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11/4/2013 Lawsuit Filed in Orange County Trip and Fall
A lawsuit for personal injury has been filed on behalf of the firm's client after a serious fall within a Buena Park store in which the client badly fractured both arms.
2/18/2013 Glass Case Against Orange County Apartment Complex Settled
Last month the lawsuit against an Orange County apartment complex for an allegedly dangerous window was settled for $185,000.00. The firm had filed suit on behalf of a female resident after a window shattered near her bed cutting her leg severely, resulting in surgery and residual scarring.
9/3/2012 Case Resolved In Anaheim Bar Assault
Firm resolves assault victim's third-party case against bar owner in Anaheim. In spite of the fact the attackers were never identified by the police, the claim against the bar owner was a success.
4/18/2012 Firm Files Suit In Death of Lap Band Patient
The firm has filed suit after a 38-year-old woman died last April as a result of a lap band procedure in August of 2010. According to the Orange County Coroner's office, the patient's stomach had been perforated by the band.
4/4/2012 Victim Retains Firm in Third Party Assault Case Against OC Bar Owner
A violent assault on February 25, 2012, at an Anaheim bar resulted in severe eye and facial injuries to a 38-year-old victim who has now retained the firm to represent him.

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Five-Car Accident in Orange Leaves One Dead

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 09/23/2012

A five-car collision yesterday morning in the City of Orange has left one woman dead and several others injured.  The accident happened at about 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Tustin Street and Taft avenue, not too far from The Village mall.  According to news reports, a female driver who ran a red light and triggered the accident died at the scene.  That motorist, 30-year-old Xuan Tran, was apparently traveling eastbound on Taft toward its dead end at Tustin, and for some unknown reason drove through the red light at a high rate of speed without even turning her vehicle.  Tran's car, a small Toyota, then struck a red pickup truck heading south on Tustin which in turn hit another vehicle heading the opposite direction.  Anyone who witnessed the collision is urged to contact the Orange police at 714-744-7444.

See the Orange County Register article and photograph HERE.

It would be easy to assign responsibility for the accident to Tran and simply leave it at that.  However, this accident calls for a detailed investigation into Tran's actions and activities in the hours and minutes that led up to the accident. There are a host of possibilities as to why this young woman would have driven straight into cross-traffic at a dead end street: medical issues caused her to lose consciousness, a mechanical failure caused a steering/braking failure, driver inattention, texting while driving, etc.  In all likelihood, the Orange Police Department will perform a detailed mechanical inspection on the Tran vehicle to determine whether some sort of problem with the car contributed to the happening of this tragic collision.  In addition to that, the police will likely attempt to piece together the last days and/or hours of Tran's life to see if something might explain what could be considered suicidal or reckless actions. Among other things, this will entail some forensic toxicology to determine whether alcohol, medication or drugs played a role.

Compensation for the victims of auto accidents involving reckless or even careless  drivers should be an important concern for everyone.  When a driver like the one above runs a red light , for whatever reason, they or some other responsible party should be held accountable.  An Orange County traffic accident attorney with experience at handling intersection accident cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 21 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including auto accidents caused by mechanical failures and reckless drivers.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a serious or fatal automobile accident?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.
 

Two Fatal Traffic Accidents In Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/25/2012

Two separate accidents in Orange County on Tuesday night have taken two lives and left three others injured, one in critical condition.  In the City of Orange, a passenger in a Honda Civic was killed after being hit head-on by a Toyota Highlander on Lincoln Avenue near the intersection with Tustin Street.  According to the article in the Orange County Register, the driver of the Highlander was traveling eastbound on Lincoln before it veered into opposing traffic, hitting the Civic head-on.  The male passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, and both drivers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  The police are asking witnesses to the accident to call investigators at 714-744-7460

See the Orange County Register article, photographs and video HERE.

In the second Orange County accident, a 17-year-old Stanton boy was killed when struck from behind while helping to push a vehicle off the street in Anaheim.  The crash occurred at about 8:00 p.m. on West Cerritos Avenue near Magnolia Avenue.  The boy and an adult male were helping to push a Honda Civic out of the way because of street sweeping the following day.  A truck struck the boy and the Civic, but the adult was able to get out of the way.  The woman steering the Civic suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  The boy was also taken to the hospital, UCI Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.  The driver of the Honda Ridgeline remained at the scene, and it is unknown whether driver error played any role in the happening of this tragic accident.

See the Orange County Register article, photographs and video HERE.

Just about two weeks, it was reported that the number of traffic fatalities had actually over the last few years, both here in Orange County and around the State.  The two cases above are a tragic reminder that seemingly senseless accidents are still happening with alarming frequency.  While we don't yet know what caused the Highlander in the Orange accident to veer into opposing traffic, driver distraction or driver impairment via alcohol or drugs are potential causes.  Likewise, in the Anaheim accident, it is not known why the driver of the Highlander could not see the Civic and the two people pushing the car before colliding with deadly force.  Presumably it was dark in the area, but headlight illumination would be expected to reveal two pedestrians and a car ahead, in sufficient time to avoid an accident.

