Caltrans Worker Critical After Highway 91 Accident

January 24, 2013

A 37-year-old Caltrans worker was hit by a car at a construction site when a car veered onto the shoulder of the road and remains in critical condition at a local hospital,
according to ABC News.

The accident occurred when the 32-year-old driver from Moreno Valley veered from traffic patterns and struck the worker then fled the scene of the accident. The Caltrans worker was rushed to the hospital having sustained major injuries. Police gave chase to the vehicle and were able to apprehend the driver about a mile from the crash site. He has been arrested for felony DUI and hit-and-run and booked at a local jail.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

DUI and Hit-and-Run Go Hand-in-Hand

Drivers are far more likely to flee the scene of an accident if they have no license, have been drinking or using drugs, have no insurance, or are wanted on other charges, according to a recent report by the American Automobile Association. These drivers present a menace to society in general but are particularly concentrated in southern California, where about 45 percent of all accidents involve unlicensed drivers and about

25 percent involve DUI suspects.

When a person is driving under the influence, he or she loses the ability to think rationally and clearly. This is a large factor in a driver choosing to flee the scene of an accident; many people panic and simply run away, hoping to undo the damage that has been done by denying its existence.

California Has Strict DUI and Hit-and-Run Laws

California law provides severe penalties for those who consume alcohol or take drugs and get behind the wheel. California law also punishes those who leave the scene of an accident. In fact, under California law, it is a felony to leave the scene of an accident with injuries and it is also a felony to cause injury or death while intoxicated.

However, these laws are only effective when they can be enforced. When a driver flees the scene of an accident, it is very important that witnesses come forward to help police identify and charge the driver for his or her actions. To this end, the Hit-and-Run Reward program was designed to allow people to call or log in anonymously and claim a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers. Witnesses can call 1-800-644-8678 or visit the program's website to participate.

What Can I Collect For Injuries Sustained in An Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk or careless driver, you have the right to collect damages. This can include payment of your medical bills, including those immediately following the accident and those that are projected for the long term such as physical therapy costs. You may also be entitled to collect money for your increased living costs while you recuperate. Finally, you may be entitled to payment for your pain and suffering as well as punitive damages in some cases. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and how to collect these payments.

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