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Common Types of Car Accidents and How to Determine Liability

According to Outdoorsy, Fresno has been ranked 55th in the United States and 15th in California as the most dangerous city to drive in. This analysis was determined based on data gathered from multiple Fresno accident reports, including 2019 data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The city also has the most dangerous highway in the United States, which is infamously known as Highway 99. Even though Highway 99 is a fairly short highway compared to others, it has had the most fatal accidents per 100 miles in the nation. The highway was ranked second to drunk driving accidents, falling behind Interstate 45 found in Texas. 

Victims of a car accident may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault for their losses. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Fresno car accident attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. We have won over 5,000 cases and recovered more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in Fresno.

Please do not hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (559) 272-9881 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our Fresno personal injury law firm. 

Common Types of Car Accidents in Fresno

Thousands of people share the road on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many negligent drivers may be present during these trips, which can affect the safety of other drivers nearby. In Fresno, there have been several car accidents, with each one of them having a different cause and effect. 

  • Rear-End Accident. A rear-end accident occurs when the front bumper of a vehicle crashes into the rear of a vehicle ahead of them. There is an estimate of 1.7 million rear-end accidents in the United States each year. It is one of the most common types of car accidents, especially in Fresno. A recent rear-end accident occurred in December of 2021. A police officer was blocking a lane due to potholes that were causing multiple flat tires. While the police officer was inside the vehicle, a driver rear-ended them. It was later found that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and driving with an expired license. Another rear-end accident occurred in the same month. This time, the driver ran a red light and rear-ended a semi-truck. 
  • Drunk Driving Accident. A drunk driving accident may occur if a driver indulges in alcoholic drinks prior to driving. Their vision may become impaired, thus increasing the likelihood of an accident. In Fresno, drunk driving has often led to rear-end accidents and single-vehicle accidents. As previously stated, a drunk driver recently crashed into a police officer who was barricading a lane to prevent drivers from getting a flat tire. Another incident also occurred in November of 2021. An SUV driver was under the influence of alcohol and got into an accident with a motorcyclist. The driver attempted to flee the scene of the accident, but was caught by police. 
  • Side-Impact Accident. A side-impact accident is when a vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. This type of accident usually happens at intersections and parking lots. In December of 2021, a driver of a minivan crashed into the side of a truck. The driver inside the van died at the scene of the accident, while three passengers were taken to the hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Investigators believed the driver of the minivan was traveling at high speeds prior to the crash occurring. 
  • Single-Vehicle Accident. A single-vehicle accident is an accident that only involves one vehicle. For example, a driver crashed into a tree on the side of the road due to driving at high speeds and losing control of their vehicle. The city of Fresno has experienced multiple single-vehicle accidents, with each cause differing from one another. In November of 2021, a drunk driver crashed into a guard rail at the Highway 180 on-ramp to northbound Highway 199. Reckless driving, without intoxication, was also occurring on Fresno roads. Again, in November of 2021, a driver swerved to make an exit off the highway, however, he ended up driving down an embankment that was about 10 to 15 feet. Witnesses claimed the driver was ejected from the vehicle. No alcohol was found in the driver’s system. 
  • Hit and Run Accident. A hit and run accident typically occurs when the driver, who caused the accident, drives away without helping the other party(ies) and does not notify the police of the incident. Victims of a hit and run accident are usually pedestrians or bicyclists. Oftentimes, the driver of the vehicle will feel compelled to flee the scene of the accident to avoid facing legal repercussions. However, it only makes matters far worse. In Fresno, hit and run accidents are quite common. In December of 2021, a driver crashed into a bicyclist in Central Fresno. The driver proceeded to drive away from the scene of the accident. Luckily, another driver was nearby and stopped to help the victim. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and was expected to recover from his injuries. No reports have been released yet on whether police have managed to catch the suspect.


Generally, negligent drivers will be held accountable for damages caused by their wrongful conduct. However, California is a comparative negligence state, which indicates that more than one party can be partially responsible for a motor vehicle accident. Liability will be shared based on the amount of negligence contributed by each party involved. 

Establishing liability is the most crucial part of presenting a personal injury claim. You should always have a highly experienced and knowledgeable Fresno car accident attorney on your side to help you prove your case in order to obtain fair compensation.

Compensation and How We Can Help

If you are a victim of another driver’s negligent driving, or were in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim. If successful, you may be granted recoverable compensation, which includes economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. It is calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and loss of earning capacity. 

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. This may include compensation for emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

You may also be able to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages. It is designed to punish and deter malicious and reckless wrongdoings. You may be entitled to punitive damages against someone who intentionally harmed you, or acted with gross-negligence, such as drunk driving, an intentional collision, or a hit and run. 

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

At West Coast Trial Lawyer, our qualified Fresno car accident lawyers are highly-trained. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.

To schedule a free consultation at our Fresno personal injury law firm, contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (559) 272-9881 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

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