Injury in Sacramento Three Vehicle Collision on Elder Creek Rd.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident attorney. A three-vehicle collision on Saturday, June 30, happened along Elder Creek Road in South Sacramento that injured one person. At this time, the extent of the person’s injuries is unknown. It was reported that one of the motorists had been driving recklessly before the accident. Reckless driving can include speeding and tailgating.
The collision occurred shortly before 5:30 in the afternoon in the left-hand lane of Elder Creek Road and Bradshaw Road in Sacramento. The three vehicles involved were reported by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) as a Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango and an additional car or van. Following the accident, they were blocking the left turn southbound lane of Bradshaw. The Dodge Durango sustained significant front-end damage, and its driver was reported as driving recklessly just before the collision. Tow trucks were called to clear the scene of the crash as well as paramedics to attend to the injured person.
Multiple Vehicle Crashes
Multi-vehicle crashes are those that involve more than two cars or trucks. Many times, three passenger vehicle accidents occur both on the highways and on urban streets. The most common situation is one where a rear vehicle crashes into another directly in front of it. If the force of impact is at a higher speed, this may throw the second vehicle into the one in front of it. Occupants of all three cars may be injured in the crash.
Liability in a Three Vehicle Rear End Crash
The liability for a rear end accident is usually aimed at the driver at the furthermost rear position. In a three-vehicle accident where the middle vehicle is pushed into the one ahead of it, liability is more complex. Assuming no liability on the part of the second and first vehicles, the driver that hits the second car, pushing it into the first, is at fault. However, some circumstances could mitigate this liability.
Let’s say that the car or truck in front of a rear-placed vehicle lacked functioning brake lights. If for some reason, that vehicle slowed down, no indication of this stopping maneuver would be made known to the rear driver, preventing a collision. The attorney for the defense of the rear driver may claim that it was this act of negligence (not having functioning brake lights) that actually caused the accident. However, this defense theory may not hold water since it could be argued that the driver to the rear should be alert for changes on the road, and travel at a speed and distance allowing the vehicle to stop without impacting another.
The doctrine of pure comparative negligence is used in California when more than one driver is responsible for an accident. This doctrine says that the negligent drivers share the liability for an accident in such a way that they are liable for only that portion of the damage they caused. In the above example, the driver in the second vehicle was partially negligent for the accident since it lacked working brake lights. The rear driver was also negligent due to not maintaining a proper speed or distance between vehicles. The driver in the first car was not negligent.
The jury in this case, if it goes to trial, is charged with assigning fault and percentage of liability. It may assign 60 percent of the fault to the rear driver and 40 percent to the vehicle with non-working brake lights. The vehicle in the front would have zero responsibility for causing the crash. The second vehicle’s driver would receive 60 percent of their damages while the rear driver would receive 40 percent of theirs. The front vehicle’s occupants would receive 100 percent of the damages they suffered, 60 percent from one driver and 40 percent from the other.
Sacramento Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident attorney. If you are involved in a multi-vehicle collision, you need the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Proving liability in these crashes can be complicated. Call me for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You can use my contact us page to get in touch online if that is easier for you.
I’ve helped numerous Sacramento residents and others throughout Northern California obtain the compensation they deserve in all types of accidents.
I belong to a nationwide forum of trial attorneys called the Million Dollar Advocates. Only those lawyers who have won in excess of $1 million for a client are allowed to belong.
If you want more information about my practice go to the following pages to see client and peer reviews and examples of the ways I resolved previous cases:
Photo Attribution: Depositphotos_25067809_l-2015
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