It’s an unnerving feeling when you’re driving and all of a sudden your car stalls. When you’re stranded with an undriveable vehicle on the highway, oncoming motorists are likely to be speeding.
If the motorist is distracted, inattentive, or intoxicated, they may not be able to maneuver out of the way quickly enough to prevent colliding with you. Low visibility, bad weather, or a motorist’s view being blocked by a large truck ahead of them can all contribute to a collision with your already damaged vehicle.
In this article we’ll discuss what should happen if you find yourself stranded on the highway with a vehicle that is undriveable.
How Do Collisions With Disabled Vehicles Occur?
If you’re on the highway, the dangers are greater because other drivers will be speeding past at high speeds. In California, roadside and shoulder of the road crashes involving disabled automobiles may occur in the following scenarios:
- A careless driver fails to notice your vehicle and crashes into it while you are inside.
- While you are outside your vehicle, a careless driver fails to notice you and hits you.
- A motorist hits your crippled car on the side of the road due to a poorly managed construction site or improper road design.
- A careless driver is navigating recklessly or violently switching lanes, causing them to collide with your crippled vehicle.
Is a Manufacturer Liable in the Event of a Disabled Vehicle Crash?
The law of product liability may apply in a circumstance where the driver had meticulously maintained the vehicle but it was nevertheless inoperable due to a manufacturing defect.
Injured victims in California who are involved in a disabled vehicle accident may be eligible for compensation from a variety of sources, including the vehicle manufacturer. The issue of whether a manufacturer is liable in the event of a disabled vehicle crash can be complicated.
Manufacturers are not liable for accidents that occur due to driver error, but they may be if the disabled vehicle was caused by design flaws or manufacturing defects. Manufacturers are not always aware of design flaws or manufacturing defects, and it’s difficult to determine who is at fault in these cases because many factors contribute to an accident. However, there have been instances where manufacturers were found negligent after incidents.
Drivers on the Side of the Road: Some Recommendations
If you are trapped in the middle of the highway;
- Keep your hood up to warn other drivers that something is amiss with your car.
- The warning lights on your vehicle should be switched on.
- If you opt to stay in your car, fasten your seatbelt.
- Keep in mind that a car that is not paying attention to the road could hit you from behind.
Dial 911 from your cell phone if you are in a risky situation.
The California Comparative Negligence Doctrine
Even if you share some of the blame for your handicapped vehicle accident in California, you may still be entitled to seek compensation from the other at-fault driver. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be proportional to your degree of fault.
For example, even if you are 90 percent to blame for an accident, you can still recover 10% of the losses from the other at-fault person. California uses a “pure comparative negligence” rule in this regard.
Get Legal Assistance for Your Disabled Vehicle Accident
If you or someone you know has been involved in a disabled vehicle accident, feel free to give our office a call and get the compensation you need for your case. To reach our office, dial (310) 943-1171.