Three People Dead After Car Strikes Bank Building
Investigators believe that excessive speed caused a wreck that killed three people and injured two others.
First responders rushed to the corner of Florence and Central, responding to a report of a car that hit a Wells Fargo bank building. They found a 2007 Toyota crushed against a brick wall. Investigators later determined that the Toyota clipped a Jeep and then careened out of control. Three passengers inside the Toyota, including a 14-year-old Los Angeles boy, died almost instantly.
The Toyota driver received treatment at a nearby hospital for serious injuries. The Jeep driver sustained injuries which police officers described as “minor.”
Seeing a Doctor Following a “Minor Injury”
There’s no such thing as minor surgery if you are the one going under the knife. Minor and major are relative terms. Similarly, there’s no such thing as a minor injury if you were hurt in a car wreck. Your injuries might not require professional attention. But only a car crash doctor can tell for sure.
Head injuries are a good illustration. Paramedics and other such first responders usually say that shock from the accident causes symptoms like disorientation. They could be right. Or, such disorientation could be the sign of a more serious head injury. The brain is very adept at hiding its own injuries.
On a related note, if victims don’t see doctors in the wake of an accident, insurance companies often claim their injuries must not have been very severe, regardless of what subsequent medical evidence indicates.
A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer connects victims with doctors in these situations, even if the victims have no money or insurance.
If I Was a Passenger in a Crash, Can I Sue the Driver?
Absolutely. Injured passengers have the same legal rights and financial needs as injured drivers. However, these claims usually have some additional legal and emotional obstacles.
If a passenger knew a driver was dangerously impaired and got in the car anyway, the assumption of the risk defense might apply. That’s especially true if the at-fault operator was driving erratically before the crash.
The emotional issues are usually more significant. Normally, injured passengers are closely acquainted with injured drivers. In fact, the at-fault driver is often a family member.
Quite understandably, some passengers hesitate to sue some drivers in these situations. But the insurance company, and not the individual, is financially responsible for associated costs. These costs include hiring a lawyer, employing experts, and paying damages.
The financial fallout is limited. When the case ends, the insurance company will almost certainly raise the driver’s rates or even drop coverage. But these things probably would have happened anyway. Regardless of the apparent extent of your injuries or your relationship with the at-fault driver, a lawyer should always evaluate your car crash claim. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We routinely handle matters throughout Southern California.
Photo Credit: Michael & Sherry Martin via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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.