A San Antonio police officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a car crashed into the vehicle he had pulled over on August 1. A driver coming up to I-10 W, between Huebner and Zavala, failed to slow down for the backup that inevitably results from a traffic stop and crashed into a car. The eventual chain reaction made it to the police cruiser, causing moderate injury to the policeman. While these types of collisions are rare, they do bring up interesting questions about who can be held liable for injuries suffered.
Each Situation Is Different
Chain reaction car accidents generally involve at least three vehicles, though, in theory, any number may be possible, especially on slick roads. Very often, the first car in the chain will be ruled at least partly responsible, because if they had been able to avoid the crash, it is argued that others might have been able to follow their example. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes another driver will be held to have been following too closely, or sometimes, the public agency that maintains the road (in this case, the Texas Department of Transportation) may not have adequately posted signage, or in some cases, the weather will be ruled to have caused the accident itself.
If you have been involved in a chain reaction car accident, the most important thing one can do is to document everything. If you have been injured, or if your car has been damaged, having evidence of this can help to cement any claims you may be able to make against another driver, against the municipality who maintains the roads, or another party. Photographs and medical records can help prove your case.
If You Are Injured
If you are injured in this type of car accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against either another driver or against the maintainer of the road under a legal theory of negligence. In order to establish that someone was negligent, you must be able to prove three things – that the duty owed by motorists to each other was breached, that the breach was directly caused by the defendant’s actions (or lack of action, such as failure to stop or failure to maintain the road correctly) and that you, the plaintiff, suffered some kind of tangible harm.
Be advised that if you wind up bringing suit against the municipality maintaining the road, you may have to contend with claims of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a concept handed down from English common law which states that the government is immune from certain types of lawsuits. Texas as a state has waived this doctrine for certain types of suits under the Texas Tort Claims Act, but depending on the specific nature of your suit and its location, you may not be able to sue the road maintenance entity directly.
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys
Being in an auto accident is always scary, but a chain reaction car accident can feel apocalyptic. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact our skilled New Braunfels auto accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm today. We are happy to sit down with you to discuss your case. Contact us to set up an appointment.