Farzad Etesamifar, 25, of Reseda and 23-year-old Sepehr Keshavarz of Iran were killed in an Encino traffic accident at the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Densmore Avenue, according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Daily News.
Sean Mishlof, a 24-year-old man from Northridge was driving a Mercury Mystique and hit the two men while they were stopped at a red light in their Nissan Sentra. Mishlof has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and has been charged with DUI and murder.
My heartfelt condolences are with the families of Mr. Etesamifar and Mr. Keshavarz – so young and with so many years ahead of them. The Los Angeles police are good at getting to the bottom of fatality auto accidents. I trust that if Mishlof was driving while intoxicated and caused this accident, he’ll be doing some serious jail time.
Mishlof doing jail time will not bring back the lost lives or compensate the families for their losses. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a life. If Etesamifar or Keshavarz had children, spouses or parents that they supported, their families would be well within their rights to seek financial compensation from Mishlof for the losses. Their heirs have substantial rights to compensation, even if they were not being supported.
Mishlof’s insurance and assets are unlikely to be enough to cover the damages suffered in this accident. Therefore it is essential that the families consult with attorneys who are skilled in discovering if there are other causes for this accident and the fatalities.
Was there another vehicle involved? Was Mishlof working for someone or running at the time of the accident? Was there a dangerous roadway condition, debris on the roadway or some defect in one of the involved automobiles that contributed to either causing the accident or the severity of the injuries? Before a case can be properly evaluated, these questions and many more must be answered.
Injuries sustained in a DUI car accident receive higher jury awards than similar injuries in a non-DUI car accident. The best attorneys know this and will use it to their advantage to negotiate a higher settlement for the families of the accident victims.
Keep in mind that if Etesamifar or Keshavarz were covered by their own or a family members auto insurance, they likely have both uninsured motorist insurance coverage as well as under insured motorist coverage. Additionally, while there is a two-year statute of limitation for auto accident injury cases in California, any claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the accident.