Late last month, three people were killed in a Southern California car accident involving three vehicles, one of which belonged to an off-duty LAPD officer. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the collision occurred on the southbound 605, in West Whittier, just south of Saragosa Street.
Evidently, the off-duty police officer was driving a sports car in the carpool lane of the southbound 605 when he rear-ended a Nissan that was in the adjacent lane. The officer’s vehicle then continued into the next lane, where it struck a Scion. The Nissan caught fire after the impact, and the occupants were unable to escape. Emergency responders pronounced all three occupants dead at the scene. The other driver involved suffered only minor injuries.
Responding police officers noticed that it looked as though the off-duty officer had been drinking, and he was arrested and required to submit to chemical testing. Accident reconstructionists have begun an investigation into the fatal collision, and they believe that the Nissan and Scion were both traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour at the time of the collision. Investigators have not yet determined how fast the off-duty officer’s vehicle was traveling.
Recovering After a California DUI Accident
Drunk driving accidents can be devastating. Most often, the victims of a California drunk driving accident have done nothing to put themselves in harm’s way, and they are truly innocent victims of another person’s poor decision-making. California law permits the victims of drunk drivers to file personal injury claims against drunk drivers to obtain compensation for the injuries they sustained in the accident.
In order to be successful in most California car accident cases, a plaintiff must be able to establish that the defendant was somehow negligent and that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. However, since drunk driving has been made illegal by statute, the victims of drunk driving accidents may not have to establish negligence, meaning that negligence is inferred by the fact that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Of course, the accident victim must still prove the remaining elements of a California DUI case, including causation and damages.
Government Liability in Car Accidents Involving Police Officers or Other Government Employees
When a government employee causes an accident, the government agency employing them may be liable under some circumstances. This generally requires that the government employee be on-duty at the time of the accident and that the alleged act of negligence be in pursuit of employment. Additional restrictions and procedural requirements apply to personal injury cases against government entities and employees, and anyone considering filing a personal injury case against a government employee or entity should consult with a dedicated California personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a California Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a California drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. As noted above, if the accident involved a government official, you may be able to pursue compensation from the government entity that employs the at-fault driver, but certain additional facts must be proven. The skilled California personal injury attorneys at Sharifi Firm have extensive experience assisting those injured in all types of California car accidents. Call 866-422-7222 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
California Court Holds Surviving Family Members Failed to Establish Triable Issues of Material Fact Overcoming Summary Judgment for Employer in Deadly Vehicle Collision Lawsuit, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, September 25, 2017
California Court Reverses Summary Judgment in Favor of Employer When Inference Could be Drawn that Employee Was Within Scope of Employment at Time Plaintiff was Injured, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, September 28, 2017