North County Times Teri Figueroa reported that an Escondido man and his passenger were fatally injured on April 15, 2012. The auto accident happened at around 10:30 a.m. on Highway 395 at Lilac Road in Bonsall. According to CHP officer Jim Bettencourt, the 68-year-old Escondido man driving a 1996 Honda Accord eastbound on Lilac pulled in front of a 2003 Ford Explorer heading north on Highway 395. The man was killed instantly and his female passenger was transported to Palomar Medical Center where she later died from her injuries. The 36-year-old driver of the Ford SUV and her 6-year-old daughter sustained injuries and were also transported to the hospital.
Our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased.
The Escondido man’s estate will be liable for claims due to his violation of California Vehicle Code 21802, which requires the driver of a vehicle stopped at a stop sign to yield the right-of way to any vehicle approaching from another highway that is close enough to constitute an immediate hazard. Thus, by failing to yield, his estate will face claims for the property damage to the SUV as well as the personal injuries to the driver and her daughter. These would include repair or replacement of the damaged SUV and any loss of use of said vehicle. Present and future medical costs, lost earnings and earning capacity as well as compensation for pain and suffering. There are no facts indicating that any of the injured contributed to causing their own injuries, which could reduce their claims.
In addition, there will be potential claims for the death to his passenger to include wrongful death claims by her heirs as provided for by Code Of Civil Procedure Section 377.60 as well as a “Survivor Action” (California Code Of Civil Procedure Section 377.30 –377.34) by her legal representative for any damages not provided for under the wrongful statute. Again there are no facts to indicate that the deceased contributed to her injuries or that she was a resident relative of her driver, which could be asserted as a potential defenses to any claims.
A Sunday outing and a brief moment of inattention results in wrongful death and injuries to innocent victims. Auto accidents with larger vehicles such as SUV’s often cause serious injuries or the loss of life. If you or someone you know are the victim of a serious accident the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney is essential to receiving justice.