A Street Racer and Car Thief Causes a Serious Accident in Riverside- April 22, 2013

shutterstock_12185338On April 22, 2013, a car thief, driving a 2008 Mustang may have been racing another car when the Mustang was racing along Magnolia Avenue when the car crashed into a Chevrolet Malibu with a 5 year old girl in the back seat in a car seat. The impact hit the left side of the Malibu critically injuring the child within the Malibu. After the accident the driver of the stolen Mustang ran away and the other street racer drove away. Both were being sought on the day of the accident.

So what rights do injury victims have in situations like this Riverside car accident where the car is stolen and/or the driver runs off and cannot be found? First, while you have “legal” rights against the driver if he is found, the problem is he probably has no money or assets and you will most likely not recover a dime. You can’t turn to the insurance coverage for the stolen car because insurance does not cover injuries caused by someone who has taken a car without permission. So your only real source of insurance would be your own uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

First, you must have purchased this type of insurance coverage before the accident. After the accident, you have to establish that the other driver was not insured. You do this first by using the police report to show that the car was stolen or to see if there is any indication that an insurance policy was in place. Next, if there was an insurance carrier for the stolen car, you need to make sure that company has denied coverage under the policy applicable to the car. With this information you can then proceed to work with your uninsured motorist insurance carrier to establish a claim and get your damages paid for. Sounds complicated? It could be. However, with the right lawyer handling your case, you don’t have to worry about the complexities of the claim, rather, you are able to focus on your recovery from your injuries.

The piece of mind which comes knowing you have the right attorney and right legal team on your side is beneficial to a full recovery from your accident. The David H. Ricks and the Inland Empire Law Group is a personal injury law firm that can provide piece of mind and serious legal knowledge and trial capabilities to your personal injury claim. Give us a call at 909-481-0100, or come visit with us if you need help after an accident.

Victorville Head on Collision Results in Death and Injuries – Janruary 29,2013

This picture has no relationship to the accident.

This picture has no relationship to the accident.

Two were killed in a head on collision on State Route 62 near Highland Rd. A 50 year old male from Anaheim Hills was traveling west bound when his BMW crossed into the eastbound lane and struck the Toyota SUV of a 54 year old female from Morongo Valley. Both drivers were pounced dead at the scene by paramedics. See The Sun report.

Cross over accidents recently have taken way to many lives. Once such accidents occur not only are lives lost, but the families and friends left behind have to pick up the pieces and deal with the emotional trauma of the losses. In my efforts to represent families suffering from the loss of their family members, understanding their feelings and being able to communicate those feelings effectively to an insurance adjuster, judge or jury is one of the most important, yet difficult part of representing the suffering families.

To better serve injury victims and their families, I ask your help. If you have experienced these feelings in your life, or are presently experiencing the recent loss of a loved one, please share your thoughts and feelings about how the sudden loss of a family member from a traffic accident has impacted your life. With this information, it will increase my understanding to move insurance companies and culpable parties to pay the most required to compensate families and injury victims.

When looking for a personal injury lawyer, consider David H. Ricks of the Inland Empire Law Group.

Protect Yourself From Holiday Roadway Accidents

shutterstock_2688775Holiday accidents are especially tragic.  During the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, there is so much hope and happiness with families gathering and friends celebrating their blessings, the prosperity of the past year, the memory of good times and relationships and the hope of a new year and a brighter future.  These joyous times can be shattered in a moment from an auto accident.  Maybe, a child is traveling from school and she falls asleep at the wheel following a grueling finals week and suffers a serious or fatal accident.   There could be a drunk driver leaving a party or a bar and he blows through a red light killing a family coming back from a holiday party.  An early afternoon rain floods the freeway and someone doesn’t slow down to adjust for the dangerous conditions causing his car to hydroplane and strike the small car of a husband and father returning home early from work for a holiday gathering.

While these events sound horrible, they happen every year during the holiday season.  In a recent article in the Daily Bulletin, writer Beatriz E. Valenzuela identified that 31 people died during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend in California alone.  These car accidents occurred from 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night prior to Thanksgiving to midnight on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.  The year before, 32 people lost their lives during the same period of time.

Some of these accidents were not from the negligence of another, while many others were caused by a negligent or drunk driver.  Some accidents may have also been from fatigued driving.  Fatigued driving can be just as deadly as driving while intoxicated.  No matter how these accidents occurred, they resulted in 31 deaths in the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday season.  More than 31 families suffered during that time instead of celebrating the season.

With Christmas and New Years 2012/2013 upon us, I encourage everyone to take extra care in driving to and from your holiday parties and events.  If friends and family need rides from their parties because they have had too much to drink, a small expense for a taxi cab is a better solution than trying to pick up the pieces of shattered lives from a car accident and fatality due to drunk driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, turn to a quality law firm that has the experience to properly handle a personal injury or wrongful death case.  With over 25 years of experience and a team of excellent personal injury professionals, the Inland Empire Law Group stands ready to fight for your benefits and your compensation from the injuries and losses sustained in a car accident in Southern California.  Contact us (909) 481-0100 for your free Glove Box Accident Form to help you get the information you need at the time of an accident.  If you have already suffered from an accident, please e-mail us or give us a call to receive a free consultation to evaluate your legal rights and help you secure a proper financial recovery from your accident.

Bicycle Accident Rancho Cucamonga | Lawyer Discusses Personal Injury

Bike LaneBicycle accidents can be extremely serious when they involve an impact with a car.  Even with all the required protective gear, a car collision with a bicycle will seldom end well for the bicyclist.  Years ago, a friend of mine was casually riding her bike when she was struck and killed by a car that had veered into the back of her bike.  She was thrown from the bike and upon impact with the ground was killed.  This accident left a widowed husband and motherless children behind.

