The scene at a motor vehicle accident can be chaotic. Other drivers often slow down and “rubberneck” to see what happened, some drivers stop to help, victims may be dazed and there are injured people who need medical attention. It often takes some time before order is restored to the scene.
The first priority is to ensure that the injured get the attention they need. Usually, the only injuries are the result of the collision itself. However, some victims suffer injuries at the scene of the accident after the collision – this may happen because other drivers are distracted and don’t see the accident scene in time, resulting in additional collisions and sometimes severe injuries and fatalities.
When Drivers are Negligent
Injuries occurring from subsequent collisions at accident scenes may result from driver negligence. The most common examples of negligent driving at accident scenes include:
- Distracted driving including use of mobile devices while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while tired or falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving aggressively or at excessive speeds
Your Legal Rights
If a driver causes a second collision at the scene of an accident, that driver may be found to have been negligent and the victim may have a claim for lost income, property damage, medical expenses pain and suffering as well as other damages.
These claims can be very complex. First, in order for the driver to be held liable, negligence has to be proven. You would have to show that the driver was negligent in some way and that resulted in the subsequent collision. To do this, you will need an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer who has gathered evidence from other people at the scene. In many cases, your attorney may also need to use an accident reconstruction expert to prove your case.
If the victim was also involved in the initial collision, your attorney will also have to prove which injuries were caused in the first collision and which were caused in the subsequent collision. In that situation, more than one driver may be liable and the defendants may fight over apportionment of the damages.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and were injured at the scene of the accident as a result of a subsequent collision your first step should be to obtain medical treatment for your injuries. If possible, you should take pictures of the scene and get the names, insurance information and phone numbers of the other people at the scene in the accident. If you are not able to do so yourself, ask someone else to do it for you as that information will be helpful later on. Next, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. In El Segundo and throughout the LA metro area, call Sheridan & Rund, PC at 888-640-6789. We will fight to obtain full compensation for the losses no matter how complicated your claim.