It only takes one motorist not paying attention or otherwise being distracted for a crash to happen and the results of that accident can affect victims for the rest of their lives.On Saturday, February 7th, 2015, Bruce Jenner, the reality tv star and former Olympian was involved in a fatal 4-vehicle collision on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California.
Eyewitnesses state that Jenner was driving a large Cadillac SUV and approaching an intersection. Allegedly, a Toyota Prius slowed or stopped in traffic and was struck from behind by a white Lexus sedan, LA County Sheriff’s Sgt. Philip Brooks said, noting that traffic on the northbound side was not moving very quickly. Jenner, driving a Cadillac SUV pulling a dune buggy, then rear-ended the Lexus, sandwiching the Lexus between his SUV and the Prius, Brooks said. The Lexus then spun or veered into the quickly-moving southbound lane of PCH, where it was struck head-on by a Hummer, he said.This is an example of an initial collision, that became a much larger collision. The question is: WHOSE AT FAULT?
Prius: Unlikely that the Prius was at fault based on these facts. The Prius was slowing for traffic and even if they stopped shortly, the Lexus would have had to have been following too closely to be unable to stop and rear-end the Prius.
Lexus: Likely partially or wholly at fault based on these facts. The Lexus rear ended the Prius causing the chain reaction. If the Lexus never braked and ran into the back of the Prius at full speed, there would have been no way for the Cadillac to have known the Lexus was stopped, unless they had a clear view of the light ahead and the traffic and could see that the Prius was stopping or had to stop. Also, it is difficult to tell whether the Lexus after being rear-ended was propelled into oncoming traffic or drove into oncoming traffic in a panic.
Cadillac: Could be partially at fault for rear-ending the Lexus, depending on the conditions and visibility. Could be found to be following too closely, especially depending on how hard they hit the Lexus. Plowing full speed into the back of another car could lend to the argument that you must not have been paying attention. However, if there was no indication of breaking from the Lexus, that could be a good argument that the crash was less foreseeable.
HUMMER: The Hummer is unlikely at fault because the Lexus was thrown in front of the vehicle unexpectedly. The only fault that could be apportioned would be if the Hummer was speeding and that was a contributing factor… But that is unlikely.
The investigation will be tackled by the parties insurance companies, who will most likely make determinations about percentages of fault each party will be assigned. Because this collision ended in a death and several injuries, the personal injury cases will be for significant dollar amounts most likely and will probably end up in court.
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Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert