If you work or live anywhere near San Francisco you’ve likely heard the horrific story from Thursday of a woman who was run over by a San Francisco city park maintenance vehicle as she was relaxing at a park in Bernal Heights with her young baby and dog. If that wasn’t tragic enough, the driver fled the scene, leaving witnesses to report the incident, and the negligent driver potentially guilty of a hit-and-run.
It’s events like these that make me lose a little faith in humanity and even in life itself. How can something so pure like basking in the San Francisco sunshine with your wee one and dog turn into a life-ending experience? In my line of work I see unbelievable accidents – some of them foreseeable and some freak-accidents – happen to good people. Deserving people. Hard working, full-hearted, generous, kind people. And we all know instances of that great guy or gal who everyone loved who was tragically lost, some from acts of nature, others by medical issues, but some were caused by the negligence of others. And these can be the most difficult for loved ones to move beyond as it’s easy to be plagued by the “what-ifs” for accidents like hit-and-run car accidents that seem so preventable.
While it feels awkward to mention facts about the law on such a sensitive post, I also feel an obligation. Here at Nelson Berry we know what we would do if a family member were ever the victim of a tragic accident and we’d like to make sure you know your options as well. It’s true that not all accidents are horrendous tragedies with a perpetrator, but sometimes there is someone at fault. In this specific case authorities have identified the driver who is now in custody.
While we don’t know the facts of this particular case, because the driver was on-the-job, it’s possible for the employer (in this case the city of San Francisco) to be negligent to a certain extent as well. For example, if there was improper training, improper supervision or failure to reprimand dangerous behavior in the past, an employer can be found negligent.
There is an abundance of places for people and companies to be found negligent. In past posts we’ve discussed premise liability cases where a property owner fails to maintain their property which results in an injury. Another area includes product liability cases ranging from product design flaws to a failure to adequately warn of the dangers associated with use or misuse of the product. The point is, it’s tough to know who is responsible for what when it comes to life-altering accidents.
Combined with aspects of physical and emotional trauma, it can be tricky to navigate the waters when it comes to your rights and the responsibilities of others. If you or a loved one has been tragically killed or injured in a hit-and-run car accident or a personal injury accident, please contact the law offices of Nelson Barry for a free consultation.