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You were in a bad car accident in NY and you believe you had the green light going through the intersection. The problem is that the other driver also thinks he had the green light. Who's right and how do you prove it?

"Who had the green light?" is a question the police officer will ask. It's also a question an attorney will ask when deciding whether to accept you as a client.

You answer "I had the green light!"

You later learn from the police report that the other driver also claimed to have had the green light at the time of the accident.

Who's right and how do you prove it?

Do you think I can answer this in just one article? No, but I will give you some useful information that will suggest how to determine this.

Many intersection collisions involve the question of "Who had the green light?"

If you had the green light, the other driver would likely be responsible for the accident and the injuries you suffered. If the other driver had the green light, you might be unable to recover any compensation for your injuries. That is why it is crucial to be able to determine who had the green light.

Here's a brief overview of how we piece this together...

  • We have to ask you lots of questions about the accident and the steps leading up to your crash.
  • We need to obtain the police report.
  • We need to speak to any witnesses who saw what happened.
  • We may need to hire experts to recreate the accident and the accident scene.
  • We need to determine if there's any video footage of the intersection and the actual accident itself.
  • We need to find out what the other driver is claiming.

Here are some sample questions I need to ask you:

  • When did you first see the green light?
  • Where was your car when you first saw the light?
  • What was your speed at that time?
  • How far away were you from the intersection when you first saw the light?
  • How long did it take you to travel that distance before the impact occurred?
  • Did you maintain a constant rate of speed during that entire distance?
  • Was this stretch of road straight or curved?
  • Was this road, in the direction you were travelling, uphill, downhill or flat?
  • What was the weather like?
  • What time of day was this?
  • Anything obstructing your vision as you approached the intersection?
  • When for the very first time did you notice the car that you had the crash with?
  • What part of your car impacted what part of the other car?
  • Did you hear any horns or screeching tires before the impact?

Learning the answers to these questions will provide me with an insight and understanding about who had the green light.


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer