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Failure to Follow Traffic Signs and Signals

Syracuse Lawyers for Car Accidents

Many car accidents occur because a driver doesn’t pay attention and misses a traffic sign or signal, or willfully disobeys it while in a hurry to get to their destination. A simple oversight can cost others their lives or result in catastrophic injuries that change an accident victim’s life forever. If you were injured in a car accident because of another driver’s failure to follow traffic signs and signals, give DeFrancisco & Falgiatano a call. We seek best results for accident victims harmed by negligence.

Failure to Follow Traffic Signs and Signals

Traffic control signs and signals are installed at various intersections and along major roadways in upstate New York. They may be placed in parking lots of shopping centers, at hospitals, at schools, and many other locations. Sometimes signs and signals are accompanied by a crosswalk or line to show the driver where to come to a stop. Under New York law and various ordinances, drivers must abide by any signals or signs. A driver’s failure to follow these rules is likely to be regarded as negligence.

Suing for Negligence

When trying to prove negligence, our Syracuse lawyers would need to prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) departure from the duty to use reasonable care, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) actual damages.

A defendant can breach the duty to use reasonable care by failing to abide by a stop sign, yield sign, traffic signal or other devices used to regulate traffic. For example, if Driver A travels to a stop sign at a four-way intersection and is in a hurry to get to work and zips through without coming to a complete stop and T-bones Driver B who has right of way, Driver A could be liable to Driver B for compensatory damages. For another example, if Driver A runs a red light and hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk, Driver A could be liable to the pedestrian.

Comparative Negligence

All drivers are required to follow road rules. The defendant’s attorney may try to show you were at fault for the accident. New York courts follow the doctrine of comparative negligence; your damages can be reduced by an amount proportionate to your degree of fault. The jury will determine the total damages arising out of the defendant’s failure to follow traffic signs and signals, but then determine the proportion of fault of those involved with the accident. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault they believe you have. This doctrine incentivizes insurers to claim a driver they do not insure is at fault even when the evidence for that assertion is minimal.

Insurance adjustors may even try to call you right after an accident to secure an admission of fault. It is important not to discuss what happened with an insurance adjustor for the at-fault driver until you consult a seasoned lawyer.


New York is a no-fault state, which means you first turn to your own insurance to recover compensation for economic losses. However, when our personal injury lawyers are able to establish liability for a serious injury, we can recover compensatory damages. These damages are intended to make up for your economic and noneconomic losses in connection with an accident that results in serious injuries. Noneconomic damages could include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and disfigurement.

Consult a Seasoned Syracuse Car Accident Law Firm

Car accidents can have devastating consequences. If you were injured or a loved one was injured in a car accident in which another driver failed to follow traffic signs and signals, call our seasoned Syracuse attorneys. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Attorneys has more than 30 years of experience seeking best results for injured car crash victims in Canandaigua, Lowville, Auburn, Buffalo, Oneida, Utica, Rochester, Albany, Wampsville, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Elmira, and all of Upstate New York. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 833-200-2000.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY