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California, with about 3,000 auto accident fatalities every year, is the most unsecure state for motorists and pedestrians in the United States. The state accounts for almost one in every 12 traffic fatalities in the country largely due to traffic violation, DUI, speeding, and distracted driving. On 31 May 2012, eight students were seriously injured after a speeding pickup truck drove into a crowded crosswalk in Hemet after overstepping the red light. A day before, a mid-night head-on collision at Interstate Highway 20 resulted in the death of three children and a 27-year-old man. Actor Levar Burton’s car was hit from behind by a police official at Van Nuys while wife of NFL star Joe Senser was found guilty in a hit-and-run case that led to death of a man. A few months back, Burton had luckily escaped an accident at Beverly Boulevard. On May 22, 2012, a woman and her three children landed in the hospital with serious injuries after a car hit them at Thousand Oaks crosswalk. Two days later, police arrested well-known adult movie star Jenna Jameson on DUI charges after her car ran into a roadside pole.
In April 2012, singer and actress Amanda Bynes was accused of causing a hit-and-run accident on a California freeway. In 2010, Disney star Demi Lovato was found to be involved in an accident in Los Angles while MTV host Rikki Mongeon went into coma due to head injuries received at an accident in Bakersfield. In 2009, Los Angeles lost promising pitcher Nick Adenhart in an accident that also resulted in two more deaths.
Speeding accounted for most of the auto accidents in California in 2010. About 40 percent of total fatalities were linked to the unusual speed of vehicles or violation of set speed limits. DUI claimed the second highest number of causalities with close to 25 percent of all traffic crashes. Almost half of all reported accidents were results of head-on and rear-end collision involving two or more cars while a quarter of all accidents led to injury to pedestrians or damage to road-side property. The high number of single-car accidents is attributed to drunk-driving and driver distraction.
One in every five fatal accidents in 2010 was reported from Los Angeles County. San Bernardino, Riverside County, San Diego County, and Sacramento counties are among the top five to register the highest number of auto accident fatalities.
California law allows accident victims to file for the following types of claims.
One can file an accident claim with his insurer directly seeking compensation covered under the policy he has purchased. The second option is to seek compensation from the insurance provider of the driver at fault. You have the option to sue the other party and seek higher compensation for more serious injuries, death, or permanent disability. In all these cases, you must consult a qualified California accident lawyer.
With effect from 2012, all claims less than $10,000 can be filed in small courts subject to a maximum limit of two claims of $2,500 each per year by the plaintiff. The California state law sets the following statutory limitations for filing of auto accident lawsuits
California courts follow comparative fault principle while deciding an accident injury lawsuit. The changes adopted in 1975 allow one to get compensation irrespective of his fault. A certain percentage corresponding to your fault is deducted from the total damage awarded. Unlike many states, California follows the pure comparative negligence laws, which allow one to recover compensation despite being assigned the majority of the blamed for an accident.
On May 29, 2012, a California accident lawsuit involving a sheriff's deputy resulted in $525,000 in compensation in favor of a 72-year-old man. The victim had suffered from brain injury and serious fractures in 2008 after the deputy’s car hit him while overstepping a red light at Sunflower Avenue. In July 2011, a California court ordered Barron Hilton, brother of socialite and hotel heiress Paris Hilton, to pay $4.9 million to a man permanently disabled after being hit by his car. Hilton was found guilty of DUI and reckless driving. In September 2009, a former college student won $49 million in accident injury lawsuit damages. The victim suffered from brain damages after a collision between two trucks impacted his car. In January 2012, a San Diego sailor received $7.5 million in compensation for injury to his penis in a car crash. He had to undergo a reconstructive surgery following the accident.
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