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Family Gets a $24 Million Judgment After a California Intersection Accident Kills Three

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. 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.

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    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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