February 1, 2013–Livermore, California–According to a report in the Contra Costa Times, a man died in a serious car crash that involved four vehicles and a fire on Interstate 580 in Livermore.
The driver apparently rear-ended another car before being struck by two other vehicles, causing a massive fire and killing the driver.
The driver of the Honda involved in the crash has not been identified, but officials did state that there were no passengers in the vehicle.
The crash took place near the Greenville Road exit when the Honda driver apparently rear-ended a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Investigators have not determined what caused the initial collision.
The driver of the Mitsubishi was able to steer the vehicle onto the shoulder, but the Honda was disabled, according to witnesses. A Nissan Murano attempted to serve but struck the Honda and spun across the road, coming to rest on the shoulder.
Another vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe, slammed into the Honda and shoved the car toward the center divider where it became engulfed in flames. Witnesses believe the driver was blacked out by that time. The driver of the Tahoe was transported to a local hospital with injuries; none of the other drivers were hurt.
Questions of Fault In Rear-End Collisions
The nature of this crash means that the police will have a difficult time establishing fault. Technically, the victim was probably responsible for the first crash. When one driver rear-ends another car, it is usually the rear driver’s fault for failure to have control over his or her vehicle or to operate the vehicle at safe speeds.
On the other hand, there can be mitigating circumstances in rear-end collisions that lead police to charge someone else or no one at all.
However, for the other two drivers the question of fault becomes a bit more uncertain.
Will these drivers be held liable for their failure to avoid a collision with the Honda? If the police decide that these drivers were driving too fast for conditions or were not in control of their vehicles due to distractions or poor driving skills, they may be charged with the collision that they caused.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved In A Multi-Vehicle Accident?
In many cases, drivers who rear-end a car and are then hit by other cars are told they have no right to collect damages. Insurance companies and even police officers may tell these victims that the accident was their fault and that they have no right to compensation.
However, California law allows for the theory of comparative liability. This means that a person can be partially responsible for an accident and still collect damages. For example, if a person rear-ends another vehicle but is then sideswiped by another driver, that victim may be able to collect partial damages from the second driver.
A personal injury attorney can give you all the facts about comparative liability and your rights in a multi-car collision with a free, no-obligation consultation.