Pile-Up Crash Kills Pedestrian Near San Francisco State University
Multiple people were also injured in a wreck caused by a suspected drunk driver who was on supervised release.
The collision occurred near the intersection of Lake Merced and Higuera. According to investigators, a 31-year-old man, who was driving erratically, triggered an eight-car collision. One of the vehicles involved struck and killed a 26-year-old pedestrian. Emergency responders rushed four other injured victims to area hospitals.
Police say the 31-year-old man had just served 60 days for an unrelated DUI. Prosecutors are awaiting blood test results so they may pursue additional charges.
Vehicle occupants have seat belts, airbags, steel cages, and other restraint systems to protect them during collisions. Nevertheless, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans every year. So, it is not surprising that the pedestrian fatality rate is much higher. Pedestrians have none of these things to protect them. Some of the serious injuries these victims sustain include:
- Head Injuries: Given time and treatment, most car crash injuries heal, at least to a considerable extent. But head injuries are always permanent. Furthermore, although the symptoms can be controlled, they are very difficult to treat.
- Exsanguination: Excessive bleeding, usually internal bleeding, is frequently the official cause of death in these situations. Most victims lose so much blood at the scene that, by the time emergency responders arrive, they are already on the cusp of hypovolemic shock and organ shutdown.
- Broken Bones: When a speeding car hits an exposed pedestrian, the impact usually crushes bones. It does not merely break them. As a result, doctors must typically use metal plates and pins to set these shattered bones. These victims usually must undergo extensive physical therapy to regain lost function.
Speed is usually a major factor in pedestrian injuries. At impact speeds slower than 30mph, the pedestrian death rate is less than 10 percent. At impact speeds higher than 50mph, the fatality rate catapults to over 90 percent.
A San Jose personal injury attorney can normally obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, in these situations.
Liability Issues in Alcohol-Related Wrecks
To obtain this compensation, the victim/plaintiff must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Alcohol slows motor skills and impairs judgement. These ill effects begin at the first drink. Evidence of alcohol impairment includes:
- Bloodshot eyes,
- Odor of alcohol,
- Unsteady balance, and
- Erratic driving prior to the wreck.
Since the burden of proof is so low in these claims, a little evidence goes a long way. For example, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) recently visited an establishment which sells alcohol, it’s more likely than not that the tortfeasor had at least one drink before getting behind the wheel.
The negligence per se shortcut often applies in alcohol-related wrecks as well. Tortfeasors could be liable for damages as a matter of law if:
- They violate a safety law, and
- That violation substantially causes injury.
The negligence per se rule typically applies even if the tortfeasor “beats” the DUI in court. A civil jury decides all the facts in a civil claim, even something like guilt or innocence in a criminal case.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Attorney
Alcohol-related crashes often cause serious pedestrian injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer, contact Solution Now Law Firm. We routinely handle matters in Santa Clara County and nearby jurisdictions.