January 24th, 2011
Union Tribune Eric Edmonds report on off-roading in Southern California’s deserts, and underscores the increased risk of serious injuries to children resulting from the operation of all terrain vehicles (ATV’s). Off-roading in California takes place all year long; however, in the fall when desert temperatures become cooler, greater numbers of off-road enthusiasts driving ATV’s such as motorcycles, trucks and quads flock to popular areas such as Glamis in the San Diego county. Consequently, these areas start to resemble war zones as a result of accidents caused by reckless drivers.
A research study being conducted at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital in conjunction with Children’s Hospital of Orange County, has shown some interesting patterns regarding the peak desert season and off-road vehicle-related injuries in children. The age of the children injured ranges from 8 months to 14 years, which is the cutoff age for trauma being directed to a children’s hospital. Fractures represent forty percent of the injuries, half of which require surgery, and 20 percent of the injuries involved the skull, brain, spine, or other internal injuries. Accidents involving dirt bikes are the primary cause of serious injuries accounting for approximately 45% of injuries and ATVs, quads, and other vehicles make up the rest. Many of those injured fail to use proper safety equipment and or lack the safety training in the first instance. In addition, the study suggests that the lack of adequate regulation and enforcement is also of great concern.
Applicable California Law
Due to negligence or reckless conduct , many children endure serious and catastrophic injuries or suffer fatal injuries. As a result, they have personal injury claims, and or their heirs have potential wrongful death claims or survivor actions against the responsible parties (see my prior Blog post for California’s Wrongful Death Laws). Many off-road enthusiasts ignore the fact that even while driving off-road that they must follow the same rules as any other vehicle regardless of whether they are off-road or not. An aggravating factor, is that many of those responsible fail to carry adequate insurance coverage, or any insurance at all (see my prior Blog post on California Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Law).
Basic safety training for children, off-road enthusiasts and proper use of safety equipment can greatly reduce the risk of serious brain injuries, spine injuries, or broken bones . Motorcycle accidents or ATV accidents can cause lifelong injuries or wrongful death. If you or someone you care about have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in an accident before taking any action talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Tags: Brain Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accident, Uninsured Motorist, Wrongful Death
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January 17th, 2011
East County Magazine reported that Carlos Martinez a resident of Escondido was seriously injured and sustained internal and head injuries as a result of being ejected from his vehicle. The auto accident happened at around 5 a. m. on January 15, 2011. San Diego Sheriff’s office reported that Martinez, had been driving northbound on San Elijo Road in San Marcos, when he hit the center median, causing his GMC Envoy to roll over. As a result, Martinez was ejected from the vehicle sustaining serious injuries and was transported to Palomar Medical Center.
Applicable California Law
Martinez will have potential products liability claims for personal injury against General Motors Corporation and the dealer where he purchased the vehicle. Products Liability claims are based on various legal theories including negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty of fitness. They can arise out of design defects, manufacturing defects, or marketing defects such as inadequate/failure to warn off dangers. All parties in the chain of distribution from the manufacturer to distributors, to name a few, can be held liable. Under these circumstances, a thorough investigation of the accident, including a scene investigation by an accident reconstruction/ human factors expert and other experts , would be necessary to evaluate the merits of any claims. Furthermore, it is not clear why Martinez’s vehicle drifted into the center divider, or if he was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. If his conduct contributed to causing his own injuries, any claims he pursues will be reduced proportionately.
Under usual circumstances, If proper safety equipment is being used, the occupants of a vehicle should not be ejected in an accident, which causes the vehicle to rollover. Products Liability claims resulting from auto accidents, motorcycle accidents or truck accidents generally cause serious brain injuries, spine injuries, or internal injuries that can be fatal and or leave injured victims with lifelong residual consequences. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney and making sure that a proper investigation is promptly conducted to preserve any evidence, is critical to proving your case.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Brain Injury, Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Truck Accident
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January 12th, 2011
Union Tribune Pauline Repard reported that DUI arrest in San Diego County and statewide improved compared to a year ago. Drivers arrested for drunk driving and fatalities during the New Year’s weekend were substantially less than last year, most likely due to the fact that it lasted for three days this year as compared to four a year ago. CHP officer, Jesse Udovic said that there were 60 arrests and one fatality in San Diego over the holiday weekend in sharp contrast to last year when there were 101 DUI arrests and three fatalities. Statewide statistics were equally dramatic with 961 drunk driving arrests and 25 DUI related deaths compared to 1388 arrests and 36 deaths a year ago.
