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A Northern California Man Lands $160K Settlement After a City of Sacramento Truck Rear-Ends His SUV

Being hurt in an auto accident is almost always a stressful time. You probably have many questions. How will I pay all these medical bills? What do I do if I have to miss work for an extended period of time? These and other things likely race through your mind. Instead of shouldering this burden on your own, reach out to a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney, who can give you the representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.

While not in San Mateo, here’s a recent example from Northern California. Back in January, the Sacramento Bee reported on a settlement of a lawsuit between an injured driver and the City of Sacramento. According to the report, 64-year-old R.D. was driving southbound on Riverside Boulevard near the Sacramento Zoo when he slowed to make a left-hand turn. When R.D. slowed down, the driver of a city animal control truck, who was immediately behind R.D., apparently did not notice and crashed into the rear end of the man’s SUV. According to the Bee, the impact was substantial enough that it spun the SUV around, sent it through a fence and into the lawn of a nearby home.

A city spokesman told the Bee that, as of the time of the case’s settlement, the driver of the animal control truck no longer worked for the city.

R.D.’s accident is a useful reminder of several things when it comes to rear-end accidents. One is that it is vital to identify all of the viable defendants for your case. In addition to suing a driver who has rear-ended you, you may be able to include the driver’s employer under a legal concept called “vicarious liability” if you have enough proof that the driver was engaged in activities that were within the scope of his employment with the employer. In R.D.’s situation, it was fairly clear that he had a case against the driver and the driver’s employer, the city. The truck driver was clearly engaged in city business when he rear-ended the SUV.

You may also be able to pursue an action for direct negligence against the employer if you have proof that the employer should not have continued employing that employee in that capacity. For example, an employer employing someone with a severely “checkered” driving record as a driver of the employer’s truck might face liability under this type of claim. The claim is called negligent hiring or negligent retention.

There may be several different types of damages you can recover. With sufficient proof of liability, you can seek payment of your medical expenses (both past and reasonably provable future bills), along with lost income (both past and provable future losses) and pain and suffering.

Of course, before you can ever get to the issue of the amount of damages, you have to prove liability, and one part of proving liability is proving that the accident caused your injuries. When it comes to causation, you should not be fearful of pursuing your case simply because you did not experience pain or other symptoms immediately. There are many entirely legitimate medical reasons why an accident might cause an injury, including a substantial injury, and the sufferer not feel pain or experience symptoms for hours, days or maybe even weeks after the crash. That’s doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. With proper medical evidence, you can still establish the causation needed to obtain a judgment in your favor.

R.D. had a strong enough case that he was able to successfully negotiate a settlement with the city paying him $160,000 in exchange for dropping his lawsuit.

What all this information tells you is that there are many different variations and permutations to any personal injury case. To get the most beneficial outcome, you need an experienced legal team on your side. The skilled San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have been helping injured people for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Two Plumbers Recover $420K for a Rear-End Crash Caused by a Southern California Police Officer, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 23, 2019

California Girl With Pre-Existing Health Conditions Wins $10.8M Judgment in Rear-End Accident, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 4, 2017

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