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Freeway Accidents

Los Angeles and Southern California Freeways – What do California Injury Attorneys Have to Say?

By Lou Cutrone

For nearly all Los Angeles drivers, freeways are an integral part of their daily transportation.  The freeway system in southern California, comprised of many well-known and well-traveled routes such as I-5, I-10, I-405, and Highway 101, is utilized by over 12 million cars daily.  As these drivers know, the southern California freeway system is often complicated and congested.  The number of vehicles on southern California freeways continues to grow, and Los Angeles traffic is plagued with “rush-hour” traffic now extending throughout much of the day.  Cars share the road with many other types of vehicles, including commercial trucks and motorcycles.   Moreover, frequent construction on area freeways, while aimed at improving the accessibility and efficiency of the freeway system, often creates added delays and even hazards for Los Angeles freeway drivers.  During those periods of lighter freeway traffic–particularly during early morning, mid-day, and late-night hours–it is not uncommon to encounter vehicles traveling at speeds in excess of posted speed limits.

Los Angeles Freeway Auto Accidents – A Car Accident Attorney Los Angeles Perspective.

These features of our freeway system make Los Angeles freeway auto accidents a common occurrence.  Most California Injury Attorneys agree that freeway accidents in turn contribute to the heavy traffic conditions that often cause more accidents.  Throughout the day drivers often encounter stop-and-go traffic, as well as abrupt changes in traffic flow, particularly where major area freeways meet.  It is not at all uncommon for Los Angeles drivers to find themselves running late due to traffic, which may cause them to make impatient and unsafe driving maneuvers or turn to cell phones to attend to pressing business, communicate with those who might be waiting for them, or–in this age of smartphones–search for traffic updates and alternate routes.  The many distractions facing drivers on the road interfere with driver attentiveness, which is of particular importance in changing traffic scenarios.  An experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles knows that rear-end freeway accidents happen frequently under these conditions, as do accidents resulting from merging or lane changes and those involving more than two vehicles. California injury lawyers are among the most knowledgeable  regarding these kinds of accidents.

Who Is At Fault for a California Rear-End Freeway Accident- A California Injury Attorneys View

You may think that if you are rear-ended on the freeway, the accident is always the fault of the other driver.  While California Vehicle Code Section 21703 prohibits drivers from following another vehicle too closely, determining fault in a rear-end freeway accident is not always as clear-cut as it may seem.  Personal injury lawyers in California confirm that various factors are considered by both police and insurance carriers when assigning blame for who caused an accident.  Sudden changes in the flow of traffic, illegal use of a cellular phone while driving, and failure to use or maintain proper working signals or tail lights are a few examples of factors that may influence determinations of fault in a rear-end freeway accident.  Frequently, rear-end freeway accidents that take place in heavy traffic involve multiple vehicles.  One car rear-ends the vehicle in front of it, pushing it forward into yet another car.  A car accident attorney in Los Angeles is especially aware of the nuances involved in establishing who is at fault and who is not for these types of accidents. If you consult with a personal injury lawyer in California, be sure he or she has had experience with these kinds of accidents.

Comparative Negligence:  Splitting the Blame for Freeway Auto Accidents

Any and all of these factors (following too closely, speed, inattention, cell phone usage, vehicle equipment issues) are often used by insurance companies to split the blame for who caused the accident between you and the other driver or drivers. California injury attorneys as well as our Courts call this legal theory “comparative negligence.”  Under the theory of comparative negligence, drivers involved in any kind of auto accident may be found to share some of the responsibility for the accident.  In the multi-car rear-end scenario described above, for example, the greatest share of responsibility may be assigned to the driver who first struck the car in front of him but the driver of the middle vehicle might also share some responsibility for damage to the third car for following too closely. California injury attorneys who represent claimants or plaintiffs should be skilled and experienced at reducing the amount of comparative negligence found against their clients.  Unfortunately, many car accident attorneys in Los Angeles are not as experienced or as tenacious as they should be in convincing the other driver’s insurance company to reduce or withdraw its claim of comparative negligence.  It is important then to choose a California injury attorney with a track record of reducing comparative negligence claims against his or her clients.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Los Angeles Freeway Auto Accident

Dealing with a freeway auto accident can be frustrating and time-consuming.  A California injury attorney can help a great deal and minimize your stress while maximizing the financial compensation you may receive for your personal injury.  If you have been in a freeway auto accident, you are likely managing injuries that range in severity, from whiplash to broken bones.  Freeway accidents are more likely to involve serious injuries and even death due to the high speeds of vehicles.  Victims of freeway auto accidents often find themselves saddled with ongoing medical treatment and high medical costs, as well as time lost at work or school.  Dealing with insurance companies, particularly when an accident involves multiple vehicles, can be confusing.  You may have questions about the insurance claims process and you may wonder if your rights are being protected.  The California injury lawyers at Cutrone & Associates are experienced in a wide variety of freeway accident cases and claims and have successfully advocated for hundreds of clients.  It is our business to get you and your family the compensation you deserve.  Contact a top California injury attorney at Cutrone & Associates for a free consultation and case evaluation.