One of the fatalities on New Year’s eve happened when Kelly McPherson, 53, of Mission Valley was fatally injured when he tried to walk across Murray Drive in La Mesa at around 1:30 a.m. on January 1, 2011. The driver of the vehicle that hit him, 48-year-old Dana Lohner, was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
Our sympathy goes out to the McPherson family and friends.
Applicable California Law
Lohner will face felony criminal charges for driving under the influence and causing death or injury (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Arrested For Fatal Coronado Traffic Accident for California DUI Law). In addition, McPherson’s heirs will have wrongful death claims against Lohner (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Killed by Auto Accident Debris on California Wrongful Death Law). Furthermore, Lohner could face additional claims for punitive damages for her reckless conduct of driving while intoxicated (see my prior Blog post Justice For Family Of Nursing Home Abuse Victim on California Punitive Damage Law).
The new year started out on a positive trend; however, it was still tainted by tragedy. Wrongful death or serious injuries caused by auto accidents or truck accidents involving pedestrians are catastrophic. The counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is critical to obtaining justice.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury, Punative Damages, Truck Accident, Wrongful Death
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January 7th, 2011
San Diego Union Tribune Harry Jones reported that a San Diego man riding a motorized scooter/wheelchair sustained serious injuries including a severe head injury after being struck by a hit-and run driver at around 10:30 a.m. in National City Christmas morning. According to police Sgt. Robert Rounds, the 57-year-old victim was riding along the shoulder of Paradise Valley Road near 8th Street when he was hit by a burgundy pickup truck. “It totally destroyed the wheelchair and sent the man flying through the air,” Rounds said. Joshua Becerra, 22, of San Diego, the driver of the truck, stopped briefly to pick up the debris from the truck and then fled from the scene. Later in the day Becerra’s uncle called police and Becerra was taken into custody. Rounds said, “If the driver had just stuck around, he probably would’ve been OK, but when you leave like that it becomes a felony.” The victim who was in a serious condition was hospitalized for head injuries.
Applicable California Law
Becerra will face criminal charges for felony hit-and-run in violation of California Vehicle Code 20001, which details the requirements and penalties for drivers involved in vehicular accidents resulting in personal injury (see my prior Blog post for California hit-and-run law). In addition, Becerra will face civil claims for the victim’s personal injuries for his medical expenses, lost earnings and earning capacity as well as compensation for pain and suffering. However, the fact that the victim was riding in the street and if his conduct contributed to causing his own injuries, his claims would be reduced proportionately to his own negligence. Since the victim sustained a serious head injury, Becerra’s liability insurance limits are at issue. If Becerra’s liability insurance limits, or personal assets are inadequate, the victim can be covered by his own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (see my prior Blog post on California uninsured/underinsured liability coverage)
.A beautiful Christmas day turns into tragedy. Auto accidents and truck accidents involving pedestrians generally result in serious injuries such as brain injuries. Experience and knowledge of the law as well as the proper medical treatment to address serious injuries are some of the benefits in talking to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Posted in Auto Accidents, Brain Injury, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, Uncategorized, Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage | Comments Off
January 2nd, 2011
Daily Pilot reporter Sara Peters reported that Jessica Hoke, 23, of San Diego was fatally injured when struck in the head by debris from a car accident on December 30, 2010. Jessica, who had recently graduated from UC Irvine, was at the corner of Sunflower and Stevens Avenue waiting to cross the street on her way to work at H&M at South Coast Plaza, when she was critically injured and died from her injuries three days later on December 3, 2010. The auto accident that caused her death happened when a17-year-old driver of a pickup truck ran a red light and struck two vehicles. Jessica’s uncle, David Hoke, said Jessica’s organs were donated through a transplant donor network called One Legacy and was quoted as saying “She was selfless. She always worked at making people better, which was something she was good at … she wasn’t pushy about it, but she had a real gentle way of encouraging people to be their best.”
Our sympathy goes out to Jessica’s family and friends.
