through the following methods:
- Using our online claim form
- With our call back form
- By speaking to us on our live online chat service
- By calling 020 3870 4868
For more advice on road traffic accident compensation claims, you can check out the guides below:
This guide linked above provides a general overview of the different types of car accident claims which can be made. We explain everything you need to know about making a claim if you’re in a car accident that wasn’t your fault.
This guide focuses on claiming accidents where a pedestrian was hit by a car. If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian, or you’ve hit a pedestrian in your car, then this guide tells you what to know.
Cycling accidents can occur on the roads for all sorts of reasons. This guide explains what to know about making a claim if you become a victim of a cycling accident.
What should I do if I have a car accident?
Your first priority should be to get any medical treatment you require. If you have reason to believe someone else was to blame for the accident, you could pursue a compensation claim once you’ve recovered from any injuries. You should gather evidence to support your claim. You could also contact a solicitor who can help with your case.
How long could my claim take?
The amount of time road traffic accident claims can take varies a lot. While some can be quick and straightforward, others can take longer to resolve. A road traffic accident claim is more likely to take a while if it is difficult to determine who was at fault for the incident.
How do I file a car accident claim?
The exact manner you file a car accident claim depends on the circumstances of the incident. If you choose to hire a solicitor to support your claim, they can advise you on the best way to process your claim.
Could I claim if I was partially at fault?
It may be possible to claim compensation for a road traffic accident even if you think you were partially at fault. In cases where liability is split between different parties, compensation may still be awarded but at a reduced percentage. So if, for example, you are considered 50% liable for the accident, you will receive half of the compensation which has been calculated for your case.
Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim on a faulty traffic light accident.
Guide by SZ
Edited by REG