I read about another car vs. bicycle accident in Rancho Cucamonga, California involving a boy who was seriously injured on March 13, 2012.  The article had no details about how the accident occurred.  When I read about this bicycle accident, memories of my friend and her death came flooding back.  For those involved in bicycle accidents, and for their families, often many questions ultimately arise.  “How are we going to pay for the medical bills?”  “How are we going to survive without an income?”  “Who is responsible for my losses?”  These questions have answers, but sometimes, the answers are not always what we want, or are not easy to come by.

To find answers to these questions, consulting a personal injury lawyer may be your best option.  Taking advantage of a free consultation can help you start the process of evaluating your options and find answers to your questions.  Meeting with a local bike accident attorney will help you  determine if need to hire an attorney.

Riverside Car v. Pedestrian Accident Kills Woman in Riverside – June 10, 2012

pedestrian marking on groundIn a sad story, a 35 year old woman was struck and killed in Riverside as she attempted to cross the street at Tyler Street at Kidd Street. A 2007 GMC truck struck the woman at about 8:30 p.m. shortly after dark. Condolences to the family of the killed woman.

Have you ever experienced a situation where you looked left then right and still didn’t see the pedestrian crossing the street? I have and it is really scary to know I came so close to hitting an unprotected pedestrian. It is so easy to miss seeing a pedestrian when you as a driver are looking for cars, trucks and motorcycles. Pedestrian accidents are often serious if not fatal.

So as a pedestrian how do you protect yourself from accidents, or in an accident? Here are five things you should do.

1. Try to avoid crossing the street at night unless absolutely necessary.

2. Wear bright and visible clothing if you expect to be walking

3. Cross in a crosswalk and not in the middle of a block, drivers will not expect you to be walking in the middle of the street and

4. Use defensive strategies when crossing the street. In other words, do not think the driver of the car or truck will see you in the street

5. Protect yourself with a large uninsured motorist insurance policy. You will be covered if the insurance policy of the driver is insufficient to cover your losses.

I once represented a girl who darted across the street and was hit be a car that sped off following the accident. She suffered significant injuries but was able to recover from most of them. Until she came to our office with her father, they did not know that their insurance had uninsured motorist coverage that would protect her from a hit and run driver. The small preparation and forethought of her father protected her from loss. We settled for the policy limits.

Follow these rules for safe walking and avoid the trauma accompanying car verses pedestrian accidents.

 

 

Teenage Driving is a Blessing and a Curse

Teenage driving is a blessing and a curse. As a parent of four children who have all gone through the teenage driving phase, I was grateful that my teenage drivers were able to drive themselves to school or to get to their sporting practices or even to run some errands for me. On the dark side of teenage driving is the fact that their inexperience, lack of appreciation for the responsibility and since their sense of personal invincibility makes them a greater danger to themselves, their passengers and the general motoring public.

This thought was brought to the forefront of my mind when I read about an 19 year old teenage driver, Michael Navarrete of Hemet, who was driving his Ford Explorer when he lost control and ran into a traffic signal pole in Menifee. While all the details of the accident are unclear, it appears that speed and inattention played a part in the cause of the accident. As a result of this accident where the Explorer struck the pole, a 19 year old boy, Donovan Adams, was killed and two other teenage passengers, Joel Connor Fritz and Gregory Gonzalez, were critically injured. This tragic accident will have lasting affects on the families and friends of all these young men yet it was an avoidable accident.

Not long ago I handled a case involving graduating seniors at high school who were traveling from a school sponsored picnic home, when two cars, one filled with boys and the other filled with girls, ended up colliding and ejecting several passengers because they had too many in the car and not enough seat belts. One of the drivers was not even licensed but the father still let him drive.

If you are the parent of a teenager, or a teenage driver, remind them over and over of the dangers associated with driving. Remind your teenage passengers to be firm about the driver driving safely and to focus on the task of driving and not on the distractions in and out of the car. Make sure your children know they can call you if they find themselves in an unsafe situation and that you will be there for them as their true friend and not to judge them.

Finally, if your teenager has been involved in an accident where he or she has suffered injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovering damages. Don’t forget that if your child is either insured or lives in your home, and your insurance policy includes Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, some of the damages or losses may be covered by that insurance policy. A good personal injury attorney has the ability to assist you in finding all available insurance coverage to reduce the financial impact on you and your child.

TEXTING TEENAGER CONVICTED OF MOTOR VEHICLE HOMICIDE

This week a new legal landmark occurred in the arena of texting and driving.  In Massachusetts, a 18 year old teenager was convicted of motor vehicle homicide.  The conviction results from a head-on automobile accident caused by the teenager texting while driving and allowing his car to veer into the on-coming traffic.  The teenager, Aaron Deveau, killed Donald Bowley, a 55 year old father of three.  Deveau argued that he was not texting, but the phone records show text messages were sent and received only a minute prior to the accident.  There were 193 texts sent on the day of the accident.

Texting while driving is a crime in California as it is in many other states.  This means that it is a crime to text anytime the car is in drive, whether you are moving or not.  If a person has been involved in an accident, and it is suspected that texting or cell phone use was a possible distraction which contributed to the accident, get the responsible driver’s cell phone records and compare them with the time of the accident.  A lawsuit and a personal injury attorney may be necessary to subpoena those records.  That information, if it shows texting or talking was on-going at the time of the accident, will help establish liability for the accident.

Smartphones can as be extremely helpful during an accident.  Watch our video on to collect and gather information at an accident scene.  Be safe out there and don’t drive and text.