A tow truck driver was seriously injured in a Ventura County car accident after a suspected drunk driver drifted into opposing lanes of traffic and sideswiped the tow truck the afternoon of June 11, 2009. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, 49-year-old Jeffrey Barnes was driving on Ventura Boulevard near Sherwin Avenue in Ventura when his vehicle collided with a truck operated by Double R Towing. The tow truck driver, who has not yet been identified, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of severe back injuries. Barnes was also treated for injuries and later arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.
I’m relieved that the tow truck driver did not suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. However, back injuries can be debilitating and cost quite a bit in terms of medical expenses and therapy for rehabilitation. I wish the injured victim the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were four fatalities and 66 injuries involving DUI-related car accidents in Ventura. In Ventura County as a whole, 28 fatalities and 481 personal injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in 2007.
California law states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs — be it recreational or prescription drugs. Driving under the influence can have serious legal consequences, particularly if the victim or victims of the DUI accident suffer serious injuries or death. 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.”
In this particular case, the tow truck driver suffered an on-the-job injury. He will probably receive workers compensation benefits to cover his medical expenses and loss of wages. However, California workers compensation benefits are woefully inadequate particularly, where the worker’s personal injuries are serious or put him out of work for an extended period of time. The injured tow truck driver would be well advised to contact experienced California personal injury attorneys, who can help him file a personal injury claim against Barnes and secure the compensation he rightfully deserves.