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Determining Liability in a Multi-Car Accident

Posted on in Personal Injury

CA accident lawyerNumerous factors can contribute to car accidents and there may be multiple drivers involved. The actions of one motorist can end up causing a chain reaction, eventually involving numerous other cars and potentially serious injuries. In these situations, it requires a thorough investigation to determine all those who may be responsible so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim.

San Jose Multi-Vehicle Crash Proves Fatal

On October 28, 2018, CBS SF Bay Area reported on a multi-vehicle accident which occurred in San Jose. It happened on Interstate Highway 280 at roughly 4:00 a.m., a time when traffic is not typically heavy. Involving a total of four different vehicles, it killed one of the drivers while leaving several others with potentially serious injuries.

Preliminary investigations by the California Highway Patrol show the multi-vehicle crash occurred in the following sequence:

  • A man driving a black Mitsubishi crashed into a steel bridge railing on the right side of the road while traveling northbound on I-280 at 10th Street;
  • While disabled, the Mitsubishi was then struck by another driver in a red Toyota;
  • A red Nissan truck then collided with the Toyota; and
  • As the man in the Mitsubishi got out of his vehicle, he was then struck by a fourth vehicle, another Nissan, and dragged to the right shoulder. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

While the man who suffered fatal injuries was partly at fault for causing the four car pile up, his surviving loved ones may be able to hold the other drivers at least partially responsible for their actions in a wrongful death claim.

Comparative Negligence in Car Accident Claims

When the actions of one driver results in injuries to another, they can be held liable for damages through an insurance claim or lawsuit. When multiple drivers are involved in a crash, they may end up sharing a portion of the blame.

California is known as a pure comparative negligence state. Under the CA Civil Code, everyone is responsible for their own negligent or reckless acts, as well as for failing to take the necessary precautions to prevent an accident from occurring. In a multi-vehicle accident, all the drivers may be legally liable for any damages other drivers suffer. For example:

  • A driver injured in a multi-vehicle crash suffers $100,000 in damages;
  • The court determines the injured driver was 40 percent responsible for the crash;
  • There are two other drivers involved, who are each determined to be 30 percent at fault; and
  • The injured driver is entitled to collect 60 percent of his damages, or $60,000, with each of the other drivers paying $30,000 each.

Contact an Attorney for Help Today

When multiple drivers are involved in a crash, it can prove challenging to prove who is ultimately liable in a claim. At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we provide the legal guidance you need in these situations. Contact our dedicated San Jose car accident attorneys and request a free consultation today by calling 408-246-5500 today.

 

Sources:

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/10/28/san-jose-interstate-280-multi-vehicle-fatal/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1714.&lawCode=CIV

 

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