First Responders Rescue Teenagers from Dangling Car

First Responders Rescue Teenagers from Dangling Car

January 04, 2023

Two girls escaped from a crippled car that was hanging over a wash moments before it could fall into the rushing water below.

The two girls were driving through Nogales Street and Arenth Avenue when, according to investigators, the driver of a pickup truck attempted to turn left in front of them. The force of the impact pushed the teen’s Nissan Altima through a fence and nearly over the edge of a wash where water was rushing beneath them.  

“I was just in shock. I just saw the car trying to turn and we were just going straight and then the crash happened,” one victim said. “I was on the passenger side, and I could see the water just going like that,” the other victim remarked.  

Neither the pickup driver nor the girls in the car were injured.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Usually, victims must sustain a physical injury to be eligible for compensation in court. Negligent infliction of emotional distress (NEID) is one of the rare exceptions to this rule. In many states, NEID claims are almost impossible to win. But in California, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney must only prove that:

  • The defendant’s negligence
  • Caused severe emotional distress.

Negligence is basically a lack of care. Most people who cause car crashes are tortfeasors (negligent drivers). Aggressive driving, like speeding and turning unsafely, and impaired driving like driving while fatigued or under the influence of a substance, are the most common kinds of driver negligence.

As for the degree of emotional distress, there’s a difference between “disabling” and “severe.” The D-word usually means the victim cannot work, go to school, or meaningfully participate in other everyday activities. Severe emotional distress is always at the back of a victim’s mind during the day. During the night, severe emotional distress may not cause nightmares, but it does cause some sleeplessness.

Technically, NEID is not a separate claim. Instead, it’s an element of damages in a negligence per se or ordinary negligence claim. Negligence per se is the violation of a safety statute and ordinary negligence is usually a lack of reasonable care. Depending on the additional facts, like whether emergency responders gave the truck driver a ticket for turning unsafely, either theory could apply in the above story.

Resolving Your Claim for Damages

Most civil cases, including most negligence claims, settle out of court. Trials are very risky these days. For various reasons, the plaintiff’s trial winning percentage has plummeted since the 1990s. The declining winning percentage underscores the need for a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who has excellent negotiating skills. Favorable settlements are no longer there for the taking.

During settlement negotiations, a good lawyer knows when to stand firm and when to compromise. Victims don’t need lawyers who cave in too quickly or argue over meaningless legal points. Either way, a settlement is delayed and is probably for less than maximum compensation.

In all negligence cases, this compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical or therapy bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.

Photo Credit: Freepik

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

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