Berkeley Multiple Vehicle Crash
A Berkeley multiple vehicle crash occurred along Interstate 80 on Friday, December 7. The accident shut down the five lanes moving westbound east of Ashby Avenue. Injuries were reported in the crash by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). However, the specific nature of the injuries was not reported as of the time of this report. Six vehicles, including a big rig, were involved in the crash, which occurred at about 11:00 in the morning.
Details of the Berkeley Multiple Vehicle Crash
Authorities were forced to temporarily close all the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 for emergency response vehicles and tow trucks to deal with the collision and the injured. Drivers were cautioned to look for alternate routes around the accident site, which remained closed until midday. It is unknown at this time whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. The accident is being investigated by the CHP as to cause and to assign fault.
Primary Reason for a Berkeley Multiple Vehicle Crash
Driver error is the primary reason that traffic accidents happen. Approximately, 90 percent of all accidents happen due to driver error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that about 93 percent of accidents are due to some component of critical driver error.
Assigning Fault in a Multiple Vehicle Accident
Assigning fault in a multiple vehicle accident is complex since more than one driver may be at fault. This type of accident requires that the investigator is experienced in examining the crash details in order to reach an accurate conclusion. That is why it is important to have a seasoned car accident attorney on your side. In short, it is easy to get swept up in the confusion and be assigned fault that was not yours.
Driver Behavior in a Berkeley Multiple Vehicle Crash
Certain driver behaviors are closely linked to multiple vehicle accidents. Some of the most common are:
- Driving recklessly: This includes changing lanes abruptly and speeding as well as tailgating. Tailgating is the usual cause of rear-end accidents. Many multiple vehicle accidents begin due to a hit from behind collision, throwing the lead vehicle into others on the roadway.
- Impaired drivers: This includes drivers impaired by alcohol or legal and illegal substances. An impaired driver is more likely to swerve from lane to lane or cause a head-on collision.
- Speeding: Speeding is a major cause of car accidents. It adds to the driver’s loss of control and makes it difficult to stop in time to avoid an accident.
- Fatigued driving: Whether it is due to staying up too late or working too hard, fatigued drivers cause many accidents. Roughly 6,000 people die annually due to fatigued driving.
Injuries in a Berkeley Multiple Vehicle Crash
Depending on the type of impact, multiple vehicle accidents cause injury to the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities. Some of the most common injuries are the following:
- Cervical strain and sprain: Cervical sprain and strain are often referred to as whiplash. It happens as a result of the rapid back and forth movement of the cervical spine (neck) after impact. This causes damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can cause severe pain. Often, symptoms do not appear for 48 to 72 hours after the accident and can last anywhere from months to years.
- Head and brain injuries: This category includes lacerations to the scalp, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Some injuries such as a concussion are caused by the impact of the head on the dash, windows or doors can be mild and resolve with rest. Others, such as a subdural hematoma where blood accumulates on the surface of the brain usually require surgical intervention.
- Chest trauma: When the chest strikes an object within the vehicle, various organs such as the lungs or bony structures like the ribs can be injured. A heart contusion can have dire consequences.
- Abdominal trauma: Whether it is the steering wheel or pelvic restraints that cause the injury, abdominal trauma can result in bleeding from the stomach, liver or spleen or perforation of the intestines. Immediate medical care is necessary.
- Extremity fracture: Fractures to the extremities are common and range from simple to complex.
Comparative Fault in a Multiple Vehicle Accident
In California, a system of pure comparative fault exists, allowing liability to be assigned to more than one party or driver. For instance, if two cars are involved in a crash, and one vehicle is 60 percent responsible for it, and the other is 40 percent at fault, both drivers can collect compensation. In this case, the first would be able to collect 40 percent of his or her damages while in the second the injured party would receive 60 percent of theirs.
What a Berkeley Car Accident Attorney Can Do
A car accident attorney will be able to investigate your case for clues as to why the accident happened. He or she will question witnesses to understand what they saw and review police reports and video footage of the accident if it is available as well as photos taken at the scene. After treatment is completed, reviewing medical records provides an inclusive account of the types and extent of the injuries as well as complications that persist into the future. The attorney may negotiate with the insurance company for a fair payout or may take the case to civil court if it is the only way the client will receive the compensation they deserve. Studies have shown that injured parties receive a higher compensation with an attorney defending them than if they go about it alone.
Berkeley Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley car accident lawyer. If you or someone you love was injured in a multiple vehicle accident or any type of collision, you need the insight an injury lawyer can provide. Call me at (510) 631-0200 in Berkeley or (800) 404-5400 outside the area for free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online.
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