Three people were injured in a Los Angeles car accident after a pickup truck T-boned an SUV at a Van Nuys street intersection. According to a City News Service article, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Woodley Avenue early morning on October 29, 2012. Police say the traffic signal at the intersection was not working when a red Ford F-250 pickup truck and a Nissan Pathfinder entered the intersection at the same time. The Pathfinder was cut in half and a passenger from the SUV was extricated from the wreckage. She suffered a broken wrist. The drivers of both vehicles were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 219 fatalities and 24,561 injuries involving car accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, 530 people died and 50,513 were injured due to car crashes during the same year.
Who Had the Right of Way?
Based on this news account, it appears that the accident occurred at an intersection where the traffic lights were not working. Under California Vehicle Code, a traffic signal that is not functioning must be treated like a four-way stop sign. In this particular case, it is unclear as to who had the right of way at the time. When two vehicles arrive at an intersection, which has a four-way stop, the vehicle that got to the intersection first has the right of way.
Fault and Liability
In such cases, the at-fault motorist can be held liable for injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, physical therapy and other related expenses. If the governmental agency in charge of fixing the lights failed to do so in a timely manner and allowed a hazardous condition to exist, that entity can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise car accident victims about their legal rights and options.