The Sign Says ‘Pass With Care.’ Here’s What You Can Do When a California Driver Doesn’t and You’re Hurt.
Many drivers fall victim to impatience. It may cause drivers to do ill-advised things sometimes, such as executing unsafe passes and lane changes. When you or a loved one has been hurt because of this kind of unsafe driving action, the law allows you to seek compensation in court. A knowledgeable San Mateo auto accident lawyer
can help you tackle the legal process and deal with the insurance companies.
Chances are, most of us have been there. You're traveling along a two-lane road behind someone who, you believe, is moving unnecessarily slow. You become more and more impatient as the urge to "do something" builds. Sometimes, it's not even a matter of impatience. It's just a matter of wanting to pass but failing to do an appropriate check before executing a passing maneuver on a two-lane road. Either way, it's vitally important to avoid putting yourself in that kind of circumstance.
That's true, in part, because the consequences of an ill-conceived pass on a two-lane road can be so dire. Take, for example, a fatal incident in Modesto late last month. The driver of a 2016 Subaru SUV headed westbound on Main Street attempted to pass multiple vehicles by moving into the eastbound lane.
He never made it back to the westbound lane. Instead, he slammed head-on into a Honda sedan traveling eastbound. His SUV flipped and caught fire. Both he and the driver of the Honda died at the scene, according to a KCRA report.
If you're the family of the deceased Honda driver, your legal case
might seem straightforward, but that isn't always the reality, which is why you should be prepared and obtain skilled legal representation at the very start. Your skilled legal advocate can, if promptly retained, get started investigating the crash right away, obtaining vital crash scene proof that could be forever lost if too much time passes.
Why is this so important?
While you may think your family has an "open and shut" case, the other side is still entitled to put on a defense. The defendant's estate might try to argue that your deceased loved one was speeding or was distracted while driving and that negligence played a major role in the crash. With the right crash scene investigation and evidence, your legal team can disprove those assertions or, even if true, establish that they played only a minimal role in the accident.
Additionally, do not let someone convince you that, if your loved one made errors, those nullify your case. Say that your loved one was killed in a head-on crash
by a driver making an unsafe pass and that your loved one was traveling at 5 mph over the posted speed limit. That evidence might establish that your loved one was, to some degree, negligent. However, California is what the law calls a "pure comparative negligence" state, which means that you can recover whatever you can prove, minus whatever percentage your loved one was at fault. So, if your case results in a judgment of $10 million in damages and 95% culpability by the defendant, you're still entitled to $9.5 million. Under California law, if your case demonstrated that the defendant was only 10% to blame, you'd still be entitled to 10%, or $1 million.
Dealing With the Insurance Company or, In Some Cases, Companies
Another key area where the right legal counsel helps is the issue of insurance payouts. Your accident may involve the at-fault driver's insurance coverage but, depending on how much coverage that person had, it may also involve seeking a payout from your own insurer based on your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This means you may need to seek payments from multiple insurers. That means multiple chances for insurance companies to wrongfully deny you what you're owed. An experienced legal advocate can be integral in fighting the insurance companies to get you what you deserve.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Sometimes, an auto accident
is the result of something truly nefarious, like road rage. Other times, it is something much less so, like a driver who (potentially having become a bit impatient) simply misjudges the space available to execute a pass on a two-lane road. Even in the latter case, the driver is still culpable under civil law and you need a knowledgeable advocate to help you get the most from your negligence case. The experienced San Mateo auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos are here to do exactly that. We've spent years fighting for, and successfully representing, people just like you. Get in touch with our helpful attorneys today to find out more. To set up a free consultation
, contact us at 650-345-8484
or through our website.