Archie A. Barnes, 45, sustained major injuries in a San Diego car accident after his vehicle was struck by a suspected drunk driver in Fallbrook. According to a report in the Fallbrook Village News, the collision occurred the night of April 1, 2010, when 29-year-old Jose Gaspar crossed over the double yellow lines on southbound Mission Road and crashed his 1986 Isuzu into Barnes' vehicle. Barnes' vehicle overturned and he suffered major injuries including a fractured left femur. He was transported to a local hospital. Gaspar, who officials say was intoxicated and driving without a license, fled the scene on foot, but was apprehended soon after. He is facing felony DUI, felony hit-and-run charges in addition to driving without a valid license.
My heart goes out to Barnes, who has suffered severe injuries as the result of another man's choice to get behind the wheel, drunk. I hope Barnes recovers quickly and completely from his injuries.
According to California Highway Patrol's 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 34 fatalities and 907 injuries involving DUI collisions in San Diego. Countywide, alcohol-related crashes claimed 104 lives and injured 2,033 during the same year.
If the details of this news report are accurate, not only was Gaspar under the influence, but also, he was also driving without a license and then, after he caused the accident and seriously injured Barnes, tried to flee the scene of the crash. Driving under the influence is a serious violation under California law.
DUI and Hit-and-Run Laws
California Vehicle Code section 23152 (a) states: "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." The same code section also states that it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more to drive a vehicle.
Leaving the scene of an accident or hit-and-run is also a serious crime. California Vehicle Code section 20001 (a) states: "The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident."
Claim for Compensation
Barnes would be well-advised to consult with an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will make sure that his legal rights are protected. Also, in this case, since Gaspar does not even have a driver's license, I would suspect he has no car insurance either. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will be able to advise victims about how their car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
The BISNAR|CHASE personal injury law firm is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.