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Despite the best efforts to build cars to better withstand accidents and diminish threats posed by distracted driving, traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 have shown a substantial increase compared with statistics from a year earlier.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes for the first quarter this year, a 13.5% increase compared with the same period in 2011, when there were 6,720 fatalities. Data provided by the NHTSA indicates that the first quarter numbers would represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in traffic fatalities since the government began recording them in 1975.
“While it is likely not the only factor involved, AAA agrees that warmer-than-average winter weather may have contributed to higher vehicle miles traveled, and ultimately more fatal crashes,” said Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research with the Automobile Association of America.
Within southern California, July has brought several traffic accidents involving multiple vehicles and multiple fatalities. On July 22, two construction workers were killed on the 405 Freeway in Torrance when vehicles driven by two suspected drunk drivers collided, sending an SUV spinning into a group of freeway workers. A third construction worker was taken to a local hospital with injuries. On July 23, five people were injured in a multi-vehicle crash that shut down the southbound Interstate 5. It is reported that a truck involved flipped multiple times onto the right shoulder of the freeway.
Finding legal responsibility for an accident or injury (often called “liability”) can be complicated, but often rests on whether someone was careless or “negligent”. This can be established by violating the California Vehicle Code, or just because the defendant’s conduct that caused the accident had fallen under the standard of care. Under California Comparative Negligence, even if the plaintiff bringing the law suit is partially at fault, he or she may be able to recover a percentage for which they are not at fault; these will be reduced in proportion.
If you have suffered a serious injury that was caused by another person’s negligence or fault, contact the Orange County and Riverside Law Offices of Don Ho, LLP. The dedicated and experienced attorneys at Don Ho, LLP will advocate zealously on your behalf.
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