A 48-year-old Fremont woman died in a two-car auto accident on the I-880, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The woman was reportedly driving her 1982 Mazda with her husband as passenger when she suddenly lost control of the vehicle. The car spun out came to rest sideways in the middle of the freeway when it was hit on the driver’s side by a Honda traveling in the same direction, the Chronicle reports.
From what I can see, this case could be a real “who’s at fault” challenge for the California Highway Patrol investigators and the attorneys for the various parties involved in the crash. What caused the woman to lose control of the Mazda? Was there a dangerous condition on the freeway? Was there a pothole there or some other condition on the roadway that needed repair? Maybe there was a mechanical malfunction or defect in her automobile or maybe it was fatigue, distraction or inattention.
The other issue here is also why the Honda hit the stopped Mazda. Maybe there wasn’t enough time and distance for the Honda to avoid the collision. If that’s the case, the driver of the Mazda would be legally responsible for the injuries to the driver of the Honda. That said, if the Honda had the time and room to maneuver around the Mazda, but hit the car because the driver was traveling too fast or following too close, the driver of the Honda could be held legally responsible for the woman’s death and her husband’s injuries. If it is determined that there was a defect on the freeway surface that caused the accident, then Caltrans could be held responsible for the accident.
These are a lot of questions to ask and a lot of possibilities. But here’s the point – it takes teams of professionals to accurately reconstruct an accident sequence in order to determine what happened and to find out who is legally responsible for the losses. The CHP or other investigating agencies don’t always have the time, resources of expertise available to accurately determine fault or liability. Moreover, if there is a chance that an auto defect caused or contributed to the accident or any of the injuries or death the vehicle must be kept in its original crash condition, unaltered, as evidence.
The parties in this case would be well-advised to hire skilled auto accident personal injury attorneys immediately. The best auto accident personal injury law firms will not charge any fees if you want to consult them or retain them as your attorney. They will do the full investigation and won’t charge you a dime unless they actually recover money for their client.
Victims of any auto accident should also remember that although the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in the state of California is two years in most cases, any claim against a governmental agency such as a city, county or in this case Caltrans, must be properly filed within 180 days of the accident.
Our hearts go out to the victims of this crash, their respective families and friends. We hope they find answers to lingering questions and are able to get the closure and consolation they need during these trying times.