Ventura Driver Arrested in Gibraltar Road Car Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Ventura car accident lawyer. A run-off road crash at Gibraltar Road on June 26 resulted in the death of two residents of Ventura. The driver, also from Ventura, has been arrested for possibly driving drunk, according to a representative of the California Highway Patrol.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased teens and others injured in the crash.
The accident happened when a 19-year-old driver failed to make a turn along Gibraltar Road. This caused the vehicle he was driving, a Volkswagen Passat, to veer off the road and down a steep embankment, overturn repeatedly and stop in an upside-down position. Two teenagers in the vehicle, 17 and 19 years old, died at the crash site. The driver and a female minor from Ventura, 16, suffered injuries from the accident described as major. A fifth person from Ventura in the vehicle, age 19, suffered injuries described as minor but had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency personnel. The CHP is conducting an investigation into the reason for the accident.
In order to rescue the victims of the crash, emergency personnel from the County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team rappelled down the embankment to the accident site. Helicopters from Calstar and Santa Barbara County were used to transport the seriously injured victims to nearby hospitals. A paramedic was lowered by helicopter to the site to assist with packaging the victims who were seriously injured. The young man who suffered minor injuries was transported by ambulance.
Passenger Rights When an Accident Happens
The driver of a motor vehicle has the obligation, called a duty of care, to drive in a safe and prudent manner, keeping other drivers and the passengers in his or her own vehicle safe. When this obligation is not fulfilled and people are injured or killed as a result, the families of those who died or the injured parties can file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
In this case, it is alleged that the driver of the vehicle in Monday’s accident was inebriated and arrested. If drunk driving is proven, the families of the decedents can file a wrongful death suit against the driver or his estate if he dies. Likewise, those injured can file a claim against the driver’s insurance or a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Should I Have Known the Driver Was Drunk?
This is an important question. Let’s say the other people in the vehicle knew or should have known the driver was drunk before getting into the vehicle. You might not have known the extent of the person’s drunkenness, or he or she may have told you they had one drink early in the evening and it had worn off. As a passenger, you cannot be considered at fault for the accident whether you knew or not. However, the defendant’s insurance or lawyer might argue that you should not have accepted a ride if you knew the person was drinking. Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, you might lose some compensation for your injuries, however, the degree to which your compensation is decreased will vary according to the circumstances.
Ventura Car Accident & Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Ventura car accident lawyer. Losing a child or having one suffer a serious injury due to a drunk driver is a tragedy. If you or a family member has suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a crash due to negligence, please phone (805) 372-0200. My advice is free and friendly. For long distance calls, you can access my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400.
Before calling an attorney for help or advice, it is a good idea to look at what former clients have had to say about his/her practice. Find mine at Google Plus, Yelp and Avvo. A sampling of settlements and verdicts for former clients is also useful.
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Photo Attribution: air-rescue-1582337_1280.jpg
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