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Dangerous Road Contributes to Death of Teen

May 31, 2010

UNION TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS Tanya Manners and Steve Schmidt reported that 17-year-old BreAnna Erickson died as a result of a auto accident on May 28, 2010. She was a passenger in a Acura Legend, which was traveling northbound on Saber Springs Parkway. Authorities said the vehicle was speeding around a curve when it crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a box truck. Rescuers used the jaws of life to extract BreAnna from the back seat, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and four other passengers were transported by ambulance to local hospitals. Residents near the crash site said the spot has long been a neighborhood concern as speeding is a chronic problem on the two lane section of the parkway which has a long sweeping bend. “It can get extremely bad” said Ron Leos, a 15-year-old resident. “I can see how the car lost control, coming around. I didn’t know these kids, but it’s so unfortunate.”

Our condolences go out to BreAnna’s family and friends. We also wish a speedy recovery to the other occupants of the vehicle.

Applicable California Law

I would refer you to my previous blog posts for the applicable law on wrongful death and survivor actions. The fact that the accident resulted in a wrongful death and multiple potential claims for personal injury requires a close analysis of the potential parties responsible for the accident. The driver of the Acura would be the obvious choice to blame for the accident since they were speeding however, does the driver or the owner of the vehicle have adequate coverage to resolve all potential claims? The nature and extent of the other occupants’ injuries are unknown, but any time there is a wrongful death claim, concerns of the amount of available coverage is generally paramount. Looking at all factors contributing to the cause of the incident requires looking beyond the obvious. The fact that the location of the accident is of concern to nearby neighbors is an indication that there have been other serious accidents at the location before. This could be an indication that the design and or the maintenance of the roadway could have contributed to causing the accident. City, County or State agencies could be potentially responsible for causing the incident and provide additional resources to help adequately compensate the injured or their families. When public or government agencies have potential liability special reporting requirements need to be strictly complied with, please see my previous posts on this issue.

Auto accidents resulting in the wrongful death of a loved one or causes serious injury, is devastating to the injured and their families. Complicated issues relating to causation, liability or damages requires expert analysis and or opinion. Recognizing these issues and knowing which experts to consult with, is only one of the benefits of talking to an experienced personal injury attorney.

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