California drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner, which includes maintaining a safe distance from the cars in front of them. People often disregard this obligation, however, and subsequently cause rear-end collisions. Such crashes often cause substantial property damage and lead to significant injuries. If you were hurt when another driver hit your vehicle from behind, it is prudent to contact an attorney to discuss what claims you might be able to pursue. The capable Chula Vista car accident lawyers of the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth possess the skills and experience needed to prove liability in personal injury cases, and if you hire us, we will help you fight to protect your interests. We frequently represent people in car accident lawsuits in Chula Vista, San Diego, and cities throughout Southern California.Duties Imposed on California Drivers
California Vehicle Code 21703 VC provides that motorists cannot follow other vehicles more closely than is reasonable or prudent. The law does not give the exact distance drivers must maintain between their cars and those in front of them but does state that they must consider roadway conditions, their speed, and the amount of traffic in determining what is safe or reasonable.
When people follow too closely behind other vehicles, they often lose the ability to stop in time to avoid a collision. In some cases, a rear-end collision will set off a chain of events resulting in a multi-car crash. While some people in rear-end collisions only sustain minor injuries, others suffer concussions, whiplash, soft-tissue injuries, fractures, and other significant harm.Elements of a Rear-End Collision Lawsuit
Although it seems evident that a driver that strikes another vehicle from behind is at fault for an accident, people seeking damages for rear-end collisions must nonetheless prove fault. As rear-end crashes are typically caused by unintentional rather than deliberate behavior, in most lawsuits arising out of such accidents, the plaintiff will assert a negligence claim against the defendant.
In California, establishing negligence requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty may arise out of a statute or may be the obligation to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation. The plaintiff then has to show that the defendant violated the duty in some manner. For example, if the defendant tailgated the plaintiff prior to the crash, it may be a departure from the requirement to provide a safe following distance. Next, the plaintiff needs to prove that they suffered measurable losses and that such losses were directly caused by the defendant’s behavior. While the defendant’s breach does not have to be the sole cause of the collision, it must be a substantial factor in bringing it about.
A plaintiff that proves the defendant’s fault may be awarded compensation for the cost of any medical treatment they needed due to their injuries or are reasonably likely to need in the future. They may also be able to recover lost wages if they could not work due to the accident and out-of-pocket costs. Finally, they may be granted damages for the intangible harm they suffered because of the crash, such as mental anguish, emotional trauma, and physical pain and suffering.Speak to an Experienced Lawyer in Chula Vista
Rear-end collisions frequently happen in Southern California, and in most instances, they are brought about by carelessness. If you were injured in a rear-end crash, you could be owed damages, and it is smart to speak to a lawyer about your options. At the Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth, our experienced Chula Vista attorneys are well-versed in what it takes to obtain favorable results in car accident cases, and if you engage our services, we will work diligently on your behalf. We have offices in Chula Vista and San Diego, and we regularly assist injured parties in lawsuits in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. You can reach us at (619) 691-8942 or through our online form to set up a confidential and free conference.