Automobile accidents involving more than two vehicles can make untangling the riddle of liability very difficult. In many accidents, the precipitating incident may only last for a few seconds. Eye witnesses who are also victims may only have unreliable memories of the accident. The ultimate decision on liability may depend upon the results of an accident reconstruction investigation. A recent accident on the border of the Kensington and Talmadge neighborhoods provides an excellent example in the difficulties of identifying the negligent party or parties.
According to police reports, the collision occurred just before 10:30 p.m. An unknown vehicle and a Saturn sedan were traveling south on Fairmont. The unknown vehicle rear-ended the Saturn, causing the Saturn to spin sideways. As it spun, the Saturn was struck by a Nissan Altima. The crash apparently carried both vehicles into the northbound lanes on Fairmont. A northbound Toyota minivan then struck the Altima broadside. The vehicle that rear-ended the Saturn left the scene before police arrived.
Six ambulances were summoned to take the injured victims to nearby hospitals. The driver of the Altima sustained serious head and back injuries. The other six persons sustained only minor injuries. Deputies from the San Diego Police Department were searching for the driver of the vehicle that began the chain reaction when it struck the Saturn.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the Saturn appears to bear the lion’s share of liability for the accident, but no firm conclusion can be reached until police arrest the driver of that vehicle. Police said that the driver will be charged with a felony hit-and-run if he is arrested.
The driver of the Altima appears to have the best claim for damages. He appears to have suffered injuries that will result in significant medical expenses, loss of both present and future income, and pain and suffering.
Anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered injuries under similar circumstances may wish to pursue a claim for damages. A consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the evidence, assist in identifying the negligent party, and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages.