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Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogPersonal InjuryFatal Pedestrian Accident on I-15

Fatal Pedestrian Accident on I-15


A 23-year-old woman, who may have sustained a head injury in a previous single-vehicle crash, is dead after a car hit her immediately south of Temecula.

“The Honda crossed over the shoulder and collided with a freeway perimeter chain link fence,” investigators said. “The vehicle traveled through the fence and collided with a hillside embankment, causing it to ricochet … back toward the northbound traffic lanes. The Honda came to rest facing in a southeasterly direction, straddling the No. 2 and 3 lanes.”

The woman immediately got out of her car and “stood in the No. 2 lane.” A 38-year-old man driving a 2017 Honda Civic approached the location seconds later. He “applied his brakes but was unable to avoid colliding into the woman. The impact … threw her in a northerly direction, where she came to rest in the northbound No. 2 lane.”

The woman died at the scene, and the Honda driver was transported to a hospital with serious injuries.

Car Wrecks and Head Injuries

Almost all car crashes cause one or more kinds of head injuries. An Oceanside personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation for all of them.

Concussions (mTBIs, or moderate traumatic brain injuries), are very common in low-speed and single-vehicle wrecks. Concussions cause short-term and long-term injuries.

The immediate effects of a concussion, like disorientation, usually aren’t serious. If the victim in the above story sustained a concussion, which is likely, her story is an exception, but it’s not an uncommon exception. In many circumstances, an mTBI is just as bad as, or even worse than, other kinds of collision-related brain injuries. Disoriented people often do unexpected things, like stand in freeway traffic lanes.

The long-term effects are much different. Multiple concussions cause CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). This degenerative condition is usually fatal. Depending on the patient, the severity of the mTBIs, and a few other factors, “multiple” concussions could mean twenty or thirty or two or three.

If a collision-related concussion is the straw that broke the camel’s back and causes CTE, a Carlsbad personal injury lawyer can obtain maximum compensation. Insurance companies cannot use a victim’s vulnerabilities as an excuse to reduce compensation.

Low-speed wrecks also often cause whiplash, a specific kind of mTBI that affects the cervical spine. The extreme motion of these wrecks destroys nerves in this area. If left untreated, whiplash could cause paralysis.

Whiplash involves some treatment issues. This soft tissue injury doesn’t appear on most diagnostic injury reports.

High-speed wrecks often cause sTBIs (severe traumatic brain injuries). Such collisions combine all three known sTBI causes:

  • A loud noise that disrupts brain functions,
  • Blunt force trauma (e.g. hitting the steering wheel with one’s head), and
  • Motion-related injuries, as mentioned above.

Much like concussions, sTBIs are hard to diagnose. The initial symptoms of an sTBI and accident shock are almost exactly the same. However, unlike concussions, sTBIs cause serious injuries that are usually permanent and often fatal.

A chemical imbalance in the brain causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Extreme stress causes the amygdala expansion. This part of the brain controls emotional responses. A larger amyd=gdala crowds out the cerebral cortex (logical responses). This chemical imbalance causes symptoms like anger, depression, and hypervigilance.

Liability Issues

A few final words about liability (legal responsibility) in pedestrian accident claims. Sometimes, insurance company lawyers try to use the sudden emergency defense in these matters.

This defense excuses negligence (e.g. running over someone) if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.

A pedestrian in a freeway traffic lane is certainly unusual to see. However, a pedestrian in the road is not a sudden emergency under California law. Instead, a jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard, like a stalled car, that drivers should anticipate and avoid.

Work With a Diligent San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oceanside, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We routinely handle matters throughout the Golden State.



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