Chain Reaction Collision in Sacramento
A chain reaction collision happened in Sacramento along eastbound Interstate 80 on December 14, 2018, in the afternoon hours when one vehicle struck another, pushing it into the car in front. Injuries were reported in the accident, and an ambulance was called to take one individual to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that two of the vehicles in the Sacramento chain reaction collision were undrivable and had to be removed by tow trucks.
Sacramento Chain Reaction Accident Details
According to the police report, the accident happened at about 4:30 in the afternoon when a Mercedes struck a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, which then was pushed into the pickup truck that was in front of it. Lanes two and three were blocked for about 30 minutes, while authorities awaited an ambulance to take one injured person to a hospital, and tow trucks removed the vehicles that were deemed undrivable. As of the time of this report, no further information as to the specific nature of the person’s injuries has been released. Authorities are still investigating the crash to determine fault.
What Is a Chain Reaction Collision?
A chain reaction collision is one where three or more vehicles hit one another in a series of rear-end crashes. Generally, the impact of the first collision precipitates subsequent crashes. This can be due to one vehicle tailgating another, something that frequently happens on busy highways. From another perspective, the lead vehicle in a chain accident collision may not have working brake lights. This could trick drivers behind them into thinking they are moving at highway speeds when in reality they have slowed due to traffic ahead. In other cases, a lead vehicle may suddenly need to stop when an animal or other obstacles suddenly appears in their way, causing drivers in the rear to not have enough time to stop.
Establishing Fault in a Chain Reaction Collision
Determining fault in a chain reaction collision is often complex and challenging. On occasion, one driver may be wholly responsible for the accident. However, in many cases, there is a division of culpability in that several drivers are at fault for the crash. Let’s look at how that happens:
- Lead driver lacks functioning brake lights: As noted above, when a driver applies his or her brakes in traffic, tail lights warn other drivers behind them that they are slowing down. If the lights are burned out or have an electrical problem, they will not light up, and the warning of slower speed is not given. This lack of notice is the direct reason the accident happens. Of course, there may be mitigating circumstances such as the rear driver is too close to the lead vehicle and unable to adjust their speed even if they notice the car slowing down. In such cases, both drivers may be at fault to varying degrees.
- Tailgating: Tailgating is an illegal maneuver under California Vehicle Code 21703, and a citation is issued when a motorist is stopped by police. It is also the primary reason a rear end accident happens. When you encounter a tailgater, one of the most important things you can do is remain calm and not speed to get rid of them. Often, drivers tailgate to force the car ahead of them to move faster. Stay in control of your vehicle and proceed carefully. If you are in a passing lane, move over when it is safe to do so.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
In complex accidents such as a Sacramento chain reaction collision, determining fault usually requires the assistance of a car accident lawyer. He or she will have the resources to send an accident reconstructionist to the scene to determine how the crash happened. If multiple drivers are involved, the attorney will be able to identify the degree of fault. This figures prominently in California car accident cases since the state is one of pure comparative liability. This means that drivers can share the blame. Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you will still be able to collect the percentage of responsibility that you did not cause. For instance, if you are 40 percent at fault, you will still be able to recover 60 percent of your damages.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. I am here to help you when you are hurt in a car accident collision or other trauma. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. If it is easier for you, contact me online.
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