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Major Injuries in Sacramento Crash

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August 17, 2019
Edward Smith

Michael Gutierrez Suffers Major Injuries in Sacramento Crash

The president of Sacramento City College, Michael Gutierrez, suffered major injuries on August 12 in a four-vehicle collision on Highway 50 in West Sacramento at 8:40 a.m. Gutierrez was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center, where he was placed in the intensive care unit. A spokesman for the college said that Gutierrez is expected to recover, and he is to be moved out of the ICU soon. He was going to the campus when a Ford hit his Toyota in the rear, causing the major injuries. He has served as president since July 2017 and was an educator for 25 years prior to that. 

Accident Details

The Ford that hit Gutierrez was in the fast lane of Highway 50 when it struck his silver Toyota as it was stopped due to traffic in the vicinity of Harbor Boulevard. The collision caused two other chain-reaction crashes. The initial impact caused Gutierrez’s Toyota to hit two other vehicles. The operator of the Ford was hospitalized with what were described as minor injuries as was a passenger in one of the other vehicles. As of the last report issued by authorities, no arrests were made. There was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is still in the process of determining why the Ford driver hit the Toyota. 

What an Attorney Can Do for You

When you are injured in a chain-reaction crash, chances are that you will need the insight of an injury lawyer due to the complexity of the accident. We send out our investigative team to the accident site to gather evidence, and we check police reports for accuracy. We also obtain video footage of the collision and interview witnesses to determine fault. Once the evidence is accumulated, our legal team builds a strong case to negotiate with the insurance company or bring a lawsuit to civil court.

Why Chain-Reaction Accidents Are Dangerous

The danger associated with chain-reaction accidents is related to their complexity. In a moment, multiple vehicles are involved in what could be described as an obstacle course. Both the initial collision and secondary ones can wreak havoc on the occupants of the vehicles involved. In addition, other vehicles may cause side collisions as drivers attempt to maneuver out of the way, trying to avoid major injuries. Some vehicles are pushed into adjacent lanes or into an intersection, resulting in additional collisions. If the vehicle lands in an intersection, it might be broadsided by another motorist passing through the area. This can result in major injuries to the driver since side doors lack the safety protection found in the front and rear of the vehicle. 

Incidence of Chain-Reaction Crashes

Chain-reaction crashes account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities annually. This translates into 13,000 deaths. The majority of these accidents happen on freeways and highways where traffic is congested, and the speed limit is higher. 

Types of Major Injuries in a Chain-Reaction Crash

The types of injuries commonly seen in a chain-reaction crash are:

  • Cervical sprain (whiplash): This is a common injury when a driver’s vehicle is rear-ended. It is caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration to the neck and back muscles, tendons and ligaments. The majority of whiplash cases heal within six months with analgesics and physical therapy. However, the pain the person experiences can be significant and limiting. Some cases persist for a longer time. Symptoms may last for over one or two years.
  • Spinal cord and back injuries: A host of back injuries are possible, ranging from disk herniation to fractured vertebrae. This may require surgery. The spinal cord can be affected too. If it is damaged, paralysis can occur. It may involve either the upper or lower extremities or both. 
  • Fractures of the extremities: Fractures of the extremities occur from their impact with the inside of the vehicle. They are more likely when the person tries to brace themselves prior to impact.

Reasons for Chain-Reactions

Some of the top reasons for chain-reaction crashes are:

  • Rubbernecking: This occurs when drivers are busy looking at the accident and slow down. 
  • Nowhere to go: Many times, the drivers are caught with nowhere to go even if they see another vehicle about to strike them. For most of them, they are caught between the offending driver and the vehicle in front of them. 
  • Distracted drivers: This type of driver is the most common cause of a chain-reaction crash. They are often too busy texting to notice the vehicle stopped in front of them.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Injuries in a chain-reaction crash can be serious and cause both physical and financial harm. I can help. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online.

I’ve helped numerous residents of the Sacramento area with all types of car accidents, wrongful deaths, and other traumatic injuries.

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