Applicable California Law
Pursuant to California’s Code of Civil Procedure sections 377.60-377.62. Jessica’s heirs will have wrongful death claims against the teenage driver and the registered owner of his vehicle. Furthermore, her legal representative would have a “survivor action” claim in accordance with California Code of Civil Procedure sections 377.30-377.35 for those damages not covered by the wrongful death statute. As always, in cases resulting in death or catastrophic injuries the adequacy of the responsible parties assets and liability coverage are at issue.
A young woman tragically killed as a result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Auto accidents, which cause serious brain injuries or wrongful death are catastrophic. However, conferring with an experienced personal injury attorney is a crucial step in the recovery process and obtaining justice for those injured.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Brain Injury, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
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December 25th, 2010
San Diego News 6 reported that San Marcos resident Teresa Peterson drove her car into a 7-Eleven convenience store seriously injuring a customer on December 2, 2010. The auto accident happened at about 11 p.m. when Peterson, who was driving her Mercury Grand Marquis northbound on Rancho Santa Fe Rd., jumped the curb and drove her vehicle through the parking lot and into the front door of the store at the corner of San Marcos Blvd. and Rancho Santa Fe Rd.. Her car continued through the store hitting Carlos Martinez a customer causing multiple serious injuries including head trauma.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code 21658 requires a driver of a vehicle to drive within a marked lane and remain within the lane until it is safe to move from the lane. Peterson will face claims for the damage to the 7-Eleven and the bodily injury to Mr. Martinez this would include his medical expenses, loss of earnings and earning capacity, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. If further investigation determines that Peterson was driving recklessly and was grossly negligent, she could also face claims for punitive damages (see my prior Blog post on California Law on Punitive Damages).
A casual visit to the 7-Eleven results in serious injury. Auto accidents, involving pedestrians often cause serious injuries such as head trauma and brain injuries that can last a lifetime. Discussing your options with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to obtaining fair compensation and justice.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Brain Injury, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury, Punative Damages
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December 20th, 2010
The Associated Press reported that members of a fire crew from Los Angeles comprised of inmates and one Los Angeles County firefighter, were seriously injured and two others died in a head on auto accident on Tuesday November 23, 2010. The fatal car accident happened on Highway 138, near Gorman, when 83-year-old Milton Bacon driving a Subaru Forester drove into oncoming traffic and collided with the fire crew’s truck. Several firefighters as well as the crew foreman were hospitalized, four were seriously injured and in critical condition. Mr. Macon, and Fernando Sanchez of San Diego, one of the crew members who was ejected from his vehicle, were both killed.
Our sympathy goes out to the families and friends of the deceased
Applicable California Law
Those who sustained injuries as well as the heirs of the deceased will have personal injury and wrongful death claims against Mr. Bacon’s estate (see my prior Blog post Escondido Auto Accident Fatally Injures Man In Wheelchair on California’s wrongful death law). In addition, the crew’s foreman having been injured on the job can pursue claims for workers compensation benefits (see my prior Blog post San Diego EMT Fatally Injured In Multi Vehicle Auto Accident for California law on workers compensation/injury law). Furthermore, since the members of the fire crew were in the custody and control of the corrections department when they were injured or killed, they and their heirs also have potential claims against the corrections department and or the county Fire Department if the vehicle they were riding in was unsafe and contributed to their injuries. If so, a timely claim must be filed with the proper agencies as required by the government claims statutes pursuant to Government code section 945.4.
Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, the loss of life and serious injuries are devastating. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is critical in order to properly handle auto accidents and truck accidents resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accident, Wrongful Death
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December 15th, 2010
San Diego News 8 reported that five victims were fatally injured as a result of a hit-and-run auto accident on Saturday afternoon, November 13, 2010. Four motorcyclists as well as a passenger in another vehicle were killed and six others were seriously injured. The accident happened on Route 98 at around 1:00 p. m, on a remote desert two-lane highway in Ocotillo. The riders were members of a Lakeside motorcycle club who were on their way to celebrate their 10th anniversary in Yuma Arizona. Carlos Bobadilla, driving a Dodge Avenger swerved to avoid hitting a Honda Civic, whose driver was attempting to pass the group of riders. Bobadilla lost control of his vehicle, and drove his vehicle into the group of riders. Four of the motorcycle group members were killed as well as the owner of the Avenger. Six others were injured including Bobadilla who was taken to a hospital for treatment of hand fractures. The driver of the Honda, did not stop and left the scene. Bobadilla who allegedly was driving under the influence was later arrested . According to CHP officer DeeAnn Goudie it is still unclear if his alcohol consumption contributed to the accident, and thus he is only being charged with a misdemeanor at this time.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and families of those who lost their lives.
