By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 11th January 2024. This car accident injury guide explains how to claim compensation for an accident caused by faulty traffic lights. When it comes to faulty traffic light car accident claims, ‘Am I eligible to claim?’ is often the first question that claimants ask. We answer this question and more regarding traffic light collision case law.
We cover things like ‘who has right of way when traffic lights are faulty?”and can I get in trouble for running a red light by accident?’. Plus, we explain how compensation is calculated for an accident caused by faulty lights, and delve into broken traffic light law. Plus, we answer questions such as ‘What happens if you run a red light?’ What does the Highway Code say if traffic lights are stuck on red?’ and “I was injured by someone jumping a red light by accident, what should I do?’
We hope you find the information we have produced useful. If you would like to begin a faulty traffic light car accident claim or would like to ask us any questions about your accident, and your eligibility to claim for a road traffic accident, we’d be happy to help you.
Select A Section
- Liability For Car Accidents At Faulty Traffic Lights
- Local Councils’ Liability For Car Accidents At Faulty Traffic Lights
- What Steps Should You Take At The Accident Scene?
- Compensation For Car Accidents Caused By Faulty Traffic Lights
- No Win No Fee Claims For Car Accidents At Faulty Traffic Lights
- Essential References
If you have been injured in a car accident due to a traffic light not working, you would need to prove that a relevant third-party breached a duty of care that they owed you, and that this breach caused your injuries.
Every road user has a duty of care to use the roads in a manner that avoids causing harm to themselves and others on the road. They must adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988, and follow the rules and guidance of the Highway Code.
If there are faulty or broken traffic lights, there are specific responsibilities that a driver would have. Rule 176 of the Highway Codes states that a driver must proceed with great care and treat the situation as they would for an unmarked junction if traffic lights are not working or are faulty. Should they fail to do so and cause an accident as a result, they could be held liable for injuries you sustain.
The liability for car accidents caused by faulty traffic lights without driver error could be those in control of the roadways themselves. This could be Highways England, for example. Later in this guide, we will discuss in more depth when a local council may be liable for a car accident caused by faulty traffic lights.
To see whether you may have a valid personal injury claim, you can contact a member of our advisory team.
Time Limit For Faulty Traffic Light Car Accident Claims
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by faulty traffic lights, and you’re eligible to claim, you would typically have 3 years in which to file your case. This three-year limitation period is set by the Limitation Act 1980 and typically begins on the date of the accident.
However, there are some exceptions that might apply to some cases.
For example, if a child is injured because of a traffic light not working, the limitation period would pause until they reach adulthood. It would then restart on their 18th birthday, giving them until they turn 21 to claim. However, during the pause, an adult could file a claim on the child’s behalf as a litigation friend instead. This could be a relative or solicitor, for example.
Another way in which a litigation friend could claim on someone else’s behalf is if they lack the mental capacity to claim for themselves. The limitation period would freeze indefinitely in this case.
To learn more about claiming compensation for yourself or someone else, please contact an advisor. They could assess your case to see what the relevant limitation period is for your claim.
According to the Highways Act 1980, the local highway authority has a responsibility to ensure that roads are maintained to a safe standard and are appropriate for the volume and nature of traffic using them. Part of their approach towards keeping roads safe sometimes involves the placement of traffic lights to control the flow of traffic.
Depending on what type of road the faulty traffic lights are on, will affect who is responsible for maintaining them. For example, Highways England is responsible for maintaining highways and A roads, whereas local councils are responsible for B roads, such as local roads.
However, while you might assume that a faulty traffic light accident claim would most likely be made against the local authority, this may not always be the case.
If you’re unsure as to whether you could claim compensation for a traffic light malfunction accident, why not call our team and we will check your eligibility for you.
Reporting Faulty Traffic Lights
In order to report a faulty traffic light, you could opt to use the Government’s website. They have a service whereupon you input the postcode of the traffic light that is faulty and it directs you to the local authority’s website. You could then get in contact with the local authority responsible for the traffic light and report it directly to them.
When reporting a faulty traffic light, it would be wise to take a reference number for the report. This way, there is a record of such a report being made and you could provide evidence of your report should you be asked to do so.
At the scene of any accident that has caused damage to property or personal injury, you should stop. You should also make sure to report the accident to the police.
Minor incidents where you are not required to inform the police as an emergency should be reported to police within 24 hours. It would also be wise to inform your insurance company, whether you are planning to make a claim or not.
Other steps you could take, especially if you are considering making a faulty traffic light accident claim could include:
- Taking photographs: You could take photos of the scene, or even a video of the traffic light malfunctioning if it is safe to do so. You could also take photos of your injuries.
