Articles Posted in Car Accident

Tesla_Model_S_2016-01@2x-300x169The family of a California couple who died in the crash of their Model S Tesla has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the carmaker. Mary Lou Seelandt, 66, and Karl Seelandt, 67, from Lompoc, died on July 6, 2022, when their 2015 Model S hit the back of a tractor-trailer rig at a Florida highway rest stop. The lawsuit alleges the car was defective and malfunctioned, although it does not specify the exact problem or whether the Autopilot function was in use at the time.

According to a reconstruction of the events, the tragedy happened in the early afternoon, on I-75, near Gainesville, Florida. The highway exit in question split into two lanes, one for cars and the other for trucks and buses. Somehow the couple’s Tesla ended up in the lane for larger vehicles, and its roof was crushed when the car became edged under the truck. The retired California couple was on a road trip that included a visit with family in Georgia to celebrate their granddaughter’s first birthday.

Tesla’s Autopilot system is under investigation from federal agencies. For now, 16 crashes in which the Autopilot system played a role have been included in the investigation, but several others may be added shortly. Last month, a California resident was killed when his Tesla struck the side of a firetruck in Walnut Creek. An investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but it is believed the car malfunctioned. 

Four people were killed on the spot following a horrific wrong-way crash on the 71 Freeway near Chino Hills. According to the police, an as-yet unidentified driver was driving a white 2021 Volvo S60 going northbound on the southbound 71 Freeway lanes. The white Volvo crashed into a black 2018 Volvo. Both vehicles spun out and made contact with other cars nearby. The four occupants in the two Volvos were pronounced dead at the scene, while the other drivers involved in the accident escaped with only minor injuries. 

How do wrong-way accidents happen?

For most drivers, driving on the wrong side of the road is unthinkable. In most cases, such accidents occur when a driver is somehow impaired and doesn’t realize they’re driving the wrong way. If you’re ever involved in such a crash, you must speak with an experienced California accident lawyer as soon as possible as in certain situations you may lose the right to sue the other driver and recover damages. 

bobby-car-g91acf5609_1280-300x200Police in Long Beach are investigating a hit-and-run that left one bicyclist dead. Two weeks ago, a motorcyclist was killed in a collision with an SUV. A 90-year-old driver died after speeding through a parking lot, injuring several people before the car came to a stop. These are just a few of the most recent headlines concerning accidents in the Long Beach area. One may think it’s just a coincidence that so many fatal crashes happened within the past two weeks. It’s not. According to the latest statistics, in 2022, California had the most fatal crashes in the country, 3,558, resulting in 3,847 deaths. More than 10 people die every day in some type of traffic accident and tens of thousands are injured. This means tens of thousands of families are devastated, grieving their loved ones or struggling with mounting hospital bills. There is no remedy for loss and grief, except maybe time, but victims and their families can at least get compensation for the financial losses they suffered. Many families in this situation wonder how much their claim may be worth. This is something only seasoned Long Beach accident lawyers can tell you. The value of a claim depends on the severity of the injury and the extent to which it impacts a family. 

Do you need a lawyer for any type of crash? Not really. You can deal with a minor crash by talking to the insurance company directly. For more serious accidents, you will however have to contact skilled lawyers to help you determine who is liable for your damages and how to proceed with your case. Many claims can be settled outside of court, but for a catastrophic accident, you may want to sue the at-fault driver.

Here are some of the most dangerous types of car accidents in California, accidents for which it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible:

candles-g9a894582d_640-300x200Three people were killed and another injured in a high-speed crash in Lynwood following a police pursuit that began in South Gate early on Sunday. A married couple, Flavio Balderas, 60, and his wife Micaela were killed after their car was hit by a Tesla that was being chased by the police. The driver of the Tesla, 20-year-old James Griffin, died on the spot while another passenger in the car was critically injured.

It all started when a police officer saw two people tampering with a parked vehicle in South Gate, believed to be a catalytic converter theft in progress. When they noticed the officer, the two people got into a Tesla and drove away. The police said the officers had called off the pursuit when it reached dangerous speeds, but shortly after that, the Tesla hit the Balderas’ car. 

Can you hold the police accountable for a crash following a high-speed chase?

abstract-g4821d46cd_640-300x200Every single hour, 52 California residents are injured in a hit-and-run accident. According to statistics, each year over 19,000 people are injured and 150 are killed in such accidents. Here is one recent example – a mother and her three children were seriously injured in a crash in a South Los Angeles neighborhood. The victims were traveling in an SUV that was hit by a silver Mercedes, which, according to witnesses, ran a red light in the intersection. Firefighters had to extricate the victims from the wreckage. Paramedics performed CPR on two of the children, including an 18-month-old, who went into cardiac arrest following the high-speed crash. 

As for the driver of the Mercedes, he did not waste more than a few seconds to see what happened to the people in the other car, before he fled on foot. Local police were keeping an eye on the hospitals in the area as they believed the man might have been injured. 

What to do if you were involved in a hit-and-run?

California – January 23, 2023

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) one person dies every 45 minutes in drunk driving crashes.  A Long Beach California dui accident lawyer will use evidence gathered by scene reconstruction professionals, police reports, medical reports and property valuations to build a case for damage awards, especially when criminal charges support fault identifying a reckless act by a driver and their responsibility toward the accident victims.

Accident liability.

shutterstock_1753657874-300x204Accidents involving box trucks and other large trucks can have particularly devastating consequences. Due to the immense size and weight of a box truck, a collision can result in significant harm to a victim’s person or property. Many factors can lead to box truck accidents, whether they result from the truck driver’s actions, a defective tire or other truck part, or even inclement weather conditions. Given these different scenarios, a plaintiff injured in a box truck accident must pay close attention to the role of fault when bringing claims against various defendants.