Applicable California Law
Bobadilla will face criminal charges for driving while under the influence (see my prior Blog post for California DUI law). Furthermore, if the driver of the Honda is identified, he or she will face potential felony hit and run charges (see my prior Blog post on California Hit and Run law). In addition, both drivers will be jointly and individually liable for the wrongful death and personal injuries sustained by the motorcycle riders (see my prior Blog post on California Wrongful Death law). However, due to the number of fatalities and the Honda driver having fled the scene, it is doubtful that Bobadilla, or the owner of his vehicle carry adequate liability insurance to compensate the victims and their families. Hopefully, the deceased and the injured carried enough uninsured/ underinsured coverage of their own (see my prior Blog post for California Uninsured/Under-insured law).
A celebratory motorcycle ride results in fatalities and serious injuries. Auto accidents, which cause motorcycle accidents usually result in serious injury or wrongful death. Obtaining the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney
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December 10th, 2010
UNION TRIBUNE Caroline Dipping reported that a woman, 34, her daughter 17, and the passenger in a vehicle whose driver was suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) were injured on November 7, 2010. The auto accident happened at around 1:00 a.m., on the 2200 block of Palm Avenue. The unnamed 29-year-old driver of a 2006 BMW was reported to having been driving under the influence and speeding when he sideswiped the victims’ vehicle causing it to hit a parked car. San Diego Police officer David Stafford said that the unnamed woman victim was taken to a local hospital with a broken femur along with her daughter who was also injured. The driver of the BMW, and his passenger were also taken to the hospital with injuries. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Applicable California Law
The driver of the BMW will face potential criminal charges for violation of California Vehicle Code 23152 driving under the influence (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Arrested For Fatal Coronado Traffic Accident for California’s DIU laws). In addition, he will face claims for the personal injuries sustained by his passenger , and the victims in the other vehicle. However, his passenger’s claim could be reduced if she knew he was driving under the influence and thus contributing to her own injuries. If the actions of the driver of the BMW are deemed to having been reckless enough to constitute gross negligence, he could also be subject to claims for punitive damages (see my prior Blog post Justice For Family Of Nursing Home Abuse Victim for California’s law on punitive damages).
Motorists who drive under the influence pose a great danger to other motorists and pedestrians. Auto accidents, truck accidents, and bus accidents involving intoxicated drivers often result in serious injuries or wrongful death. Having your case analyzed by an experienced personal injury attorney is key to getting you fair compensation.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Bus Accident, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury, Punative Damages, Truck Accident, Wrongful Death
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December 1st, 2010
Auto accident victims, those who have sustained personal injuries as a result of the negligence of another, and the public at large have many misconceptions about the accident claims process in general as well as the civil jury system. The following are some of the most common myths regarding injury claims:
• If you communicate with the insurance company and make a reasonable demand, you
will get a fair and reasonable settlement offer.
• After you have been involved in an accident and the insurance company contacts you to
request a recorded statement, you are obligated to give them a statement or they are not going to settle your claim.
• All Attorneys who advertise that they can help you with your accident cases have the
same experience, knowledge, and resources to handle your case.
• The insurance company for the party that injured you will pay your medical bills as you incur them.
• All Attorneys charge the same fees in all injury cases.
• The tort liability system is like the lottery that will help you get rich.
• When someone is involved in an accident, which wasn’t his or her fault, there must be some insurance company that will pay for his or her property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and injuries.
• California Juries are generous
• There is a standard formula to figure out what your case is worth.
Dispelling these myths by obtaining information from someone who has experience with the process is key to obtaining fair compensation. If you, or someone you know has been seriously injured in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, or lost a loved one as a result of a wrongful death, having accurate information is crucial. Obtaining advice from an experienced personal injury attorney can be the difference in obtaining justice when resolving your claims.
Tags: Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
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