Fireball Collision in San Ramon Kills Two, Injures Two
A Volkswagen Jetta was burned almost beyond recognition in a collision that claimed the lives of two people.
This collision occurred on southbound Interstate 680 near Alcosta Boulevard. According to police and witnesses, a Volkswagen Jetta swerved off the road, swerved back onto the road, and came to rest against a median, stopping sideways in a traffic lane. An oncoming Ford Festiva driver then slammed into the disabled Jetta, causing it to burst into flame. Two people were trapped inside and killed.
A third passenger, who was able to escape the Jetta, was seriously injured. So was the Festiva driver.
Evidence in a Car Crash Claim
Proof is usually critical in a negligence case. That’s especially true in a car crash claim. Victims must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Additionally, there is normally a direct relationship between the amount of proof a San Jose personal injury attorney presents and the amount of damages a Santa Clara County jury awards.
The police accident report, medical bills, and witness statements are the three major sources of evidence in a car crash case. These sources all have their challenges.
Emergency responders often write reports from memory or while relying on sporadic written notes. So, they often unintentionally exclude important details. Furthermore, the police accident report is not an evidentiary tool. It’s an administrative record. Emergency responders are not private investigators. They do not collect evidence for a future legal claim.
Medical bills always include statistical and clinical information. They include items like diagnosis, treatment, and cost. However, many medical records do not include complete treatment notes. These notes usually indicate things like the victim’s pain level at certain times. Such data is critical for noneconomic losses, such as compensation for pain and suffering. If it is missing, attorneys must look elsewhere for such proof.
Frequently, the needed proof comes from witness statements. Eyewitnesses cannot just testify about a wreck. They can also testify about the way a wreck affected a person. Unfortunately, many witnesses are potentially biased. Others are legally incompetent, usually because of a vision problem. Still others are simply not good witnesses.
So, an attorney must choose the best evidence to present in court. Additionally, an attorney must put the pieces of evidence together, like the pieces of a Lego model.
The Sudden Emergency Defense
Attorneys must also marshall sufficient evidence to refute some common insurance company defenses.
Sudden emergency often comes up in fixed-object collisions. It’s often part of a pedestrian accident claim as well. This legal loophole forgives negligence if the tortfeasor (negligent driver):
- Reasonably reacted to
- A sudden emergency.
This first bullet point is not hard to prove, unless the tortfeasor fled the scene. Most drivers pull over to the right after a collision, render aid if necessary, and wait for emergency responders to arrive.
The second prong is different. A partially-wrecked car in a traffic lane is not an everyday sight. But it is not a “sudden emergency” in this context. This label only applies to hood fly-ups, strong wind gusts, and other completely unanticipated situations. Drivers should be ready to deal with things like disabled vehicles, jaywalking pedestrians, and other such hazards.
Connect with a Diligent Attorney
Car crash victims could be entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer, contact Solution Now Law Firm. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.