A 20-year-old man was seriously injured in an Orange County car accident after he was hit by an SUV. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the injury crash occurred the night of November 10, 2011 at the intersection of El Toro Road and 2nd Street in Lake Forest. Officials say the moped rider was traveling east on El Toro when the Toyota 4Runner turned from 2nd Street onto westbound El Toro, striking him. The rider suffered multiple fractures including a broken right wrist, broken left hand and pelvis, a concussion, and a lacerated spleen. He was transported to an area trauma center for treatment. The driver of the SUV did not suffer any injuries. An investigation is ongoing.
I sympathize with this rider who sustained significant injuries as a result of this collision. I wish him a swift and full recovery. He will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 180 injuries involving Lake Forest car accidents. In Orange County as a whole, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured due to car accidents, during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the SUV struck the moped rider while making a left turn. It also appears that moped rider had the right-of-way while the Toyota SUV had a stop sign. It is unclear if the SUV failed to stop at the stop sign or made an unsafe left turn at the intersection. California Vehicle Code Section 21802 (a) requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution.
In addition, California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver of the SUV is determined to have been at fault here, he or she can be held liable for the rider’s severe injuries. In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.