Injury accidents involving multiple vehicles can be complicated matters, especially when it comes to seeking compensation for the harm you've endured. Depending on what the evidence shows, it's possible that one driver is 100% at fault or that multiple drivers are liable for your injuries. Given this wide array of potential scenarios, it's vital to retain an experienced Santa Barbara car accident lawyer as soon as possible so they can get started investigating your case.
One such multi-vehicle crash occurred near Santa Maria recently, resulting in numerous people suffering major injuries. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck attempted to pass slower traffic but collided with an oncoming Chevrolet SUV. The impact included not just those two vehicles but also a Toyota sedan that was behind the SUV.
The driver of the Toyota reportedly suffered minor injuries, but the drivers of the truck and the SUV endured major injuries and a passenger in the pickup truck suffered fatal injuries.
Multi-vehicle or chain-reaction collisions are a scenario where effective investigation is vital. Say, for example, you were driving the middle vehicle in a three-car rear-end crash. Hypothetically, you might have stopped safely behind the first vehicle and the driver of the third vehicle hit you with such force that it pushed your car into the rear of the first. Alternately, you might have rear-ended the first car and then the third car rear-ended you.
Timely investigation can allow you to collect forensic evidence from the accident scene that might otherwise be lost if you delay. It also can help in obtaining statements from the drivers involved. For example, if the driver of the first vehicle stated that he/she felt only one impact (and not two,) that could go a long way in establishing that the third vehicle was the sole cause of the crash.
This evidence can be critical when pursuing a claim with an insurer or a case in civil court. This is because, if there was just one impact, it's very likely the driver behind you was 100% at fault.
Obtaining Compensation Even if You Were Partly at Fault
Even if you rear-ended the car in front of you, do not despair. California is what the law calls a "pure comparative negligence" state. That means, that as long as you can establish that another person was at least partially to blame and that their negligence caused your injuries, you can recover some compensation. Say, for example, you rear-ended another vehicle in the rain but a third car subsequently rear-ended you. If the evidence showed that you suffered $200,000 in damages, and the third driver was 30% at fault because he/she was going too fast for the wet conditions then, even though the collision was mostly your fault, you can still recover $60,000 in vital compensation.
The experienced Santa Barbara car accident attorneys at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP offer assistance to our clients in many ways. Long before it's time to litigate in court or to negotiate a settlement, we're working hard to quickly gather necessary evidence, document the extent of your injuries, and help you determine if your case needs testimony from an expert (or experts). Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today to put us to work for you.