Mother and Two Children Injured in Panorama City Hit-and-Run Crash

July 29, 2013

A mother and her two children were injured in a hit-and-run crash after a driver struck them as they crossed a roadway. According to a Los Angeles Daily News report, the incident occurred the night of July 24, 2013 at the intersection of Chase Street and Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City.

Police say the 70-year-old driver struck the family and dragged a stroller with a 14-month-old child inside. Witnesses got the man to stop a short distance away. He was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. The child who was in the stroller is said to be in stable condition. The other child complained of pain and the children's mother suffered torn ligaments.

It is indeed fortunate that the children and their mother did not suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 100 fatalities and 2,512 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, 195 people were killed and 4,535 were injured due to pedestrian collisions during the same year.

California Vehicle Code Violations

Based on this news report, the man was driving his Toyota SUV without a license. Although he told officials that he did not know about the stroller, officials said he must have known he hit something or someone. It appears that the intersection where this crash occurred has crosswalks. If the victims were crossing in one of the marked crosswalks at the intersection, the driver was required to stop, under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a).

In addition, the driver failed to stop and remain at the scene of an injury collision. California Vehicle Code 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."

Who is Liable?

In such cases, where negligence or wrongdoing may be involved, injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. A knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorney will also be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental entity must be filed within six months of the incident.