Ghorbanali Norouzian, 71, of Corona del Mar, was fatally injured in a car accident in Newport Beach after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the pedestrian accident occurred on San Joaquin Hills Road between MacArthur Boulevard and San Miguel Drive, the night of November 27, 2012. Police say the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene. Norouzian died from his injuries. No citations or arrests were reported. Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact the Newport Beach Police Department at 949-644-3711. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family members and friends of Ghorbanali Norouzian for their immense loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
OC Pedestrian Collisions
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 38 injuries occurred involving pedestrian accidents in Newport Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 32 people died and 770 were injured due to pedestrian collisions during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
It appears from this report that the pedestrian was crossing San Joaquin Hills Road when he was hit. It is unclear if he was in a crosswalk at the time. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21954, pedestrians who walk on a roadway where there is no marked or unmarked crosswalk should yield the right-of-way to all vehicles that are near enough “to constitute an immediate hazards.” However, this section does not relieve drivers of their duty to exercise due care and caution for the safety of pedestrians on a roadway.
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation for damages by filing a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Newport Beach will be able to determine whether a fatal pedestrian collision occurred as the result of a dangerous or defective roadway condition. If that was the case, the city or governmental entity responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that under California law, any wrongful death or personal injury claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.