Central Valley Tractor Accident Kills Two
A tractor accident in Fresno County recently killed two women. Many of us face the risk of similar accidents every day on our rural and farming roads throughout our California counties.
On 30 June, two women were traveling eastbound on Elkhorn Avenue near Highway 43 in Fresno County in a white sedan. According to investigators, the car then struck a tractor at an estimated 55 miles per hour.
The tractor had a large spraying rig attached via a trailer. The car struck the trailer and, due to its high rate of speed, became lodged under the rear section of the sprayer.
Injuries in the Accident
Authorities believe the impact killed both women almost immediately. The tractor operators suffered a head injury but declined emergency transport to a hospital.
Cause of the Accident
The cause of the accident is unknown at this time. The tractor operator speculates that the driver was either distracted or unfamiliar with the roads. Local residents report that farm machinery is common on these roads. As a result, many locals drive with extra caution to avoid accidents. The tractor operator, therefore, speculates that the two victims were not from the area.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating the accident.
Who was responsible?
The responsible party cannot be determined until the CHP or insurance companies complete their investigations. People interviewed about the wreck, however, blame a combination of GPS-suggested routes and the slow-moving farm machinery. It is crucial in accidents like this one to contact an experienced tractor accident attorney who can investigate to determine how the victims lost their lives. If the women lost their lives due to no fault of their own, an accident attorney can help their families recover fair and just compensation for the loss of their loved ones.
GPS Company Liability in Accidents
In similar accidents, people involved have attempted to blame GPS companies for recommending potentially dangerous routes. However, in the case of Rosenberg v. Harwood, the Utah District Court ruled that victims and their families cannot sue a GPS company for an accident.
Principles of case law mean that this case applies to California accident lawsuits. Other parties may still be liable, though. Contacting an experienced tractor accident lawyer can help find these parties.
Farm Equipment on Public Roads
Farm equipment is regularly transported on rural roads. This can include large tractors, hay stackers, harvest trucks, and tractors pulling other equipment. No matter the type of machinery, these vehicles tend to travel at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.
Federal and state regulations require these slow-moving vehicles adequately warn other drivers of their presence. This includes displaying warning signs on their vehicles and using additional lighting to announce their presence.
In some cases, state law requires that vehicles have lead and follow cars that provide an additional warning for other vehicles.
Liability in Accidents Involving Farm Machinery
If the farmer in this accident did not adhere to any of the requirements above, he was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. This negligence would make him liable for the damages sustained in the accident.
These damages can include funeral expenses and compensation for the emotional trauma suffered by the two victims’ families.
Sacramento Tractor Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith and I am a Sacramento tractor accident lawyer. Tractors on public roads present a danger to many of us in the Central Valley. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with farm equipment, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. You may also call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
I have been practicing personal injury law for 34 years. I practiced law for many of these years in the Central Valley and am experienced with tractor accident law. My fellow injury lawyers and I know the pain that comes from these accidents and is here to help.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum.
Image Attributed to David Wright at Wikimedia Commons
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