Four people were hospitalized with injuries following a San Diego car accident, which involved a drunk driver and a police pursuit. According to a news report in The San Diego Union-Tribune, the DUI collision occurred the night of February 4, 2011 at Sixth Avenue and A Street in Hillcrest. Police attempted to stop a Honda Accord for speeding. But the driver did not stop. A police pursuit ensued. The Honda crashed into a Toyota Matrix at the street intersection. A passenger in the Honda and the driver of the Toyota sustained serious injuries while two passengers in the Toyota suffered minor injuries. Police arrested the driver of the Honda on suspicion of felony evading and driving under the influence.
My thoughts and prayers are with the many victims of this accident. I wish them all a complete and speedy recovery.
San Diego DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 34 people were killed and 907 were injured in San Diego DUI collisions. During that same year, there were 104 fatalities and 2,033 injuries reported involving alcohol-related car accidents in San Diego County.
Violation of California Laws
Based on this news report, not only was the driver of the Honda evading police but authorities also suspect that he was driving under the influence of alcohol. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “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.”
It would be important to determine in these types of accidents if the police officer initiating the pursuit had correctly followed procedures under his department’s “vehicle pursuit policy.” If the news account is accurate, the traffic violation that started this incident involved speeding on a freeway. Unfortunately, the occupants of the Toyota were the ones who paid a high price for the negligence, as they traveled unmindfully on a city street.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
In such cases, the at-fault motorist could be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Car accident victims would also be well-advised to seek the counsel of a reputed San Diego personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding drunk drivers responsible.
If the police officer is determined to have been at-fault, then the victims could file a claim against the police agency involved in the pursuit. Any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of the incident, under California Government Code Section 911.2. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer should better advise victims about how their own car insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please contact the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.
Seriously injured in a San Diego County car accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a San Diego DUI car accident. Call 800-481-8656. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
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