Pursuing Justice for Deadly Multi-Car Chain Reaction Accidents – California Multi-Car Pileup Attorneys
While pursuing an insurance claim for injuries suffered in a California car accident can be complicated under any circumstances, these complexities are multiplied when you are injured in a California multi-car pileup. The many parties to the litigation create questions about assigning liability, available insurance to cover losses and potential fault involving multiple parties. The sea of confusion that follows in the wake of a multi-car pileup often requires the involvement of accident reconstruction experts, extensive investigation, witness statements, and communications with the many different insurance companies and drivers. There often are multiple drivers who receive traffic citations so insurance carriers deny claims or dispute the percentage of fault attributable to their client by attempting to shift blame and financial responsibility to other insurance carriers and drivers.
Anatomy of a California Multi-Car Pileup Accident
California multi-car pileups are usually the result of poor visibility caused by adverse weather conditions. The obstruction to one’s ability to see an auto accident hazard until it is too late to stop results in a chain reaction where successive vehicles slam into already disabled and wrecked vehicles. Snow and heavy fog are often key contributing factors in many multi-car accidents. It is important to keep in mind that “bad weather” is not the cause of these potentially deadly collisions. Drivers that proceed cautiously and reduce their speed to adjust for poor visibility and road conditions typically can avoid a multi-car pileup. A cautious driver that avoids colliding into a pileup of motor vehicles may still be struck from behind by other drivers who fail to exercise the same caution. The bottom line is that while multi-car accidents often occur in poor weather, they are caused by poor driving not adverse weather conditions.
The basic anatomy of a multi-car pileup in California involves vehicles following too closely and traveling at too high a speed for the visibility and road conditions. When a vehicle is forced to suddenly stop, the driver who is not observing an appropriate following distance collides with the vehicle that has stopped unexpectedly. This creates a dangerous situation where multiple disabled vehicles obstruct the roadway causing successive cars to crash that also are not able to stop in time because of the poor visibility. Most multi-car pileups in California occur on freeways and highways where there is high traffic volume, and the flow of traffic moves at high rates of speed. As more cars collide into disabled vehicles or debris in the roadway, more drivers are compelled to brake suddenly and skid out of control or dart into oncoming traffic to avoid the collision. This can create a deadly chain reaction where over a hundred vehicles pileup resulting in many injuries and fatalities.
California Has Been the Site of Some of the Worst Multi-Car Pileups
California was the location of two of the most deadly multi-car pileups in history. A collision on the 710 freeway in November 2002 resulted in a 216 vehicle multi-car pileup, which occurred in dense fog. Fortunately, there were no fatalities though this is the exception and not the rule. More than forty people were injured in the 710 freeway pileup. The second largest multi-car pileup in California occurred on Highway 99 south of Fresno in November 2007. Over a hundred vehicles were involved in the chain reaction accident that occurred in the dense tule fog that is common in the fall and winter in the Central Valley. Dozens of people suffered injury and there were two fatalities. Tule fog and heavy snow are particularly hazardous for drivers because they can create zero visibility conditions and make it difficult to stop one’s vehicle without skidding, spinning and losing control of one’s vehicle.
Multi-car accidents are particularly deadly because the mass of crumpled metal and glass can make it difficult for vehicle occupants to flee to safety. It may be impossible to remove one’s vehicle from the roadway so it is directly exposed to further collisions. If the vehicle can be moved to the side of the road, this area may also be compromised because of the low visibility. Drivers also may not be able to exit their vehicle that is disabled and directly in the path of traffic or may be struck by vehicles if they attempt to climb out of the vehicle and get far off the roadway. Gasoline may also leak from vehicles causing a risk of fire or explosion further complicating a vehicle occupant’s decision about whether to try to struggle to get out of their vehicle when in the middle of such a multi-car pileup.
Experienced Representation to Navigate the Complex Circumstances of Multi-Car Accidents
Many people that suffer catastrophic injury like head injuries, spinal cord damage, amputation of limbs or wrongful death in a California multi-car pileup are not seriously injured in the initial impact but are less fortunate when their vehicle is repeatedly struck. With each successive collision, the integrity of the vehicle to protect an occupant from injury may become more compromised. The magnitude of these California multi-car pileups can also make it difficult for emergency responders to get access to accident victims and provide assistance or medical care.
If you or a family member is injured or a loved one dies in a California multi-car pileup, an experienced California multi-car pileup attorney may utilize experts to investigate the scene. The multi-vehicle accident lawyer can also deal with the myriad of insurance carriers and other drivers that may be involved in your personal injury claim. Multi-car accident litigation will often involve complex issues of shared fault and comparative negligence. An experienced California multi-car pileup lawyer will understand the tactics that insurance companies use to deny coverage or settle claims for pennies on the dollar and how to beat them at their best in the courtroom. A California multi-car pileup accident attorney can provide careful investigation of the facts, thorough analysis of the law, effective negotiation with insurance companies and persuasive courtroom advocacy. A California multicar pileup accident lawyer also can answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.