Accident News For Attorneys, the Legal Field & the Public
July 30, 2012-Irvine, CA-A 41-year-old Laguna Woods man died early Friday in a single-vehicle crash, according to Irvine Police sources and ABC News.
The accident happened on Irvine Center Drive north of Hubble Road, just after midnight on Friday morning. The driver, John Hwan Kim, died at the scene. No other occupants were in the vehicle.
Police are investigating the cause of the accident, and are unsure why Kim hit a traffic pole after proceeding through the intersection. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the crash.
Witnesses are asked to contact the Irvine Police Department with any information about the accident.
My sincere condolences go out to Mr. Kim's family and friends.
In its "National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that about 31 percent of all fatal crashes involved single vehicles, and about 46 percent of all crashes occurred when the drivers were traveling in a straight line as opposed to negotiating curves or backing up. There were several causes noted for single-vehicle crashes, the most common of which, 36 percent, was negotiating an intersection
What Happened In This Accident
At this point, the cause of the victim's crash is unknown. Alcohol, the most likely contributor to a late-night single vehicle crash, has been ruled out. It is possible that the driver fell asleep at the wheel, but it is also possible that another vehicle was involved and that the victim's accident was precipitated by a defensive maneuver to avoid a collision. More information will have to be gathered before the police are able to make a determination as to the true cause of the crash.
Cases like these are difficult for professional Orange County personal injury attorneys to pursue simply because so little is known at this point about the cause of the crash. However, if another driver is identified as having been involved in the crash, especially if the other driver fled the scene, there may be a basis for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The other driver would be responsible for the wrongful death and the property damage that resulted from this accident. However, unless a witness comes forward with information, it is possible that the person who caused the victim's accident and subsequent death will never be brought to justice, if indeed such a person exists.
Determining who is at fault in an Orange County personal injury accident isn't always simple and there are many different ways in which this determination can be made. The police who arrive at the scene may decide whose fault the accident was. Or the insurance companies representing the involved parties may make the decision. Ultimately, the decision as to who is at fault in an Anaheim personal injury accident may be made by a judge or jury in a court of law.
In general, the person at fault in the accident will be the individual or corporation or even governmental entity whose negligence was most responsible for the accident, but often direct proof as to who is responsible simply will not exist. In an ideal world, someone would have taken a picture or made a video of the accident clearly depicting what took place. Or there would be compelling physical evidence, such as faulty equipment or dangerous conditions, demonstrating who or what was responsible for the Anaheim personal injury accident. Or there would be several eyewitnesses whose testimony to officers at the scene or to the jury in a courtroom would clearly demonstrate what had occurred.
In fact, such evidence is often available, though in the heat of the moment it might be overlooked. But it's also possible that such evidence will be nonexistent or ambiguous. The ultimate decision as to responsibility may be made on the testimony of the participants alone, each of whom is likely to declare that the other one was at fault. In that case, the police may decide who is responsible based on irrelevant factors, such as the personalities of the participants or the presence of alcohol at the scene. And their decision may be wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
Two passengers in an SUV, both residents of San Gabriel, were killed when the vehicle in which they were riding plunged 100 feet off an elevated freeway connector between Interstate 10 and I-710 in Alhambra, about eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The driver and another passenger were hospitalized, according to the Los Angeles Times. The California Highway Patrol says that the accident, which was reported to police at 1:10 a.m. on July 31, 2012, involved both alcohol and excessive speed. The driver, 22-year-old Christine Meng, has been booked on charges of felony DUI and is being investigated on vehicular manslaughter charges. Apparently Meng was unable to negotiate a turn in the freeway transition and flew over a retaining wall, resulting in the fatal plunge. The two men who were killed were Joseph Almario, 21, and Manolo Magat, 23. The injured passenger is Jason Lieu, 22. No other vehicles were involved.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of the two passengers killed in this collision. My thoughts and prayers are also with the hospitalized driver and the hospitalized passenger. I wish them the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
Los Angeles DUI Statistics
According to the California Highway Patrol's 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 83 people were killed and 2,218 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes in Los Angeles. During that same year, 204 fatalities and 4,672 injuries occurred involving Los Angeles County DUI collisions.
California Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, the SUV's driver has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and is believed to have been driving in excess of the speed limit. It is against California law for anyone to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle."
Victims' Claim for Compensation
The driver in this incident faces charges of vehicular manslaughter and may face DUI charges. At-fault drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, and other damages. Families of deceased DUI accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will better advise injured victims and their families about their legal rights and options. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Web site at www.madd.org.
No matter what type of personal injury accident you have suffered, you want the very best personal injury attorney available to take your case. How do you know if a personal injury attorney is the best? You can tell by looking for three important characteristics that mark great personal injury attorneys. If your personal injury does not have these qualities, you are not dealing with the most professional and most capable personal injury attorney available.
1) Personal injury attorneys should be knowledgeable and well-educated. If a personal injury attorney does not have the knowledge to pursue personal injury cases, he or she cannot do justice to your case. This is one reason it pays to hire a personal injury attorney rather than a “general” attorney. General attorneys do a great job with wills, divorces, or criminal representation, but may not have the best strategies to handle personal injury cases. Read the rest of this entry »
July 25, 2012--Anaheim Hills, CA--The Orange County Register reports that an Anaheim three-vehicle crash ended with one person injured on the Imperial Highway ramp of westbound Highway 91 on Wednesday.
