Rush Hour Accidents
During rush hour, car accidents are common and sometimes devastating. They may involve more than one vehicle. The volume of traffic is substantial throughout Southern California during commute times. Many drivers become stressed during rush hour, whether they are trying to get home or trying to get to work, and they may fail to use the reasonable care that they would use at more ordinary times. When these drivers encounter one another, there is a high risk of a complex collision with more than one victim. If you are injured during rush hour, a Los Angeles car accident attorney at Sharifi Firm, PLC may be able to help you pursue compensation.Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for a Rush Hour Accident
If more than two cars are involved in an accident, there is likely to be a lot of finger pointing among the drivers. In many cases involving numerous drivers and events happening at a fast pace, people may truly believe someone else is at fault for the accident. In these cases, it may be necessary for each party to retain an accident reconstruction specialist and litigate the case to determine the precise causes of the crash.
California follows the rule of comparative fault. The trier of fact, usually a jury, will award damages to victims based on fault, reducing the damages by the victims' degree of fault for their own injuries. Anyone whose actions were a substantial factor in causing the injuries may be liable for the victims' damages. A substantial factor is one that can reasonably be considered to have contributed to the injuries, but it need not be the only cause of the injuries.
Any driver whose actions were a substantial factor may be held liable for both general and special damages. The former are intangible items of damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of activities. These can vary dramatically based on the jury's perception of which damages naturally flow from particular injuries. Special damages are economic damages, which are usually documented, such as medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, household services, and property damage.
The parties' insurance coverage can play a role in whether damages arising out of a rush hour accident are compensated. Each defendant found to be at fault is held jointly and severally liable for special damages. This means that any single defendant could be held responsible for paying the full sum. In practice, this means that the defendants who have insurance coverage or substantial assets may be responsible for paying all the economic damages, even if they are only slightly at fault. However, in California, each defendant is only liable for a plaintiff's general damages up to his or her percentage of responsibility for causing the accident.Explore Your Options with a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
At Sharifi Firm, PLC, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers work hard to help victims recover damages after rush hour collisions. We have experience developing strategies for complex motor vehicle accident cases, and we understand the insurance issues that may arise in these contexts. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. We also represent injured individuals and families in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside, and San Bernardino, among other cities throughout Southern California.