Articles Posted in Car Accident

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.

shutterstock_1426611488-300x169It’s no surprise to rational Californians that speeding, and especially street racing, are dangerous practices that threaten the lives of innocent Californians every day. The act of racing itself takes drivers’ attention away from the road and multiplies the danger to both participants and bystanders as a result. The legislature and municipalities across the state have enacted statutes that criminalize exhibitional street racing at a level above and beyond the traffic violations that are committed during a race. Although these laws have been designed to discourage street racing on California roads, they will never be completely successful. A local news report discusses a recent crash that was caused by street racing and left two people dead.

According to the facts discussed in the news report, a group of drivers were in south LA late last month cruising the streets and occasionally racing. During a short race, one of the drivers struck another on the side and sent the second vehicle off the road and into a pole. When authorities arrived on the scene, both occupants of the crashed vehicle were pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle did not stop at the scene of the crash and the article does not mention if they have been identified or apprehended.

Determining fault and liability for a crash can be difficult when the negligence of multiple parties contributes to the accident. If two or more drivers agree to participate in a street race, then they are partially assuming the risk of injury or death if the racing results in a crash. Under the law, however, it is not that simple, and negligent parties still may be able to recover damages from other negligent parties. California is what is known as a “comparative negligence” state. This means that an injured plaintiff can recover damages from a negligent defendant, no matter how much the plaintiff’s own conduct contributed to the injury. Under California’s system, a plaintiff is only entitled to recover a proportion of the total damages that reflects the defendant’s share of the blame for the crash. For example, a plaintiff who was 75% responsible for an accident with $100,000 in total damages, while the defendant was 25% responsible, could recover $25,000 from the defendant.

shutterstock_1378529927-300x200Those who suffer injuries or lose a loved one to a drunk or otherwise impaired driver have the right to sue for compensation. A victim or their family can pursue a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party even if the perpetrator has not been arrested, charged, or convicted of a DUI. Under California law, the victim need only prove that the driver was negligent.

In California, a driver is negligent when they fail to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. Further, the driver may be negligent per se when they violate a statute designed to avoid the harm that occurred. In California, this means violating a statute such as:

  • Vehicle Code 23152(a), driving while under the influence,

shutterstock_1851011776-300x200Earlier this month, a fatal motorcycle accident claimed the life of one man after an SUV crashed into him. According to a recent news report, police are currently investigating whether the collision was the result of a road rage incident that turned into a high-speed chase.

Evidently, police received a call around 9 a.m., indicating that an SUV was chasing a motorcycle in the area of Shields Avenue and Fresno Street. During the call, the caller made it seem as though it was an incident of road rage. Before police arrived on the scene, they received another call from the same are reporting a collision between a motorcycle and an SUV. Further investigation revealed that the vehicles involved in the accident were the same two described in the initial call.

Police arrested both the driver and the passenger of the SUV, who are cooperating with the investigation. However, investigators have yet to determine if the fatal motorcycle accident was motivated by road rage.

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