Line of Sight Accidents
Sometimes a driver uses reasonable care, and yet when his or her line of sight is impaired, he or she gets into a car crash. These accidents often happen at intersections, which are considered more dangerous than other areas of the road. A line of sight accident may happen because a hedge blocks a driver's ability to see in both directions, a street is poorly designed, or a private company's sign blocks a stop sign or posted speed limit. In such cases, you may need to sue both a driver and a property owner. The car accident lawyers at Sharifi Firm can guide people in the Los Angeles area through the process of pursuing compensation in these situations.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Property Owner or Municipality
In California, most car accident cases arise out of negligence. All drivers are required to use reasonable care to avoid causing a foreseeable risk of harm to others. If a driver breaches that duty and is the legal cause of injuries resulting from an accident, he or she can potentially be held liable.
Only when the defendant's behavior does not meet the expectations of what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances does it constitute a violation of the duty of reasonable care. If a reasonable driver would have seen the stop sign or posted speed limit, all responsibility for a car accident may fall on a driver who does not stop or continues to advance at dangerously high speeds.
However, in some cases, a property owner's negligence creates a genuine line of sight problem. Property owners in California have a legal duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and this also applies to things like trees, hedges, or signs that extend from the actual property boundaries. A property owner that knows or should know that his or her land is extending to the road and creating a hazard may be liable for injuries caused by that condition.
In the case of a public property owner that creates a hazard, such as a municipality, you may be able to sue the entity that created the hazard, but you would have a shorter time within which to bring your lawsuit. Under California Government Code section 830.8, public entities and public employees have a limited immunity. They are usually not liable for failures to provide traffic signals, warning signals, markings, signs, or devices.
However, a public entity or public employee is not exonerated if an injury is proximately caused by a failure to provide a signal if a sign or signal was necessary to warn of a dangerous condition that endangered safe traffic movements and that would not be reasonably apparent to a person using due care. If the government entity fails to post a warning sign appropriately, resulting in a concealed trap for someone driving reasonably safely, this limited immunity does not apply.
There have been a number of cases involving obscured stop signs, in which the government has claimed immunity. Whether these arguments are upheld involves a complex analysis. While a public entity does not have an obligation to provide a stop sign, if the stop sign is placed in such a way that shrubbery and trees obscure it, this may be a trap that gives rise to liability.Explore Your Options with a Los Angeles Lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Collision
If you have been involved in a car crash caused by a line of sight obstruction in Los Angeles or the surrounding cities, you can consult a motor vehicle collision attorney who understands both the complexities of this situation and the broad range of options that may be available. Sharifi Firm represents accident victims in many areas of Southern California, including Riverside, San Bernardino, Temecula, and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form to schedule a free consultation.