NORTH COUNTY TIMES reporter Morgan Cook reported that an auto accident on July 23, 2010 resulted in the death of Yazmin Rodriguez the 18-year-old driver of an automobile that was hit by a truck. According to police the accident occurred around 9 p.m. at the intersection of Escondido Blvd and Center City Parkway. The teenager, who was attempting to make a left turn onto Center City Parkway from a stop signal on Escondido Blvd, was hit by a pick up truck being driven by a 37-year-old man. The driver of the truck was injured when his truck rolled over and the collision caused the death of the teen driver, and injuries to her passenger.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code Section 21804 requires the driver of a vehicle who is entering a highway to yield the right of way to any vehicle that is approaching and is close enough to pose a risk. At first blush, without additional facts, it would seem that the young woman was at fault for not yielding the right of way to the truck. However, if the truck driver was speeding or was inattentive, he could be partially at fault for causing the accident. The driver of the truck would have a claim against the woman’s estate for property damage and personal injury, which would be reduced to the extent he contributed to causing the accident, if at all. If the truck driver was partially at fault the woman’s heirs would have claims, under a survivor action and wrongful death (See my prior Blog posts on survivor actions and wrongful death). The passenger, in the woman’s vehicle, could pursue bodily injury claims against her estate and possibly against the driver of the truck.
Vehicular accidents involving young drivers are very common, as generally young drivers do not have a great amount of experience. Auto accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents involving young drivers are usually caused by inattention or bad decisions. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or whose loved one has been tragically killed, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.