Traffic accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists happen on a daily basis in the San Francisco area. Although many of these accidents are minor, some cause life-altering injuries or even wrongful death in the most serious of cases. A fatal car crash on New Year's Day shows the deadly consequences that can result from these types of accidents.
A San Francisco man was fleeing police when he allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of 21st Street and South Van Ness Avenue. His Chevrolet Impala hit a Toyota sedan, killing a passenger in the Toyota and a pedestrian who was hit by the Toyota. Both victims were San Francisco residents. The driver of the Toyota was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Chevrolet Impala injured his neck in the collision, and is currently under medical care in the San Francisco County Jail. He is facing criminal prosecution, but it is too soon to know if the surviving family members of the victims will be filing civil claims for relief. However, it is important for San Francisco residents to know that if they are injured or lose a relative in an accident, they may be eligible to file a claim against the responsible party and recover damages.
A wrongful death claim arises when the death of a loved one is caused by the negligence or intentional act of another. Motorists owe a legal duty to other drivers and pedestrians to drive with reasonable care. When injuries are caused by a breach or failure to fulfill that duty, a civil claim under the theory of negligence may arise, thus entitling surviving family members to compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle, "Lawyer: crash murder case 'overreaching,'" Vivian Ho, Jan. 8, 2013