NORTH COUNTY TIMES Morgan Cook reported that an auto accident caused the death of 18-year-old Yazmin Rodriguez, the driver of an automobile that was hit by a truck. Police reports indicate that the fatal accident occurred around 9 p.m. in Escondido at the intersection of Escondido Blvd and Center City Parkway. The teen driver was making a left turn onto Center City Parkway from a stop signal on Escondido Blvd and was struck by a pick up truck being driven by a 37-year-old man. The truck driver was injured when his vehicle rolled over and the collision caused the wrongful death of the teen driver, and injured 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. Without additional facts, Yazmin would be the primary cause of the auto accident. However, if the truck driver’s speed or other conduct such as inattention was a contributing factor in causing the truck accident, he could be partially at fault. The driver of the truck would have a claim against the woman’s estate for property damage and personal injury. His damages would include medical expenses, loss of earnings and earning capacity as well as compensation for pain and suffering, which would be reduced to the extent he contributed to causing his own injuries. If the truck driver contributed to causing the accident the woman’s heirs would have claims, under a survivor action and for 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.
Motor vehicular accidents involving young drivers are very common, since many young drivers lack experience in making critical decisions while driving . 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 a loved one has been tragically killed, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney.