Five people were injured, one critically, in a San Juan Capistrano car accident, which officials say involved six vehicles. According to a news article in The Orange County Register, the injury crash occurred the evening of January 21, 2012 at the intersection of Ortega Highway and Camino Capistrano, near Mission San Juan Capistrano, in the downtown area.
Police report a 79-year-old woman, who was driving west on Ortega Highway, made a right turn on Camino Capistrano and then crossed over into opposing lanes of traffic striking at least two other vehicles head-on. Three other cars were involved in the crash. The woman and four others were taken to area hospitals. Police are looking into whether speed was a factor in this crash.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been injured in this car accident. I wish them all the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, one person was killed and 154 were injured as a result of car accidents in San Juan Capistrano. During the same year, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured in Orange County car accidents.
Based on this news report, it appears that the accident occurred at a large intersection in downtown San Juan Capistrano, which is regulated by traffic lights. Officials say the elderly woman lost control of her vehicle. They suspect speed may have been a factor. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
Compensation for Injured Victims
I trust officials are also looking into whether alcohol, drugs, distracted driving, inattention, or the age or health of the driver were factors here. In such incidents, the at-fault motorist can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. In collisions involving multiple vehicles and victims, the investigation can become rather complex due to possible conflicting and contradictory accounts of what occurred. It would be in the best interests of victims to refrain from speaking with insurance adjusters or attorneys for other parties. Please do not rush to settlements or give insurance companies or other parties access to your medical records. Car accident victims or their families would be well served by seeking the counsel of an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will help protect their legal rights.