The accident, which occurred around 1:30 p.m., involved a Jeep Liberty in which four people were riding, a Hyundai Sonata with one driver and an Acura RSX-S with one driver.
Although the California Highway Patrol has not released the crash details, at least one vehicle was overturned and one occupant was taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.
My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the victim of this accident.
Roll-over accidents have become very common with the surge in numbers of SUVs and other heavy vehicles. Pickup trucks and SUVs make up the bulk of roll-over accident vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who reports that rollover crashes make up about 20 percent of all fatal car crashes in the United States. Occupants are most likely to be killed or injured in a rollover if they are not wearing appropriate safety restraints. Read the rest of this entry »
The victim of a personal injury has several strikes against him or her at the outset of a case. First of all, a personal injury victim has suffered physical and emotional trauma and may not be thinking clearly about the best course of action following an accident. By contrast, the person who caused the injury may not be hurt at all and probably has a team of insurance agents and lawyers to advise him or her on the best way to handle the situation. Personal injury victims may also be unable to work and earn money to pay for legal representation, while the at-fault party often has legal advice provided at no cost through an insurance company. Finally, personal injury victims may be uneducated about and intimidated by the legal system, while the at-fault party may be a large corporation that has the very best in legal advice available instantly. Clearly, a personal injury victim needs to hire the very best personal injury attorney possible. However, how can a victim do this if he or she does not know where to look or how to pay for legal representation? Read the rest of this entry »
July 17, 2012--Covina, CA--The family of a 14-year-old is grieving over a fatal accident that occurred Wednesday when the boy apparently stepped into the path of a train while listening to music and texting, ABC News reports.
The Metrolink train was traveling eastbound near Glendora Avenue when it struck Mitchal Sata, 14, of Glendora. The boy was apparently listening to music through headphones while texting on his phone, according to a witness at the scene. Sata was struck by the train, which was traveling at 48 miles per hour, and killed instantly.
The boy's mother blames the lack of signage and warning signals along the pedestrian path at the intersection. She claims that there is nothing there to warn pedestrians about oncoming train traffic.
My sincere condolences go out to the Sata family as a result of this terrible tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »
While it is not uncommon for bicycle accidents to occur in suburban and rural areas, they are far more common in a big city such as Chicago, where cyclists must share the road with more vehicles. Reckless and negligent drivers are often responsible for accidents with bicyclists, but there are also many instances in which the cyclist may be able to avoid the accident by being more visible, following the rules of the road and paying closer attention. It is much easier to prevent an accident than it is to deal with the hassle of medical bills and litigation that may be necessary afterward.
A lot of people believe that riding on the left side of the street will make them more visible to traffic and allow them to see and react to drivers on the road more quickly. The reality is that by riding against traffic, a rider actually increases the relative speed between his or her bike and the oncoming vehicle; reducing the reaction time that he or she has as well as that of the driver. Not only is riding on the right side of the street safer, but it is illegal to ride on the left side and doing so could result in a citation.
It may seem safer to use the sidewalk at a first glance, but intersections are extremely dangerous when a cyclist chooses the sidewalk over the right side of the street. Most drivers do not see bicyclists approaching intersections when they are riding on the sidewalk and will often make both right and left turns into the paths of cyclists as a result. Riding on the sidewalk also poses a risk of running into people who are using the path to walk. Vehicles backing out of driveways also pose a greater threat to bicyclists on sidewalks than those who use the street. Read the rest of this entry »
You may think you know quite a bit about personal injury cases because you have seen some of the most highly-publicized personal injury decisions in the news. While there is no doubt that these cases happened, it is likely that they have given you a false impression of the average personal injury case. Only the most sensational personal injury cases make it into the news, so the public naturally gets a skewed perception of what is involved in a personal injury case, including the settlement amounts. In televised cases, these amounts are often astronomical; however, most personal injury cases are settled for far more modest amounts.
When a Fullerton personal injury lawyer takes a personal injury case, he or she evaluates the case to determine a target settlement amount. This amount includes the expenses already incurred for medical bills and future projected costs for ongoing treatment. It also includes the cost of loss of personal property and other expenses that may result from the victim’s injury, such as loss of income and living costs. Finally, a sum is calculated to compensate the victim for pain and suffering.
Contrary to popular opinion, this final figure is often relatively modest. Once a personal injury attorney in Fullerton has calculated the true value of the personal injury case, it is often simple to settle the matter with the at-fault party because this person or his or her representatives know that the victim would get at least that amount if the case went to court. It is simpler and less expensive to settle the case without going to court, so many personal injury cases are settled at this point in the process. Read the rest of this entry »
July 10, 2012—San Bernardino, CA—The San Bernardino Sun reports that a 6-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl are dead after being thrown from a rollover accident involving a Chevy Tahoe on the 15 Freeway near Ontario on Saturday.
The children's names have not been released, but both were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where they both died of their injuries. Police investigators stated that the children were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. A 15-year-old girl who was wearing her seatbelt received minor injuries, as did the driver, Sergioa Ochoa, 43, of Garden Grove. Ochoa was arrested for DUI at the hospital, according to the California Highway Patrol.
According to the CHP, Ochoa was traveling southbound on the 15 Freeway when he attempted to change lanes recklessly. Another motorist was attempting to change lanes simultaneously, and Ochoa swerved to avoid a crash. The vehicle overturned, ejecting the children and causing the other injuries. No other cars were involved.
My sincere condolences go out to the families of these victims, and my best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Read the rest of this entry »
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