When Reckless Driving Causes Personal Injuries in California

This week, a star NBA player posted an image on Snapchat of his speedometer reading 118 miles per hour while driving his BMW on one of California’s highways. The question has since been asked “why would someone post evidence of themselves breaking the law?” After all, 118 mph is well over the speed limit on any California street or highway – a flagrant violation of state law.  Secondly, while driving at such a dangerous and unlawful speed, why would someone take his or her eyes off the road – even for a moment – to document the unlawful activity? Finally, why would that person then brag about breaking the law and potentially endangering other drivers or pedestrians?

The answer to all three questions likely involves a combination of youth, stupidity, and daft “brand building” in the age of social media. What if the driver’s decision to speed and take his eyes of the road had caused an accident in which personal injuries resulted? For the speeding driver, potentially career-ending injuries, criminal prosecution by the state, loss or restriction of driving privileges by the state’s department of motor vehicles, and potential financial liability stemming from a civil suit by any injured parties. If you have been injured by the reckless and unlawful driving of another person, you may be entitled to recover financial damages in a personal injury lawsuit. To defend your legal rights and hold the other driver responsible for your losses, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney.

Driver’s Owe Other Drivers and Pedestrians a Duty of Safe Driving

There is a social contract between drivers and other drivers and pedestrians encountered on the state’s roads, streets, highways, and freeways. This contract imposes a duty of safe driving in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state of California. As a part of this duty, we are required to abide by the speed limit, possess car insurance to protect others and ourselves in the event of an accident, drive free from distraction, and refrain entirely from driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. When a driver violates this duty of safe driving and causes an accident resulting in property damage, personal injuries, or fatalities, that driver may be held both criminally and financially responsible for their breach of the duty to drive safely.

The criminal side of the equation punishes the driver for his or her decision to drive reckless, carelessly, or in an intentionally wrongful manner. But what about the property damage or personal injuries inflicted on others? Liability for causation of these losses is the province of the civil justice system. So, if you have been injured by a reckless, careless, or intentionally malicious driver, you may file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil justice system to recover the damages you have suffered, including repair costs, medical bills, lost income due to missed work, and much more. To discuss the specifics of your losses, contact an experienced California personal injury attorney.

Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Hit-and-Run DUI Driver

Imagine that you are enjoying a quiet Monday evening in Pacific Beach. The sun is setting, the breeze is warm and light, and you are strolling peacefully down the sidewalk. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, a car crashes into you, breaking your bones, traumatizing you, and entirely upending your life. Then, to add insult to very serious injury, the driver, instead of apologizing, offering to help, and be held accountable for injuring you, attempts to flee the scene.

This nightmare scenario actually happened in Pacific Beach this month. The pedestrian was a 23-year old man just minding his own business. The driver was a 26-year old woman traveling with a 3-year old child in the back seat, and was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and endangering a child after causing a second accident – a collision with a parked car – shortly after the initial incident. Shocking as the whole account may be, it really happened. What you need to know is what to do if something like it happens to you. Step 1 is getting to the hospital for treatment of your injuries. Step 2 is contacting a skilled and experienced San Diego personal injury attorney to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and other losses.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit is a Civil Claim For Damages

The DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect described in the nightmarish account above will face two kinds of liability: Criminal and Civil. The state California hates drinking and driving, and punishes it harshly. That is the case even when no one is hurt or endangered. When an injury or fatality results from drinking and driving, or when a minor or child is endangered, the criminal actions are prosecuted as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, and punishments stemming from conviction increase dramatically. This is all just on the criminal side of the justice system. On the civil side, the DUI, hit and run, and child endangerment suspect is looking at a personal injury lawsuit for damages from the pedestrian  This person – the pedestrian – suffered a broken leg and pelvis. These are very serious injuries that require substantial medical treatment and recovery time. 

During the treatment and recovery time, the victim may not be able to work, and thus lose much-needed income. In addition, there is the severe emotional trauma that results from being violently struck by a vehicle while walking down the sidewalk. All of these wrongs caused by the allegedly drunk driver are termed “damages” by the law. A personal injury lawsuit seeks to recover these damages, in the form of financial compensation, from the party responsible for causing them. If you have been injured by the careless, reckless, or intentionally wrongful acts of another, contact a skilled and experienced California personal injury attorney to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial compensation for the damages you have suffered.

San Diego Wrong-Way Car Crash Wrongful Death Claims

Late year in San Diego more than a dozen drivers and passengers died in car crashes caused by a driver driving the wrong way down the city’s freeways. The tragedies have shaken the San Diego community, leaving loved ones in anguish. To lose someone in an automobile accident is difficult enough. To know that their last moments involved the sight of another vehicle traveling in the wrong directions towards them at high speeds is, if possible, even more difficult – and disturbing. For families, along with the grief and loss, there is the effect of the loss of income and financial support provided by the loved one. While nothing can replace a loved one lost in a wrong-way car crash, a wrongful death lawsuit can bring compensation for present and financial losses – compensation that can make a substantial difference in life after loss. If you have lost a loved one in wrong-way or other automobile accident, contact a dedicated and experienced San Diego wrongful death attorney.

Why are So Many Wrong-Way Crashes Occurring on San Diego’s Freeways?

Why on earth are so many fatal wrong-way crashes happening on San Diego’s freeways?  Based on Caltrans, the state agency in charge of highway, bridge, and rail transportation, planning, construction, and maintenance, making recent efforts to improve freeway off-ramp signs, it stands to reason that the poor quality, visibility, or content of the signs have played a role – causing some drivers to be confused about the right direction to drive in. To reduce confusion and, most importantly, further injuries and fatalities, Caltrans is increasing the size of off-ramp signs, as well as including flashing lights in an effort to reduce the number of drivers who mistakenly attempt to enter the freeway on off-ramps (as opposed to on-ramps). This is all well and good for the state and its drivers, but what about for individuals and families who have lost a loved one to a wrong-way wrongful death on San Diego’s freeways?

A Wrongful Death Claim May Result in Compensation for the Loss of a Loved One

If your loved one was killed in a wrong-way car crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for damages against the party or parties responsible. Wrongful death law is a subset of negligence law. Negligence is the breach of a duty owed that results in damages. Damages in the wrongful death context are many, and include medical bills for treatment prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and financial support, loss of love and consortium, and more. In a wrong-way fatality, the negligence can take multiple forms. If your loved one was killed as a result of another driver wrongly entering an off-ramp, the negligence is likely attributable to the other driver and the state. If your loved one was killed as a result of inadequate traffic signs leading them to attempt to enter the freeway via an off-ramp, the negligence is possibly attributable to the state of California. For either scenario, contact a skilled and experienced California wrongful death attorney.