A country music singer named Joe Diffie died earlier this year as a result of COVID-19. He was arguably best known for a 1990s song about poor judgments that unleashed a massive chain reaction of problematic outcomes, including a vehicle accident. In the song, “Third Rock From the Sun,” what unfolded was mostly hilarity and some unintentional property damage. In real life, though, errors in judgment can do life-changing harm to real people when those making the errors are drivers behind the wheel and their errors result in chain-reaction crashes. Getting the compensation you need for the harm you suffered in a chain-reaction crash is often no simple matter, as unraveling the details of the accident to determine who did what to whom — and who is legally liable to you — often requires in-depth investigation and considerable knowledge of the law. When it comes time to seek compensation for your chain-reaction accident injuries, make sure you have retained the services of a skilled San Mateo injury attorney to handle your case.
To give you an idea how complex these accidents can be, consider this recent one from Los Angeles County, which was reported by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. A CHP officer pulled over a BMW on the 10 freeway. At around the same time, a Scion cut off a Toyota RAV4. The driver of the Toyota swerved to avoid the Scion and, in doing so, moved onto the shoulder… and into the rear end of the CHP vehicle. The CHP SUV crashed into the BMW and one of those two vehicles slammed into the officer, who was walking toward the BMW at the time. The officer suffered serious injuries as a result.
Now, let’s take a look at all the different ways that different people could be liable. Certainly, the driver of the Scion, if the proof showed that he/she engaged in an unsafe lane change or other reckless driving, would be a prime candidate for being held liable. In this case, the Scion did not stop. While a hit-and-run driver who owes you damages is a significant complication, it is not something that necessarily will stop you from recovering compensation and is definitely not something you should let deter you from pursuing your case in court. There are several legal maneuvers your attorney can make to protect you if you were hurt by a hit-and-run driver.
The Scion driver might potentially not be the only one liable in this accident, though. If the crash evidence showed that the driver of the Toyota should have been able to escape the danger posed by the Scion without crashing into the CHP SUV, then that might be sufficient to create a negligence claim against the driver of the Toyota.
You can obtain damages even if you were partly to blame for the crash
Finally, if the evidence showed that, despite having ample room to pull onto the shoulder, the officer parked his SUV partly in the right travel lane, that might create an issue of whether he bore some of the blame. It is important to keep in mind that, in California, the rules of negligence say that, even if you were partly to blame for your injuries, that doesn’t mean you cannot recover. Moreover, even if you were mostly to blame, you can still recover an award of damages based on another driver’s percentage of partial blame, even when that driver’s fault was less than 50%.
Chain-reaction car accident cases can be especially complex and tricky to pursue successfully. That’s why it is vital that you have the right legal team to make sure you achieve a fair result. The diligent San Mateo injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have the skills, resources and experience to provide you with exactly that sort of effective legal representation. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.