When we imagine pedestrian injuries, we often conjure up situations involving collisions as a crosswalk or run-overs in a parking lot. The facts of a recent San Francisco-area fatality, however, remind us that even the most mundane of scenarios can lead to an unexpected severe injury or death. As you review the facts of the following new story, keep in mind ways you can help keep pedestrians safe as you drive, park and navigate San Francisco’s roadways – you never know when an extra look can save a life.
Curbside Accident Causes Fatality
Early last month, a pedestrian who appeared to be helping a friend unload his car was tragically pinned between the back of the car and the front of a truck parked immediately behind the vehicle. For reasons unknown to law enforcement, the driver of the truck (who is reported to be an acquaintance of the victim) lurched his vehicle forward causing the victim to become pinned between the two vehicles. Unable to move and suffering from catastrophic internal injuries, the victim was quickly released and sent to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just minutes later.
Possible Strict Product Liability Issue?
We have reported before about the dangers of defective consumer products. One area in which product liability claims abound involves injuries caused by defective motor vehicle parts – which may be to blame for this victim’s tragic demise. The sudden lurch forward of the parked truck may have been related to problems with the parking brake, transmission or engine, all of which could cause unexpected, jerky movement of the vehicle. In addition, the truck could have poorly-designed or worn brakes, allowing the car to move forward with only slight movement from the driver.
Negligence and Wrongful Death
Another possible explanation for the sudden and tragic death of this pedestrian could be negligence on the part of the individual sitting idle in the truck. If the facts reveal that the truck was in “drive” at the time of the incident, perhaps the driver failed to survey the area directly in front of the hood before moving forward.
To advance a wrongful death action against the driver, the victim’s surviving immediate family members (e.g., spouse, domestic partner, parents or children) must still prove the elements of negligence against the defendant, whether it is the truck manufacturer or the driver himself. Under California law, a wrongful death action allows for the continuation of a negligence claim that would have been actionable but for the victim’s death – thereby eliminating the possibility of the responsible party escaping liability due to the demise of the plaintiff.
Contact Nelson C. Barry Today
The facts of the above case are tragic. In the wake of such tragedy, few victims or family members can possibly consider a personal injury or wrongful death action. However, sometimes a lawsuit is the best way to gain financial security and recover some of what you lost. If you would like to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney about your recent pedestrian accident, contact Nelson C. Barry today.