Recently, a chain reaction accident involving a large box truck left three people injured. The crash occurred in rainy conditions on the interchange between the 14 and 5 freeways in Santa Clarita. An earlier accident underneath a guardrail left a semi-truck flipped over and an SUV pinned against a wall. After this first accident, a box truck then veered over the guardrail above and landed upside-down on top of the semi-truck and SUV, further damaging the vehicles. Two people were transported to the hospital after the box truck crash, and one person was hospitalized after the first crash.

How Can You Demonstrate Fault in California Box Truck Accidents?

Determining fault in a box truck accident is not always straightforward and will depend on which parties a plaintiff names in a lawsuit. If suing the truck driver, one factor that can help a plaintiff demonstrate fault is the truck driver’s conduct while driving. For example, truck drivers may be operating their vehicle under the influence or engaging in distracted driving. A plaintiff would then need to prove that the driver’s carelessness caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In some situations, the plaintiff can also sue the truck driver’s company if the driver was operating the truck in the course of their employment with the company. Before recovering against the truck driver’s employer, the plaintiff must first prove the driver was negligent. This situation may be more complex if truck drivers exercise care while driving but lose control of their vehicle due to a faulty part. Under these circumstances, plaintiffs may also choose to sue the truck’s manufacturer or the company that made a specific defective part.

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221015-pomona-food-stand-crash-scene-0943-8e61a8-300x169When a person is injured on someone else’s property, California law may impose a duty of care on the owner to maintain the safety of their property. This is especially true when a property owner stands to benefit from other people’s use of their property. The classic example is a business that owns a parking lot so that customers can easily drive to and patronize their store. When an accident happens in a commercial parking lot, questions of liability for a victim’s injuries may be complex.

As a recent news article reported, one person died and several others suffered injuries after a car ran into a taco stand in Pomona, California. The taco stand was situated in a grocery store parking lot. As a driver entered the parking lot, she ran through the taco stand, scattering glass and taco supplies along the parking lot and flipping tables on the sidewalk. The crash injured twelve people and left at least one person dead. The driver fled the scene before later turning herself into authorities.

Can a Person Sue a Parking Lot Owner in California?

In California, a person can sue a parking lot owner for injuries suffered in a parking lot on certain conditions. To pursue a negligence claim against a parking lot owner, the owner must have a duty of care to the injured person. Typically, parking lot owners have a duty of care to maintain safe conditions in the parking lot for pedestrians and vehicles who patronize the parking lot. California also imposes a duty of care on property owners to warn guests of any potentially dangerous conditions that are not open and obvious. On the other hand, a parking lot owner can escape liability if the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries was so open and obvious that a reasonable person would have easily avoided it. The rationale behind this bar to recovery is that certain hazards should serve as warnings in and of themselves.

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shutterstock_1421307692-300x200California is known for its miles of scenic roadways. As the most populated state in the U.S., California boasts 396,540 miles of roads on which thousands of drivers travel every day. Unfortunately, around 3,600 fatal crashes occur on California roads each year. Approximately 178,300 people per year suffer injuries from a California car accident. Not every road, however, has an equal number of crashes or fatalities.

Recently, a news article identified the ten deadliest roads in California. Relying on data from the National Highway Safety Administration during 2017-2019, the article ranked the roadways based on the number of fatal accidents, fatalities, and the average number of fatal accidents per mile. Based on these variables, the most dangerous road in California is the 15 Freeway in Hesperia between Exits 138 and 129. During 2017-2019, nineteen fatal accidents occurred on this freeway, averaging 4.2 fatal accidents per mile. Ranking second is the 80 Freeway between Exit 14a and Exit 8a, spanning Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville. On the 80 Freeway, 15 fatal accidents occurred with 17 total fatalities, averaging 3 fatal accidents per mile. In total, between 2017-2019, roughly 10,500 fatal accidents occurred on California’s roads.

As the article reported, California also has the fourth worst drivers in the country. An insurance rate comparison company ranked each U.S. state by number of accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, and citations. According to the rankings, California drivers have the fourth-highest number of accidents and citations and the fifth-highest number of reported DUIs. They fare better on speeding violations, ranking at 37. However, the company attributes the low number to California’s famous traffic, which prevents drivers from speeding. Based on the same metrics, the city of Bakersfield, California has the worst drivers of any U.S. city, including the highest number of reported DUIs. Among the ten cities with the worst drivers, eight are California cities.

shutterstock_243320974-300x200Car accidents may result in physical, financial, or emotional harm to some or all parties involved in the crash. However, accidents in which a motor vehicle operator was driving under the influence (DUI) can be particularly devastating. Because drivers are under the influence, they often lack the ability to control their vehicles, leading to significant yet entirely preventable accidents. Too often, DUI crashes lead to severe injury or death of other drivers or their passengers, who frequently are not at fault for the accident.

As a recent news article reported, a car crash involving a suspected DUI driver killed one person and injured five others. According to investigators, the driver likely veered into the incoming lane, directly colliding with a 21-year-old woman carrying four passengers. The woman died at the scene, while the passengers suffered injuries ranging from minor to serious. The suspected DUI driver was also injured in the crash. At the hospital, police arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter for the woman’s death.

What Damages Can You Recover from a California DUI Accident?

California law allows injured persons to recover both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages can begin to help redress the losses an injured person has suffered as a result of an accident. These can include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include property damage—such as damage to a vehicle—along with medical expenses incurred from the accident, or lost wages due to an inability to work following the accident. In California, a court can infer an injured person’s loss of earning power from the nature of the injury.

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