When you think about an auto accident injury lawsuit, you may imagine an injured person suing the person who rear-ended them or who improperly turned in front of them. In reality, though, auto accident injuries can occur in a wide spectrum of situations. If you are injured in a more unusual way, you may, very understandably, feel unsure about how you should proceed legally. Whether your circumstance was highly unique or very ordinary, it pays to have legal representation from a skilled California injury attorney in your pursuit of compensation.
As the Santa Maria Times reported, A.L.S. was a man injured in one of those more unusual ways. Certainly, no one wants to find himself detained in the back of a police car, but that’s where A.L.S. found himself in 2016. He was in the back of Officer E.I.O.’s cruiser, being transported to a police substation when a terrible accident happened. A teen, who allegedly was intoxicated, slammed a 2001 pickup truck into the police car in a head-on crash. Allegedly, the officer tried to avoid the oncoming pickup by swerving, but wasn’t successful. The officer, upon regaining consciousness after the impact, helped move A.L.S. to safety as the cruiser emitted smoke, according to the report.
In an accident such as this, you may assume that the injured passenger in the police car can seek recovery against the teen driver for negligence. You might also assume that the injured passenger has only that lawsuit against the teen driver as his sole source for recovery.
That latter assumption may, however, be incorrect. The details of A.L.S.’s injury action demonstrate just how important every factual detail can be in your case, which is why amassing all the relevant information and evidence becomes vital. There are many cases where that facts listed above would allow an injured plaintiff to pursue the allegedly drunk driver and only that driver. However, in this case, A.L.S. sued both the allegedly drunk driver and the city for negligence–and he was successfully able to secure a settlement that included payments from both the teen driver’s insurance company and the city.
Why was A.L.S. able to get a settlement against the city in addition to the teen driver? There was a fact that, while it might seem small to some, was key to the successful result. The police officer had never placed a seatbelt on A.L.S., according to the Times. That lack of a proper safety restraint was something that, according to the injured man’s arguments, contributed to the severity of the injuries he suffered. Thus, even if one person or entity is the purported cause of the accident that inflicted your injuries, you may still be able to sue, and obtain a recovery, against additional parties whose negligence was a contributing factor in worsening the injuries you suffered in the accident.
When you are suing a governmental entity, you may have to overcome certain hurdles, like types of legal immunity from suit. Consequently, it is beneficial to have proof that the alleged negligence that occurred in your case contravened an established written policy or rule held by that governmental entity. Again, pre-trial evidence collection can be key. In A.L.S’s case, he made the argument that, by failing to place him in a proper safety restraint, the officer directly violated Guadalupe Police Department policy. That evidence was important in setting the stage for the injured man to settle with both the teen driver and the city.
If you or a loved one is injured in a vehicle accident, do not despair if it happened in an odd or unique way. The uniqueness of your facts doesn’t mean that you cannot obtain the damages award you need in all instances. Contact the skilled San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, who have been helping injured people to get the compensation they deserve 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:
Knowing How Much Your Injury Case is ‘Worth,’ and How This Knowledge Can Help in Your California Lawsuit, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 20, 2018
Jury Awards Man With Disabilities More Than $41M in Damages for Massive Injuries Suffered in California Intersection Crash, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 19, 2018