- Getting contact details of witnesses: If other motorists are involved, then it would be wise to take their details including those of their insurance. You could also take contact details for witnesses, and make sure you write vehicle registration details down too.
- Get medical help: If the accident is serious, someone might already have contacted the emergency services and you might be checked out at the scene. However, even if your injuries seem fairly minor, it could be wise to seek advice from a medical professional on managing them. This could also serve as a record of the accident and your injuries.
- Get legal advice: If you call our expert advisors, we will be able to ascertain which of the car accident fault determination rules in the UK could apply to your case. We could then advise you as to whether you could make a faulty traffic light car accident claim.
The compensation you could receive for a car accident caused by a traffic light not working would depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Generally, you could receive a payout that includes general damages and special damages.
General damages is a head of claim that compensates you for your injuries and the suffering and pain they have caused you. It is awarded to all successful claimants.
Those calculating such payouts could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for reference. This is a publication that provides guideline compensation brackets for different injuries at various severities. We have included some figures from the JCG in the table below, aside from the first figure. However, these figures should only be used as guidance.
|Site of injury
|Approximate Payout Amount
|Multiple severe injuries with financial costs and losses.
|Up to £500,000+
|Severe combinations of injuries causing significant financial losses and costs, including loss of income and care costs, for example.
|Neck (a) (i)
|In the region of
|Severe – incomplete paraplegia may feature, for example.
|Neck (b) (i)
|£24,990 to £38,490
|Moderate – Fracture/dislocations potentially requiring spinal fusion may feature.
|Leg (b) (i)
|£96,250 to £135,920
|Injuries just short of amputation.
|Leg (b ) (iii)
|£39,200 to £54,830
|Serious injuries including comminuted fractures, for example.
|£96,160 to £130,930
|Severe – falling just short of amputation.
|£19,200 to £39,170
|Substantial recovery but serious injuries.
|Back (a) (i)
|£91,090 to £160,980
|Severe – Most severe injuries with damage to spinal cord and nerve roots could feature here.
|Back (c) (i)
|£7,890 to £12,510
|Minor – recovery within 2-5 years to nuisance level.
|£41,970 to £70,030
|Severe – including fractures of both heels, for example.
|£13,740 to £24,990
|Moderate – including displaced fractures to metatarsal, for example.
|Whiplash with a psychological injury lasting longer than 18 months, but recovery within 2 years.
|Whiplash lasting longer than 18 months but recovery within 2 years.
In addition to this, you could claim special damages for any financial costs and losses incurred due to your injuries. These could include:
- Care costs if you have had to pay for care at home due to your injuries.
- Travel expenses, if you have had to pay out for transport to get you to medical appointments or to meet with your solicitor.
- Loss of earnings if you have lost out on earnings because you’ve been unable to work due to your injuries.
- Medical expenses, such as having to pay for prescriptions.
When making a claim for special damages, you will have to present evidence of your financial losses. This could include bank statements, invoices and payslips.
If you would like to learn more about compensation payouts for personal injury claims involving faulty traffic lights, please contact an advisor.
Your claim might have to be made through the Whiplash Reform Programme. However, there is certain eligibility criteria to be met.
You must be 18 or older and the driver or passenger in a vehicle to claim. Additionally, the accident must have occurred in England or Wales on or after the 31st of May 2021.
The injuries must be valued at £5,000 or less. If you suffered whiplash, this will be valued according to a tariff amount in the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. Other minor injuries will be assigned value according to the compensation brackets found in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which we look at next. In addition, the overall value of your claim cannot exceed £10,000.
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to faulty traffic lights, you may wish to get help from a solicitor when making a personal injury claim.
One of our No Win No Fee solicitors could offer to take on your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), provided you have a valid case. This would mean you typically wouldn’t have to pay your solicitor for their work prior to your claim starting or while it is progressing. Additionally, you will not have to pay for their services if the claim fails.
In the event that your claim is successful, you will pay the solicitor working on your case a success fee. This is taken from your compensation as a small percentage that is subjected to a legal cap.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to a traffic light not working, you can contact our advisors to see whether you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. You can reach them today by:
- How To Report A Problem With A Street Light: This page, on the Government’s website, shows you how to report a faulty street light.
- The Highway Code: Read more about road safety.
- Reporting An Accident: This page on the government website shows you when and how to report a car accident.
- Split Liability: This guide explains more about split liability claims and how to get help with them
- Car Accident Guidance: This general guide covers car accident claims in more detail.
- Advice on rear shunt accident claims. Learn how to make a claim for a rear shunt accident with our guide.
- Learn how to make a broken jaw compensation claim. Our team are here to help.
- Have you suffered a merging traffic injury? Read our guide to find out if you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Thank you for visiting and learning about how to make faulty traffic light car accident claims.