Our minds and hearts are deeply troubled by the sad news of the accident involving a bus carrying high school students for a college visit, and a Fed Ex truck on a California highway this morning. As a parent, I can only begin to imagine the grief these families are dealing with today, and our thoughts go out to them. As an attorney who has handled a large number of these types of accident and wrongful death cases, I have experienced first hand sharing that grief with the surviving families of these types of accidents. The world has changed today for them in a way that can never be undone, and this type of accident is filled with complex legal issues. It will require skill to get to the bottom of who holds responsibility and accountability in this situation. But today is about standing with the families and grieving their loss, and keeping our thoughts with them and those who were fortunate to survive.
She was like any other college kid, between cars, riding her bike to and from classes and errands. On that day over two years ago she was riding home in the evening around 9:00 p.m.; She didn't have a light on her bicycle, but she was crossing a busy boulevard at an intersection within a marked crosswalk. She heard the loud roar of a motorcycle engine, and woke up 10 hours later in the hospital. The motorcycle was speeding - approximately 53 in a 35mph zone, the impact was at approximately 45mph. The goalkeeper wasn't wearing a helmet, and she was thrown from her bike landing on her head, breaking her jaw, gashing her knee and suffering a severe concussion. The driver of the motorcycle fled the scene, but was later apprehended by local police. The goalkeeper is pursuing a civil suit against the motorcycle's driver, and the case is still pending. These situations don't usually end well. In this case, the goalkeeper is a pre-eminent keeper for SDSU, enjoying a spectacular season, after missing almost a year following the accident. I'm thankful for her story, and wish her continued success in the future. (Note to bicyclists: after more than 30 years in practice I had to add this thought...wear a helmet!)
I was interested in a story here locally in Temecula, where a pedestrian was struck by a Riverside County Sheriff traveling approximately 30 mph. It seems the pedestrian was walking down the street and a person on the other side of the street called to them. The pedestrian stepped into the street to hear the conversation better, and stepped into the path of the oncoming police car. The officer swerved to miss the pedestrian, but clipped him knocking him to the ground. The report noted that the injured pedestrian was not taken to the hospital.
A woman pedestrian was struck in a crosswalk yesterday afternoon in broad daylight (2:45 p.m.) on a major street in Laguna Niguel. The woman unfortunately sustained severe injuries, including head trauma and injuries to her limbs, and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. My years of experience with accident and injury cases shows that these accidents have serious consequences and one would think that pedestrians always have the right of way.
A second skateboarder has been struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in southern orange county within the past two weeks. The Laguna Niguel skateboarder appears to have been struck in a crosswalk, by a black Nissan recovered a short distance from the accident scene. My thoughts are with the family at this horrible time.
A truck accident involving two other cars this morning on a section of I-5 known as the "Grapevine" near Gorman, CA has unfortunately led to the loss of two lives, with several others life-flighted from the scene. CHP is still investigating the accident and at the present time the cause is unclear. Any time a big rig and automobiles become entangled at higher speeds the sheer forces involved usually lead to serious injuries and wrongful death. My thoughts are with the victims of the accident this morning, as well as their families. Those who are critically injured face a long road ahead, and their care and well being are the focus at this point.
I'm thankful to read that most of the injuries associated with the accident this morning in downtown LA involving a Blue Line Train and a Metro Bus filled with passengers has resulted in mostly minor injuries. The key in this situation (once every one has been safely treated and is on the way to recovery), is time. In normal injury related cases the statute of limitations is two years. When dealing with a municipal claim, the people injured today must file their government injury claim within 6 months of today's accident. The standard procedure in these cases is to reject that claim, and a lawsuit must be filed within 6 months of that denial to preserve the rights and financial recovery of the victims.
Labor Day Weekend is considered one of the most dangerous weekends for drivers, resulting in personal injuries and death. The weekend is considered to be 3.25 days. During this time it is projected that there will be 405 traffic deaths. For the entire month, the estimated number of deaths is 3,146. It is estimated that there will be 40,500 personal injury accidents during this same 3 day week end. Many of the accidents are due to and/or caused by drinking, which is more prevelent during this holiday weekend. It is important to remember that if you are involved in one of these accidents to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you able so as to protect your rights. Remember to Drive Safely and be aware of your surroundings and others.
In general, it is very difficult, and unusual, for a party to recover attorneys fees. For a personal injury case, it is almost unheard of, and is available only in a limited number of cases. If the person that caused the vehicle accident was in the process of committing a felony, and someone gets injured, the injured party may be able to recover his attorneys fees. This may be the case if the person was drunk, and was found guilty of driving while under the influence. When an vehicle accident like this occurs, it is important that a personal injury attorney be contacted early, so as to preserve the evidence, and prevent someone saying things that may be incorrect, or harmful to their case.
I am saddened to hear of the events in Eagle Rock this weekend after an SUV lost control due to what appears to be a front tire blow out. It has been reported that the SUV rolled over one to three times before going over the edge of the freeway to fall almost 30 feet to Figueroa Street. These types of motor vehicle accidents require careful investigation to determine what actually happened, and where the fault might lie. There have been several cases in the past where SUV roll over accidents were caused by poor design and product liability. It is important to preserve critical evidence at the scene in these types of accidents, and to thoroughly investigate every aspect of the crash to protect the legal and financial interests of those involved and the surviving family members. These situations are emotionally overwhelming for the family, and it is important for them to be able to entrust the management of their legal issues to an experienced and proven motor vehicle accident, injury and wrongful death attorney. This allows them to keep their focus on the most important of life's priorities - the support and medical care of those who have survived, and grieving the loss of family and loved ones.