Getting Proper Compensation for Injuries Suffered in a California Chain-Reaction Accident

Getting Proper Compensation for Injuries Suffered in a California Chain-Reaction Accident

A major multi-vehicle accident on the southbound 101 left multiple people hurt and one dead, according to news reports. Crashes like this one are all too common in Southern California. Chain-reaction and other multi-vehicle accidents often can result in numerous severe or fatal injuries that permanently change the lives of those hurt and the families of those lost. If you have been impacted by one of these crashes, obtaining financial compensation may be essential to your family’s continued economic security and well-being. Representation from an experienced Santa Barbara car accident lawyer can be an essential element of doing that.

The first crash, which took place near Ventura just before 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 25, claimed five vehicles. At least one person was seriously hurt, suffering a major leg injury.

That collision triggered a massive backup. A half-mile north, another rear-end accident occurred in the backup. The rear driver did not stop and the driver of the lead car, a 40-year-old man from Santa Barbara, died from his injuries.

There’s a lot we know about this incident. There’s also a lot we don’t. Regarding the five-vehicle pileup, the reports state only that, according to a CHP sergeant, it “involved five cars rear-ending each other.”

Multi-Vehicle Crashes Mean Many Liability Possibilities…

A five-vehicle chain-reaction rear-ender can unfold in many different ways. In one possible variation, the lead car slows or stops, the second car rear-ends the first, the third hits the second, the fourth strikes the third, and the fifth crashes into the fourth. This scenario presents any number of possibilities regarding liability. It’s possible that the lead driver could have liability if he/she stopped in an open travel lane without a reasonable cause. While this is a less common situation, it does occur occasionally.

Car Accident Settlements in San Mateo

It’s also possible that the lead driver stopped or slowed for a valid reason and the second driver
improperly didn’t. If the facts reveal that the third, fourth, and fifth drivers were operating their vehicles with what the law calls a “reasonable” degree of carefulness, but could not avoid the crash in front of them, then the second driver might possibly be 100% liable for all the harm caused.

Additionally, it’s possible that the second driver was negligent in rear-ending the first, that the third and fourth drivers safely stopped, but the fifth driver slammed into the fourth with such force that it pushed the fourth car into the third and the third into the second. In that situation, the second and fifth drivers could both be liable. Alternately, if the third driver successfully stopped but the others didn’t, then the second, third, and fifth drivers might be liable. Basically, any driver that managed to stop might be free of liability while any driver who struck the car in front of them (without first being hit by the car behind them and pushed forward) might potentially have some degree of liability.

In some situations, the driver of the last vehicle is 100% liable. These cases often involve big-rig trucks and other large commercial vehicles whose drivers became distracted or sleepy -- or were driving while intoxicated -- and slammed into slowed or stopped traffic without ever hitting their brakes.

The reality is that you may not know exactly how your crash unfolded. You just know that you were
involved in a chain-reaction rear-end accident and that you’re seriously hurt. Police reports don’t always tell the whole story and sometimes are actually wrong.

That’s why you need the right legal team working for you. Skilled legal counsel with the right resources can get started as soon as you retain them. That immediacy can bear substantial fruit, not the least of which is investigating the crash scene right away. This helps to get essential evidence your case needs while forensic site evidence is still at the scene and eyewitness memories are fresh.

Furthermore, the sooner counsel gets started, the sooner you may be able to resolve your case and get the compensation you need. Count on the knowledgeable Santa Barbara car accident attorneys at the personal injury law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP to be your powerful legal advocate. Our group of local attorneys boasts diverse professional experiences related to vehicle crashes, so we can assign your case to the lawyer best suited to maximize your success. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today.


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