As I was leaving San Francisco this morning, heading East on I-80 towards Sacramento, it was quite disturbing to see a number of serious accidents on the freeway during this morning’s very strong rain and even one roll-over accident. All of the accident scenes I saw this morning suggested that the accidents took place in a car pool lane, and quite a few of the vehicles hit a median divider. Most of the accidents must have involved serious injuries as a number of fire trucks and ambulances were rushing toward the scenes of those accidents from both directions.
Clearly, some of the drivers lost control of their vehicles, hit the divider, and had their cur spun on a wet, slipper road, causing one or more cars behind them collide into them and cause a major pile-up accident. This is yet another reminder to the drivers of how important it is to keep distance between the vehicle in front of you, especially during and right after the heavy rain.
From a legal standpoint, one upside of having a pile-up is the opportunity for the biggest victim of the accident to obtain contact information of the potential witnesses who can later testify that he/she was not at fault, and who really caused the accident. This is important, because it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny liability due to the conflicting recount of how the accident happened, and having unbiased witnesses on your side, who saw with their own eyes how the accident happened are very likely to tip the scales of liability in your favor.