Two Children Seriously Hurt in Lemon Grove Car Crash
Several other people are also in the hospital after a 30-year-old woman suddenly and unexpectedly swerved into another traffic lane and collided with another vehicle.
During the crash, the woman’s Camry flipped over, ejecting a 10-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy from the car. The children were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, officers said. Both vehicles landed on the College Avenue on-ramp after the accident. The 43-year-old woman driving the Challenger was also taken to a hospital, as was the mother driving the Camry.
No other details were available.
From a legal standpoint, a passenger injury claim is usually identical to a driver injury claim. However, from an emotional standpoint, these claims are different. A good San Marcos personal injury lawyer adjusts to these differences.
Many injured passengers don’t want to “blame” drivers for “accidents.” These feelings are understandable, but out of place in civil court.
A Carlsbad catastrophic injury lawyer doesn’t blame anyone for anything. Criminal courts assign blame. Civil courts assign responsibility.
If little Tommy breaks his neighbor’s window, Tommy, or Tommy’s parents, should pay compensation (replace the window). Likewise, if big Tom causes a car crash, Tom, or a responsible third party, should pay compensation.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Responsible third parties in car crashes and other claims include owners who allow incompetent motorists to drive their cars and employers who fail to properly screen or supervise employees.
Furthermore, most car crashes aren’t accidents. People accidentally leave the oven on. They don’t accidentally drive under the influence of alcohol or speed recklessly and cause crashes.
Despite these truths, injured passengers often don’t exercise their legal rights and partner with a San Marcos personal injury lawyer, especially if an insurance company paid most or all of their medical bills.
Once again, it goes back to responsibility. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) should accept financial responsibility for crashes. If an insurance company pays, we all pay, in the form of higher premiums. Dick and Harry shouldn’t pay for Tom’s crash, and crash victims shouldn’t have to rely on handouts.
The Seat Belt Defense
This legal doctrine is very complicated in the Golden State, so strap yourselves in and stay sharp.
California, like almost every other state, has a mandatory seat belt law. California’s law is broader than most other laws. All passengers must buckle up or sit in age/weight appropriate car seats.
But the failure to buckle up usually doesn’t affect damages in a car crash claim. Wearing, or not wearing, a seat belt has no bearing on accident fault. Additionally, victims need not mitigate (voluntarily reduce) their damages before the injury occurs. Otherwise, we’d all wear crash helmets and fireproof suits when we climbed into our cars.
However, according to Section 27315 of the Vehicle Code, “negligence may be proven as a fact without regard to the violation of this statute.” In other words, if an insurance company lawyer can prove that the victim’s failure to wear a seat belt, as opposed to the tortfeasor’s negligence, substantially caused injury, the court could reduce the victim’s damages.
If the failure to wear a seat belt only contributed to injury, the seat belt defense is usually unavailable in California.
Connect With a Savvy San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in San Marcos, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.