Very few injury cases are the legal equivalent of a “slam dunk.” There inevitably will be many obstacles of varying types that will be positioned along the way, and any of them can trip you up, which is why it is so important to have legal representation from an experienced Oakland injury attorney when it comes time to pursue your case. Some cases, though, can be particularly complicated and may reflect a particularly high need for a skilled legal advocate.
Accidents that involve multiple vehicles can often be that kind of complex case. When you are hurt because one other driver rear-ended you, getting everything you deserve will be challenging, but parts of the case, such as who is liable, may be relatively straightforward. In multi-vehicle crashes, just determining who was to blame may be problematic.
Take, for example, a fatal accident from the pre-dawn hours of March 17. After a driver lost control along northbound Highway 101 in northern Sonoma County, his sedan hit the concrete center median, flipped, and came to rest wheels-down in the middle of the northbound travel lanes but facing south, according to a Press Democrat report.
A second car came along and sideswiped the sedan, then another car hit the front of the sedan. The driver of the first vehicle, who was attempting to exit the sedan when the third car hit, was ejected from the sedan as a result of the third car’s impact. He died from his injuries. The two passengers in the sedan suffered “moderate to major” injuries, while the driver of the third car also suffered moderate injuries, the report indicated.
A Wide Range of Possibilities When it Comes to Who Was Liable
If you were one of the seriously injured passengers in the first car, determining who to sue might be anything but clear. The facts and the evidence might, for example, possibly indicate that the driver with whom you were riding was driving at an unsafe speed and that the second and third drivers were driving safely and reasonably at all times. In a case like that, it’s possible that 100% of the blame would fall on the driver of the first vehicle and your legal action would be only against that driver’s estate.
It’s equally conceivable, though, that the evidence could tell a different story. Perhaps the person with whom you were riding had an unforeseeable tire blowout that caused him to lose control, that the second driver was speeding recklessly and that the third driver was texting or otherwise distracted by his smartphone. In that situation, you could have a case against each of the second and third drivers, but the first driver may not have been negligent at all.
In short, a case like this could yield evidence that places the blame for your injuries on any one of the drivers, two of the drivers (but not the third), or on all three. Getting the best possible outcome means determining who was liable and who wasn’t… and customizing your lawsuit accordingly.
Lastly, you should also keep in mind that, even if you were one of the drivers and were in some way negligent (e.g., speeding, driving while drowsy, etc.), you can still recover compensation in a lawsuit. The law in California says that you are entitled to recover a portion of your damages based upon your percentage of liability and the other driver’s percentage of liability. So, even if you were 75% to blame for the accident that injured you, you still can bring a lawsuit against the driver who was 25% at fault and recover ¼ of the total amount of damages you prove at trial.
An experienced legal advocate can help you to chart the best course for getting the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash, whether it was a multi-vehicle accident, two-car collision, or single-vehicle accident, you may be entitled to recover a significant sum. Look to the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch to find out what legal options exist for you. Attorney Fuerch is a knowledgeable Oakland car accident attorney with extensive experience assessing cases and getting injured people the help they need. Contact this office through our website or call (925) 463-2575 to schedule your confidential initial consultation today.