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  • Writer's pictureLOTG

Did Bad Brakes Cause the Santa Cruz Pileup?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

Traffic was particularly bad in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Cars and SUVs sat in gridlock for hours due to an accident that involved over twenty passenger vehicles and a big rig.

The cars had been waiting at a stoplight when the big rig, whose wheels were smoking, careened toward them. It hit the guardrail first before rear-ending a car, setting a chain reaction of crashes that resulted in eleven injuries, three of which were critical. The big rig was carrying clay, making it unusually heavy as it smashed into the first sedan. Both the rig and the car caught fire.

When accidents like this happen, they are more than inconvenient; they’re scary. The company that was listed on the side of the cab was JVillas Trucking, a company that has had numerous safety issues in the past two years. This particular truck’s brakes failed, leaving many injured and cars totaled or out of commission.

Fault in Chain-Crashes

In these kinds of accidents, who is at fault? How does insurance cover all of the claims? And what are the victims entitled to? Most of these cases are determined by either insurance companies or the court system which means the injured party needs as much information and guidance as they can get.

Who’s Liable Here?

In a case like the one in Santa Cruz, the party that was negligent is considered “at fault” for the accident. Of course, determining negligence is a complex legal process that needs to be explained by an attorney who has all the details. All property damage and personal injury compensation would be directed to the at-fault party’s insurance.

Some states have the comparative negligence rule, meaning multiple drivers can look into the insurances of other drivers, even if they are partially to blame for the accident. When looking to define fault, having a lawyer help you to mitigate with the insurance companies can be beneficial to protecting you from unjust claims, while also helping to secure the best financial outcome for your recovery.

Steps you should take if you’ve been in a multi-car accident:

  • Take photos if you’re able to.

  • Seek medical help immediately if you’ve been injured.

  • Write down all the details you can recall as soon as you’re able to.

  • Contact an experienced car accident attorney.

An attorney will help battle insurance companies seeking to minimize their client’s responsibility. They will advocate for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Attorney Tanya Gomerman to schedule your free consultation. Call 415-545-8608 today!


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