Articles Posted in Car Accident

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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shutterstock_1005701908-300x200Self-driving cars, once considered pure science fiction, now represent a multi-billion dollar industry. They have become increasingly popular on the roads and are hailed as significantly safer than regular cars. But a recent report by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that self-driving cars were involved in nearly 400 crashes in the past 10 months.

In a recent devastating accident, a California couple was killed while in a self-driving Tesla. The married seniors had exited the highway into a rest area. Where the exit lane split between the car and truck lots, the couple’s car headed into the truck lot. The car then ran into a parked truck, which crushed the car’s front end and roof. The truck’s driver was not injured, but both members of the couple died at the scene.

The increasing number of self-driving cars on the road raises a crucial question: Who is at fault when an autonomous vehicle crashes, the driver or the car? In California, the answer may well be both.

shutterstock_1651700782-1-300x200Commercial drivers carrying cargo are required to secure and maintain control over their truckloads. Spills can lead to cartoonish headlines and images of produce and consumer gadgets spread on a highway. But spills can also lead to injuries, and truck drivers must be held responsible.

According to a recent article, a truck spilled over 150,000 large tomatoes on Interstate 80 in California, causing shutdowns, collisions, and injuries. The truck swerved to avoid an initial collision and struck the center divider of the highway, spilling the tomatoes over the roadway. According to reports, cars drove over the tomatoes, which led to a slippery sauce across the road that spurred seven crashes.

While the image of 150,000 tomatoes spilling onto a highway to create a saucy spill is certainly comical, the damage and injuries that resulted from the driver’s carelessness are not. Seven cars crashed after the initial accident. Three people suffered minor injuries, according to reports, and a fourth required a hospital trip for a broken leg. The road was dangerous and needed to be cleaned, leading to a several-hour shutdown that hampered traffic on the major roadway.

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shutterstock_656310541-300x194For many drivers, turning left is a routine action with little consequence. But turning left can be dangerous—the driver must turn into oncoming traffic and consider a multitude of other hazards, like traffic light timing and the speed of other vehicles. When some drivers on the road are intoxicated or driving recklessly, the care taken by a driver in making their left turn could be irrelevant. And side impact collisions, or “T-bones”, can be deadly to passengers when drivers are making left turns.

According to a recent report, a man in his 20s died in a two-car collision in Los Angeles. The man was a passenger in the accident. Another driver struck the vehicle while it was trying to turn left. Police say alcohol and drugs played a factor in the accident, and it occurred at 2 a.m. Police are conducting an investigation to determine if speed was also a factor in the accident. No information was provided as to the condition of the driver of the passenger’s car, and the other driver was detained at the scene.

When a car is struck while turning, questions may arise as to the legality of the turn. Even if the other driver was intoxicated, if the turning car was speeding, running a red light, neglecting to stop at a stop sign, or not looking both ways, there may be multiple contributing factors to an accident. An experienced California personal injury attorney can help weigh these factors and evaluate your likelihood of compensation.

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shutterstock_786279991-300x225The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful for those involved. Serious accidents may result in road closures as individuals who are injured receive necessary medical attention, and as the road is cleared from any debris left from the car accident. Knowing what to do after a serious car accident is vital.

In a recent news report, a fatal and devastating car collision left two dead and multiple injuries. According to the report, the northbound I-15 freeway in Baker, California was shut down for several hours due to the crash. The accident involved at least three different vehicles which included a red compact 4-door sedan, a gray SUV, and a blue pickup truck. Two adults were found unconscious on the scene and a child was ejected from their baby seat.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, there were 7 individuals needing medical attention and 3 individuals who needed immediate attention, thus prompting them to request 3 helicopters. Unfortunately, two of the helicopters were canceled because two of the immediate patients were soon after pronounced deceased at the scene. The cause of the crash is being further investigated.

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shutterstock_79184944-300x214Although devastating statistics and information about drunk driving are widely available and typically widely known by individuals, crashes involving drunk driving and driving while under the influence, unfortunately, happen every day. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, which can lead to car accidents and serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes. This equates to about one person every 45 minutes.

Drunk driving accidents are completely preventable and start with drivers making responsible plans to avoid driving while under the influence. Individuals who plan to consume alcohol or other drugs should plan other forms of transportation that do not involve them getting behind the wheel in advance. If friends or others around an individual are aware that someone has been drinking or consuming alcohol or drugs, they should be sure to take the car keys away from the intoxicated individual and help them figure out a safe way to get home.

According to a recent article, a woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) and manslaughter after a car accident leading to one fatality. In this deadly crash in Fresno, California, a 24-year-old woman was driving at an unknown speed northbound on Marks Avenue. The crash took place shortly before 4 am. According to the article, the woman ran a stop sign and drove into the path of a truck driving at 65 mph. The 24-year-old woman suffered significant injuries and was unconscious when first responders arrived on the scene, and her passenger in the front seat died. The man driving the truck and his passenger suffered minor injuries, and a 15-year-old boy in the car was not injured.

shutterstock_1207430194-300x200The advent of self-driving and AI-assisted driving systems has been accompanied by promises of increased driver and passenger safety, with some manufacturers suggesting that car accidents may become a relic of the past. Although self-driving vehicles offer some increased safety benefits when compared to standard vehicles, there are unique dangers to self-driving vehicles, and several people have been injured or killed by what appear to be defects or malfunctions in the self-driving function. The United States federal government is opening an investigation into one such crash involving a Tesla Model S that killed three people earlier this year in California.

According to a nationally published news report discussing the developing story, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation in the May 2022 fatal accident that occurred in Newport Beach, California, and involved a Tesla vehicle that was equipped with autopilot functions. The vehicle, which contained three occupants at the time of the crash, lost control and struck a curb, eventually crashing into stationary construction equipment and killing all the occupants.

According to the news report, the Tesla driver may have been using the autopilot function when the crash occurred, and the federal government wants to determine exactly what happened. This is not the first time that a Tesla vehicle has been involved in a crash while using the autopilot function. Since these vehicles have been allowed on the road, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians have each been killed in accidents that occurred with autopilot engaged. Although the federal investigation is not intended to directly benefit or compensate the accident victims for their losses from accidents that have already occurred, the investigation might lead to administrative or legal changes that protect consumers going forward.

shutterstock_253196071-300x188Speeding on California roads is a leading cause of injuries and deaths statewide. When people choose to drive high-performance vehicles that are capable of traveling well in excess of the posted speed limits, they are assuming responsibility for the consequences of a crash they may cause by speeding. A California court recently accepted a settlement to be paid to the family of a woman who was killed by a reckless driver behind the wheel of a Lamborghini supercar.

According to a local news report discussing the accident, the victim was making a left turn at an intersection in West Los Angeles when her vehicle was struck by a Lamborghini that was being driven by the 17-year-old son of a multi-millionaire businessman. The victim had the right-of-way to make the turn she was attempting, and the defendant was traveling at nearly 100 miles per hour on the urban street. The victim was killed in the accident. The defendant was charged criminally for his conduct, and also sued by the family of the victim, who sought significant damages in a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant.

Liability for the accident was quite obvious, as the defendant was speeding and also failed to yield the right of way to the victim. In auto accidents that result in death, the bodily injury auto insurance coverage of the at-fault driver is supposed to compensate the family of the accident victim. Most insurance plans do not have sufficient coverage to compensate a victim’s family for a wrongful death claim. In the event that a driver’s liability coverage is not sufficient, the victim’s UIM (underinsured motorist) coverage can also kick in. Unfortunately, in the event of a death or serious injury, the liability and UIM coverage together will usually not be sufficient to fairly compensate the victim’s family for their loss.

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