In an intersection crash where one vehicle clearly improperly fails to yield the right of way, it may be understandable, and perhaps easy, to assume that the fault for the accident lies solely with that driver, where liability in this case may come down to issues like speeding and negligent failure to yield. Sometimes, though, the facts tell a different story. By doing truly thorough pre-trial discovery, you may unearth those unexpected facts and be better equipped to achieve success in your lawsuit. To make sure you have what you need, both before trial, during trial and after trial, be sure you have an experienced San Mateo injury attorney on your side.
A recent tragedy from Hollywood is an example. Patch.com reported on a mother was who driving three of her children in her minivan when a 74-year-old driver of an Infiniti SUV slammed into her. The impact pushed the van into a pole and killed the mother and the two younger children.
The older girl (who was injured but not killed in the crash,) along with the father of the children, sued in federal court in Los Angeles. One of the parties in the case alleged that the SUV driver caused the accident by confusing the accelerator and the brake pedal in his vehicle, meaning that he sped up when he meant to stop.
If you were hurt in an accident where that was actually the case, you might have various bases for going to court. Certainly, you might have a negligence claim against the driver based upon his improper failure to yield the right of way at the intersection. Alternately, though, if the driver’s ability to drive safely had been diminished due to age-related problems, and that driver knew or reasonably should have known that he was not safe to drive, then you might have a claim for negligence based upon his having gotten behind the wheel at all.
In the fatal Hollywood crash noted above, a jury ultimately determined that the accident happened not because the SUV driver was negligent, but because of a mechanical defect in the SUV’s braking system. As a result, the jury ordered the vehicle manufacturer to pay the father, the surviving girl and the man driving the SUV a total of more than $24 million for their respective injuries.
In the Hollywood incident, the crash happened because of a defect previously unknown to the driver. Sometimes, though, when accidents happen due to vehicles’ mechanical problems, those problems may actually allow you to obtain compensation from the driver of that vehicle. If your case has proof that the driver who hit you or your loved ones knew or reasonably should have known that his vehicle had brake (or other mechanical) problems, but that he did nothing (or didn’t do enough) to address those problems, then the driver could be liable for negligence based upon his failure to maintain his vehicle.
Each case is unique, and any case has the potential to have twists and turns. To give yourself the best chance of a full recovery, put legal counsel on your side who has the extensive experience. Contact the skilled San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, where our attorneys have been helping injured people for years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.