If you’ve driven around San Mateo or anywhere in the Bay Area, you know that traffic jams can be a headache. With traffic jams, in addition to stop signs and traffic signals, there are plenty of circumstances where you’ll be stopped in traffic, and situations where you’re at risk of being injured in a chain reaction or other rear-end accident. When you find yourself in that painful and stressful situation, be sure to reach out promptly to an experienced San Mateo car accident lawyer about your situation.
Recently, one Northern California chain reaction accident, which was reported by NBC Bay Area, occurred on Highway 12 in Fairfield and claimed the life of one traveler. Before the accident, four eastbound drivers stopped at a red light. The eastbound driver of a Mercedes van did not. The van rear-ended a Volkswagen, which rear-ended a Honda, which rear-ended a BMW, which rear-ended an Audi. The driver of the Volkswagen did not survive.
In any kind of chain reaction accident, there are several keys to determining fault and putting oneself in a position to succeed in court. When it comes to assessing blame, the central question generally is, “Which driver caused the first accident?” That driver, generally speaking, will be the one at fault. In the Fairfield crash, based on the news reports’ description of the crash, the drivers of Volkswagen, Honda, BMW and Audi all followed the rules of the road and operated their vehicles safely. The driver of the Mercedes did not, and that driver’s negligence potentially was the sole cause of all damages that occurred, if the evidence supported the description published in the news.
Multiple drivers may be at fault and liable for paying compensation
While the driver who caused the first crash may be the sole responsible party in many chain reaction crashes, that is not always the outcome. Say, for example, Driver B rear-ends Driver A. Driver C is distracted by her phone and, though not speeding, fails to see the crash ahead as soon as she should have, and piles into the back of B. Driver D, who was speeding, is unable to get his vehicle slowed in time and slams into the rear of C. In that circumstance, B was the driver who caused the first crash. B, though, may not be 100% liable. If a party can prove that C was distracted and/or that D was speeding, then those drivers could be found negligent and partly to blame for the damages caused, which means that they might share in the obligation to pay compensation for the injuries inflicted to the injured people who sued.
What that hypothetical helps illustrate is that a chain reaction crash can occur in many different ways. Getting the full recovery you deserve means getting the evidence you need and having the effective counsel it takes for success. Reach out to the skilled San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, who have been providing knowledgeable representation for many years for people hurt in chain reaction and other car accidents. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.