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Taking on – and Winning – an Injury Lawsuit in California Based on a Fatal Single-Vehicle Crash

If you scan the news stories about fatal vehicle accidents, you’ll inevitably notice that a lot of the stories have something in common: the vehicle in which the deceased was traveling was the only car, truck, van, or SUV involved in the incident. In fact, statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that, here in California, the majority of fatal vehicle accidents are single-vehicle crashes (56%). If you were hurt (or a loved one was killed) in a single-vehicle accident, there may be multiple options for getting the compensation you need, so waste no time in reaching out to a skilled San Mateo car accident lawyer.

Many times, it’s not immediately clear what caused the wreck. For example, described a recent crash in Santa Clara County thusly: “for reasons currently unknown, the 2006 Toyota Sienna minivan containing the young men left the roadway and entered the center median, where it overturned and struck several trees.” The San Diego Union-Tribune described a recent Southern California single-vehicle fatal accident this way: “Details of what caused the Cadillac sedan to hit the pole were not immediately available.”

Several factors can be triggers for fatal single-vehicle accidents. They can include a driver driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a driver driving while distracted by a cell phone, a driver who was driving while fatigued or drowsy, a driver who was speeding, an inexperienced driver, or a driver who was navigating a road that had poor drainage or poor sightlines, among other things.


Your pathway to success can be made easier if the driver who was driving was cited or charged for his/her driving. If, for example, the driver was cited for speeding, cited for violating the state’s “hands-free” law, or convicted of a DUI crime, then you can use that evidence to advance what’s called a “negligence per se” case. Negligence per se says that, if you have proof that the driver violated the law, then that evidence of a violation can allow the court to presume that the driver acted negligently, thereby allowing you to bypass some proof steps that are required in ordinary negligence cases.

Successfully Suing More Than Just the Driver

It’s also important to recognize that the driver may not be the only one you can pursue in your accident case. If the driver was doing something for the benefit of his/her employer when the crash occurred, then you can pursue a negligence case, not only against the driver but also the employer. The employer may owe you compensation under a legal theory that is known as “vicarious liability.”

Additionally, if the road where you were injured was designed negligently and that design created a hazardous condition, then you may have a winning case against the entity that designed the road. Similarly, if poor design or poor maintenance has led to a road with improper drainage and that bad drainage caused the crash that hurt you, then you may have a winning case against the entity (or entities) that were responsible for the design or the maintenance of the road.

In other words, there may be a lot of options, depending on the particular facts of your crash. Getting the most from your lawsuit means having a legal team that can do all the “homework” necessary to identify all the people and/or entities who were liable to you. To make sure you have that kind of effective legal representation on your side, look to the fatal auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. We have spent many decades helping people just like you to get the compensation you need after the trauma of losing a loved one in a vehicle accident. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

Auto AccidentsandWrongful Death

Client Reviews

    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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