If you scan the news stories about fatal vehicle accidents, you’ll inevitably notice that a lot of the stories have something in common: the vehicle in which the deceased was traveling was the only car, truck, van, or SUV involved in the incident. In fact, statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that, here in California, the majority of fatal vehicle accidents are single-vehicle crashes (56%). If you were hurt (or a loved one was killed) in a single-vehicle accident, there may be multiple options for getting the compensation you need, so waste no time in reaching out to a skilled San Mateo car accident lawyer.
Many times, it’s not immediately clear what caused the wreck. For example, losaltosonline.com described a recent crash in Santa Clara County thusly: “for reasons currently unknown, the 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan containing the young men left the roadway and entered the center median, where it overturned and struck several trees.” The San Diego Union-Tribune described a recent Southern California single-vehicle fatal accident this way: “Details of what caused the Cadillac sedan to hit the pole were not immediately available.”
Several factors can be triggers for fatal single-vehicle accidents. They can include a driver driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a driver driving while distracted by a cell phone, a driver who was driving while fatigued or drowsy, a driver who was speeding, an inexperienced driver, or a driver who was navigating a road that had poor drainage or poor sightlines, among other things.
Your pathway to success can be made easier if the driver who was driving was cited or charged for his/her driving. If, for example, the driver was cited for speeding, cited for violating the state’s “hands-free” law, or convicted of a DUI crime, then you can use that evidence to advance what’s called a “negligence per se” case. Negligence per se says that, if you have proof that the driver violated the law, then that evidence of a violation can allow the court to presume that the driver acted negligently, thereby allowing you to bypass some proof steps that are required in ordinary negligence cases.
Successfully Suing More Than Just the Driver
It’s also important to recognize that the driver may not be the only one you can pursue in your accident case. If the driver was doing something for the benefit of his/her employer when the crash occurred, then you can pursue a negligence case, not only against the driver but also the employer. The employer may owe you compensation under a legal theory that is known as “vicarious liability.”
Additionally, if the road where you were injured was designed negligently and that design created a hazardous condition, then you may have a winning case against the entity that designed the road. Similarly, if poor design or poor maintenance has led to a road with improper drainage and that bad drainage caused the crash that hurt you, then you may have a winning case against the entity (or entities) that were responsible for the design or the maintenance of the road.
In other words, there may be a lot of options, depending on the particular facts of your crash. Getting the most from your lawsuit means having a legal team that can do all the “homework” necessary to identify all the people and/or entities who were liable to you. To make sure you have that kind of effective legal representation on your side, look to the fatal auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. We have spent many decades helping people just like you to get the compensation you need after the trauma of losing a loved one in a vehicle accident. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.