Icy Conditions on a Santa Barbara County Bridge Cause an 8-Car Pileup and Send 3 to the Hospital
Car crashes happen with considerable frequency in California. While sometimes they involve nothing more than property damage, any auto accident has the potential to be the one that changes your life, causing injuries that stay with you for years, if not a lifetime. Getting fairly compensated for the harm you endured can mean negotiating with insurance companies and sometimes going to trial in civil court. Don't go it alone. A knowledgeable Santa Barbara car accident lawyer can help you assess your situation and advise you on the best path forward to get proper compensation.
One of the scenarios that can be particularly vexing is a multi-vehicle crash, which is exactly what happened on Highway 154 recently. Caused by icy conditions on the Cold Spring Bridge. the accident impacted eight passenger vehicles and one big rig. The crash was serious enough that an extraction was required and three of the people involved were taken to a nearby hospital. The person who needed extraction was an elderly man with "moderate" injuries.
Any legal case arising from another driver's negligence can be complicated, but a multi-vehicle crash is potentially especially so, which is why skilled legal counsel can be crucial to getting the recovery you need.
That's because different scenarios mean different things in terms of liability. If, for example, a car was going too fast for icy conditions and rear-ended the car in front of it, which rear-ended the car in front of it, which in turn rear-ended you, then the driver furthest in the rear potentially could be 100% liable. If, however, all the drivers were going too fast, and the car immediately behind you rear-ended you, followed by multiple successive rear-end impacts in a chain reaction, all of the drivers may have been negligent and share a portion of the responsibility for the harm you suffered.
The Steps that Occur After Your Crash
One of the first actions your legal team will take will be to dispatch investigators to the scene as quickly as possible. This is important in any case but particularly so in a multi-vehicle case. If you're rear-ended in a two-vehicle crash, the person who hit you has limited options for escaping liability. However, in a multi-vehicle crash, each driver (and their insurers) has a greater opportunity to claim that the blame for your harm falls upon one or more other drivers, but not them.
Proper crash site investigation and collection of accident scene evidence can help clarify who was truly to blame. Things like the damage each vehicle sustained, skid marks, and debris patterns may help accident reconstruction experts identify who hit whom when thereby allowing your attorney to see who has legal liability.
Of course, it's not always just about individual drivers and their private auto insurers. Note that, in the Cold Spring Bridge crash, the accident involved one semi truck and, therefore, one commercial truck driver. Unless the trucker was 100% blameless, that means that not only does the trucker have potential liability, but so may the company that employs him/her and/or the client who hired him/her. Pursuing claims against truckers, trucking companies, and their insurers often involves an added layer of investigation, including manifests, log books, and other forms of documentation related to the job the trucker was performing when the crash happened.
Getting justice begins with determining the extent of your injuries and who was responsible for your damages. Performing these analyses accurately is essential to a successful outcome. Count on the experienced Santa Barbara car accident attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP to provide you with knowledgeable representation during these and every step in the process. Whether it's dealing with an insurance company or taking a case to court, we're here to ensure you get an outcome that properly covers all your losses. Contact us today at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.