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Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogCar AccidentFatal Alcohol-Related Crash in Escondido

Fatal Alcohol-Related Crash in Escondido


Few details were available after several people were injured and a 13-year-old boy was killed in what police are calling an alcohol-related crash.

When they arrived at the intersection of North Broadway and Country Club Lane, officers found several people injured at the scene, and three of them — a man, a woman and a 13-year-old boy, all from Escondido — were taken to nearby hospitals. The teenager was pronounced deceased at Palomar Medical Center, police said.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. One of the involved drivers, a 20-year-old Escondido resident, was arrested for felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter, the department said in a news release.

Police say he was driving the 13-year-old and a woman. It is unclear if the woman was also hurt. Authorities charged him with gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI and child cruelty charges.

Passenger Injuries

Injured passengers have the same legal and financial rights as injured drivers. But many injured drivers don’t exercise these rights and partner with a Carlsbad car accident lawyer, usually because they don’t want to “blame” a driver, with whom they usually have a personal relationship, for an “accident.”

Civil cases don’t blame anyone for anything. Out-of-court settlements usually include liability waivers (e.g. I don’t admit the accident was my fault). Instead, compensation is at the core of a personal injury lawsuit.

If you break it, you buy it, whether or not you legally acknowledge responsibility. In a civil case, “buying it” means paying compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. In a wrongful death claim, survivors are also entitled to compensation for future losses, such as lost emotional and financial support.

The biggest pile of money in the world couldn’t begin to fill the emotional void that a wrongful death creates. But money makes it easier for survivors to move on, and at this point, that’s the best possible outcome.

Furthermore, most car crashes aren’t accidents. People accidentally leave the gate open. They don’t accidentally drink to the point of intoxication, get behind the wheel, and cause crashes.

Evidence in Car Crash Claims

In terms of evidence, the above story is not uncommon. Frequently, when San Marcos personal injury lawyers take cases, they have very little to go on. There were no witnesses and no physical evidence proves the cause of the crash.

Law enforcement investigators often give up and move onto other matters. But a San Marcos personal injury lawyer, often working in partnership with a private investigator, keeps digging.

In most cases, someone saw something, but for whatever reason, didn’t come forward at the scene. Attorneys painstakingly re-canvass accident areas to find the person who can provide the critical missing piece of the puzzle. Such a comprehensive sweep also helps a lawyer refute insurance company defenses, like comparative fault, because both sides use the same evidence.

As for physical evidence, a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder often provides critical information. These onboard computers measure and store operational information like:

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

A skilled lawyer uses these tiny dollops of colored oils to paint a picture of the accident. Attorneys often work with accident reconstruction professionals during this process.

Unless an attorney works quickly and thoroughly, this vital evidence could be unavailable at trial. Most insurance companies “accidentally” dispose of EDRs and other physical evidence. Only a spoliation letter prevents such evidence loss. Additionally, California has very strong vehicle information privacy laws. Attorneys usually need court orders to inspect and download EDR data.

This inspection and downloading process is a challenge in itself. EDRs are very sophisticated doohickies. A laptop and a screwdriver simply won’t get the job done.

Rely on a Dedicated San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oceanside, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.



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