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Handling personal injury claims for Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and beyond.
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to take the best course of action after a serious accident

Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogPersonal InjuryInvestigation Continues Into Fatal Excavator Collision

Investigation Continues Into Fatal Excavator Collision


Based on newly discovered facts, officials now believe that alcohol impairment caused a wreck that killed a 25-year-old man.

The wreck happened on eastbound SR-78, west of El Camino Real. CHP officials said a 21-year-old man from Vista, who was driving a black Nissan Sentra, veered off the roadway and crashed  into a large excavator that was parked near the shoulder. A 25-year-old male passenger in the Nissan, who was taken to a local hospital with major injuries, later died from his injuries.

After further investigation, troopers said there is evidence to indicate that DUI was a factor in the crash. The driver was arrested and now faces multiple charges, including felony driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter.

Passenger Injuries

Injured passengers have the same legal and financial rights as injured drivers. But mostly for emotional reasons, many injured passengers don’t partner with a Carlsbad personal injury lawyer and exercise these rights, even if the victim was catastrophically injured or killed.

Quite simply, many injured passengers don’t want to “blame” a driver for an “accident.” These beliefs, while understandably, shouldn’t prevent injured passengers from seeking compensation.

Civil actions don’t blame anybody for anything. Criminal courts decide blame. Civil courts decide who needs and deserves compensation.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Victims, whether they were passengers or drivers, need this compensation to pay their medical bills and other accident-related expenses. They deserve this compensation because they need money to move forward with their lives.

Incidentally, individual drivers aren’t financially responsible for this compensation, at least in most cases. Usually, an insurance company pays damages. Insurance companies are also financially responsible for legal fees and other litigation-related costs.

Furthermore, car crashes may be unintentional, but they aren’t “accidents.” People accidentally leave the oven on. They don’t accidentally drive drunk, veer off the road, and smash into large, stationary objects.

Once again the premise is simple. You break it, you buy it. This principle applies in antique stores, vehicle collisions, and pretty much all other areas of life.

Fault vs. Liability

So, all injured crash victims should speak to a San Marcos personal injury lawyer. That’s especially true because there’s a difference between fault and liability. As the above story illustrates, additional facts come to light as investigations progress and attorneys continue collecting evidence. Various legal theories come into play as well.

In terms of the facts, fault is like the halftime score and liability is like the final score. The lead often changes hands, and the final score (liability) is the only score that counts.

Electronic evidence is the game-changing evidence in many cases. This electronic evidence includes a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. The information stored in this onboard computer often contradicts investigators’ initial findings. This information includes:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Brake application,
  • Engine RPM, and
  • Steering angle.

Attorneys must act quickly and decisively to preserve this vital evidence before the insurance company “accidentally” destroys the EDR.

Additionally, most accident fault investigations are all or nothing. A driver was either totally at fault or completely innocent.

Court cases are different, since California is a pure comparative fault state. If both drivers were partially at fault, the jury must divide responsibility 50-50 or on another percentage basis. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is responsible for a proportional share of damages.

Work With a Tough-Minded 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.



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