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Rancho Bernardo DUI Hit-and Run Auto Accident Critically Injures Marine

brain-injury2Sign on San Diego Kristine Davis reported that Jessica Bloom, 21, of Rancho Bernardo pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run drunk driving on August 3, 2011. The charges arose out of auto accident on July 31, 2011 at around 12:30 p.m. when she rear-ended Sgt. David Smith, 34, a career Marine originally from Texas. Smith was stopped at a traffic light at Bernardo Center Drive near West Bernardo Drive on his motorcycle when he was hit and sustained a serious head injury. Witnesses saw Bloom hit Smith and flee the scene, she was later arrested. Deputy Attorney Matthew Williams said Bloom’s blood-alcohol level was .37, four times the legal limit. Smith was taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido where he remains in a medically induced coma. Smith’s fiancée, Vanessa Potts, said “It’s unfair, we’ve been through a lot this past couple years and he’s been through a lot in his military career, surviving an IED explosion. How do you come home and get hurt doing something that you love? I mean, he genuinely loves riding. That day, the last message I got from him was how beautiful the day was, and how he wished he could ride all day.”

Applicable California Law

Bloom faces felony hit-and-run and drunk driving charges (see my prior Blog post San Diego Hit-And-Run Auto Accident Causes Severe Brain Injury on Hit-and-Run and DUI Law in California). In addition, Smith will have claims for his personal injury; however, it is doubtful that Bloom carries enough insurance coverage to adequately compensate Smith for his injuries. Being put into an induced coma for any length of time will result in tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs and most likely lifelong consequences. Hopefully Smith has the benefit of substantial uninsured/underinsured coverage of his ownown (see my prior Blog post Uninsured / Under-insured Auto and General Accident Guide)

Another instance of a drunk driver causing catastrophic injuries and changing people’s lives forever. Auto accidents resulting in motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers often cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful death. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to talk about the options in coping with the serious injury or the loss of a loved one is essential.