On the morning of Monday, March 15, 2021, just past 9 a.m., a horrible incident left three people dead, and six others injured. According to reports of the incident, the 71-year-old driver of a Volvo station wagon lost control of his vehicle, veering onto a sidewalk under an overpass at San Diego Community College. The sidewalk under the overpass was being used by the homeless, likely looking to stay out of the rain.
The vehicle struck a total of nine people. Three of the victims died at the scene of the incident. Five others, two of which were in critical condition, were transported to hospitals. Another victim was not transported.
According to one witness who was looking out of a window of her tent under the overpass claimed that the vehicle “spun out of control” and then got onto the sidewalk before getting back onto the road. Another witness claimed that another vehicle was possibly involved in the incident, although this has not been confirmed.
After the incident, the driver exited his vehicle and tried to aid victims. He then identified himself to local police and was cooperative. The driver has been arrested under the suspicion of driving while impaired.
The incident highlights the dangers that the homeless population face while simply trying to seek shelter. In addition, the incident has resulted in many questions relating to the design of the road and the overpass, and whether a road design defect possibly contributed to the incident.
Although most victims were homeless, they still have the right to sue. Were you injured in the incident mentioned above? Were you injured in a similar incident? Based on the details surrounding the incident and the resulting harm, you might have grounds to pursue a claim. If you would like to learn more about the legal options available to you, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm immediately.
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our injury lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims. Regardless of the incident that you or a member of your family suffered, you can trust that our lawyers can evaluate your claim and provide you with the guidance that you need to reach a successful claim outcome. Would you like to discuss your claim with the experts at our firm? If so, contact our experts immediately.
The Harm Resulting from These Incidents
Pedestrian accidents are among the most devastating types of accidents. This is because pedestrians on the sidewalk have no chance against vehicles. Some of the many injuries that affected parties could suffer include the following:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Severed limbs
- Road burns
- Crushing injuries
- Organ damage
In some cases, the injuries sustained in these incidents are so severe that they are fatal. Whether you or a member of your family suffered harm in a pedestrian accident, you might have grounds to sue.
Possible Causes of the Incident
In the incident mentioned above, the driver was arrested under the suspicion that he was driving while impaired; however, the suspicion has not been confirmed or denied as of yet. Without a doubt, the negligent actions of drivers can directly contribute to incidents that harm innocent pedestrians. However, defective road design can also contribute to incidents.
A quick look at the area where the incident occurred shows that there is an incline leading up to the overpass before the road flattens out again inside the tunnel. This means that drivers likely have to accelerate to be able to go up the incline and then quickly adjust their speed once the road flattens out. In addition, the tunnel is relatively dark (the lights in the tunnel do not provide appropriate lighting).
Regardless of the specific cause of the incident, it is important to note that it could’ve been prevented had the appropriate party or entity not acted negligently.
Who is Liable?
Who is liable for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered after a car drove onto the sidewalk? The answer to this question is relatively simple – and it depends on the cause of the incident. For example, if the negligent actions of a driver directly led to the incident and the harm suffered, the driver could be liable; therefore, victims could file claims against the driver and his insurance company.
What if the accident was not associated with the negligence of a driver? What if the incident was caused by a defective road design, for instance? In cases in which the road design is defective or hazardous, a transportation agency responsible for designing/construction the road could be liable. This means that victims could file claims against the city entity. City transportation agencies have a duty to ensure that roads are safe for drivers. If they fail to keep roads safe, they can be at-fault for resulting harm.
If you are interested in learning more about liability for incidents, including those associated with defective road designs, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm immediately. Our lawyers will help you establish liability and pursue your claim.
Can You Recover Compensation?
Are you eligible to recover monetary compensation for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered in a pedestrian accident like the one discussed above? Based on the details surrounding your claim, you could be eligible to receive compensation. Some of the categories of compensation that you could be eligible to receive include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Legal fees
If you would like to learn more about the type and amount of compensation that you could be eligible to receive, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm immediately. Our personal injury attorneys with experience in pedestrian accidents are ready to evaluate your claim and aggressively fight for your right to recover the compensation that you are owed. Do not hesitate to contact us today.
What Should You Do?
If you or a member of your family suffered harm in a pedestrian accident, there are a number of things that you should do to prepare to pursue a claim. Consider some of the recommendations listed below:
- Seek medical care immediately
- Take photos of all injuries
- Take photos of the scene of the incident
- Speak to witnesses and gather their contact information
- Gather the insurance information of all parties involved in the incident
- File an incident report with the appropriate authorities
- File an incident report with the city transportation agency
- Gather all medical records
- Gather all records of lost earnings
- Gather all records of property damage
- Gather any surveillance video that captured the incident
- Discuss your claim with an experienced attorney as soon as possible
File Your Claim on Time
All claims are subject to a statute of limitations, which determines the total length of time that claimants have to sue. If claimants fail to file their claims within the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations, claimants could lose their right to sue. How long do you have to file your injury claim? In California, all personal injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations (with a few exceptions).
However, if victims are pursuing injury claims against government entities, like city transportation agencies, stricter deadlines apply. In California, government claims must be filed within six months of the date that the injury occurred. The government entity will have forty-five days to make a response. If the claim is denied within this timeframe, claimants will have six months to file in court (from the date o the denial). If there is no response from the government entity, claimants will have two years to sue (from the date of the injury).
Understanding the deadlines that apply to your claim can be complicated; therefore, we recommend that claimants seek legal assistance immediately to learn more about the deadlines that apply to their claims.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
Were you or a member of your family injured in a pedestrian accident? Whether the incident occurred because of the negligence of a driver or the negligence of a city transportation agency, for instance, you might have grounds to sue. If you would like to learn more about your right to pursue a claim for the harm resulting from the incident, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our firm immediately.
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, we offer free legal services. Our free legal services include free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our lawyers will answer all your questions and address all your concerns. Our pedestrian accident attorneys will provide you with all the information that you need to take action against the party or entity liable for the harm suffered. Are you ready to benefit from our free legal services? If so, do not hesitate to contact us immediately.
At our firm, we offer a Zero-Fee guarantee, meaning that our clients will not be required to pay any upfront legal fees for our legal services. Additionally, our firm is based on contingency; this means that our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a positive claim outcome. If you do not win, you will not be responsible for any legal fees.
Are you ready to discuss your claim with our pedestrian accident experts? If so, contact us today.