Compensation for the victims of serious or fatal traffic accidents should be an important concern for all Californians. When a driver carelessly causes a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable for the injuries and damages to the victim and their family.  An attorney with experience at handling Orange County traffic accidents can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years years of experience handling traffic accident cases.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in an accident caused by a careless or distracted driver?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

Four Killed in Automobile Accident in La Habra

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

The Orange County Register has reported today that four people died and two others were injured when a pickup truck slammed into a tree at about 1:00 a.m. this morning.  The truck, a Chevrolet Colorado, was found wrapped around the tree with the roof smashed down to the doors and beer cans strewn about, said Capt. Paul Schifando of La Habra Fire Station 193.  Reportedly, the truck was speeding down Walnut Avenue in La Habra when the driver, David Huizar, Jr., 22, lost control, slid slide ways and then wrapped the truck around the three-story tree.  Four people were pronounced dead at the scene – the driver, Huizar; Jimmy Gonzales, 22, of Buena Park; Paul Romero, 25 of Fullerton; and Delora Bravo, 22 of La Habra.  Two women, Destiney Mendoza, 25, of La Habra, and Rochelle Romero, 21, of La Habra, were critically injured in the accident and were taken to UCI Medical Center, according to official sources.  Toxicology results are pending to determine if in fact alcohol was a cause of the accident.

See the Register story and photos HERE.

Given the presence of beer cans at the scene, the age of the driver and the speed of the truck before it struck the tree, it seems likely alcohol played at least some role in the happening of this horribly tragic accident.  Assuming that Huizar was intoxicated and/or speeding before he lost control of the vehicle, those injured and the family members of the deceased victims possess valid claims against Huizar's estate and the insurance policy (if any) on the Colorado.  Monetary compensation can certainly do very little for the injured and the families who must now deal with the aftermath of this accident.  However, accountability is very important in our system of civil justice and, likewise, monetary compensation is the best we have to offer innocent victims.  Unfortunately, we cannot turn back time and undo the harm that has been done and will remain forever.

Compensation for victims of serious injury or fatal automobile accidents, caused by reckless or intoxicated drivers of any age, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in a careless or reckless manner and causes a serious accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving fatal automobile accidents.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident caused by another’s negligence?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

Two Fatal Auto Accidents in Riverside County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

The Press Enterprise has reported that two drivers have been killed in separate accidents in the Inland Empire.  In one collision, a 29-year-old Moreno Valley man died Friday afternoon following a crash on Agua Mansa Road near Market Street in Riverside.  The victim, Jose Castaneda Soberanes, was driving a sedan that struck a truck head-on about 2:20 p.m., according to the Riverside County Coroner's office.  He died a short time later.  The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

See the Enterprise story HERE.

In the second accident, a 28-year-old Perris man died early this morning after he was ejected from his vehicle during a crash on Interstate 215 in Riverside.  The driver in the Saturday morning accident, Jeramiah Baldwin, was traveling northbound on I-215 about a mile north of Eucalyptus Avenue just before 2 a.m. when he apparently lost control of his vehicle.  He struck a curb, the vehicle rolled multiple times and he was ejected, according to a news release from the Riverside County Coroner's office.  That collision is also being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

See the Enterprise story HERE.

The precise circumstances surrounding these two tragic automobile accidents are still under investigation.  Both accidents, because of their severity will likely be the subject of a thorough investigation to include accident reconstruction.  Those reconstructions will include speed calculations, skid mark analysis, deformation of metal analysis and the accumulation of a detailed history on both drivers.  In accidents such as this, it is common for the investigating agency to look into the background and recent history of the driver or drivers involved.  For example, speaking to witnesses and family members to determine the activities of the drivers in the hours prior to the fatal collisions would probably shed some light on the cause or causes of these accidents.  If lack of rest, drug or alcohol use, or emotional instability played a role a careful forensic investigation will reveal this fact.  Additionally, simple carelessness may be found to have been a contributing factor.

Compensation for victims of fatal automobile accidents, caused by unlawful misconduct or negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in a careless manner and causes a fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident caused by another's negligence?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

Anaheim Woman Killed in Crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a news story reported in the Orange County Register, a 22-year-old Anaheim woman died after a suspected DUI crash in Long Beach on Friday night.  Citing official sources, the Register reported that the police responded to a call at 11:44 p.m. about a crash near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Wardlow Road.  The driver of a Toyota Camry was seen speeding northbound on Atlantic Avenue with its lights off.  The driver reportedly ran a red light at Wardlow Road, narrowly missing a Toyota Scion traveling westbound.  The driver of the Camry swerved to avoid the Scion and collided with a palm tree.  The driver, identified as Heriberto Cervantes, 29, of Los Angeles, and his passenger, Dana Acosta, 22, of Anaheim, were emergently transported to a hospital, where Acosta succumbed to her injuries.  Cervantes is listed in serious but stable condition.  He was taken into police custody on suspicion of felony gross vehicular manslaughter, felony drunk driving and driving on a suspended license, police said.

See the full Register story HERE.

In this tragic fatal accident, there appears to be little doubt Cervantes is liable for the wrongful death of his passenger, Acosta.  Cervantes' actions, as described in the article, are suggestive of an intoxicated driver with little to no regard for human life, not even that of his passenger.  Acosta's family likely has a cause of action for wrongful death, and they should be compensated for the loss of the society, care, comfort, affection, love and support of their deceased family member.  Obviously, no amount of money can undo the pain and loss the Acosta family has suffered and will suffer in the future.  However, in our civil justice system we must at least attempt to compensate victims for their loss and hold the wrongdoers accountable for their actions.  To do otherwise would deny a suffering family any semblance of civil justice.  It goes without saying the criminal charges that will likely be prosecuted against Cervantes will provide some measure of satisfaction, but will fall short of actually compensating the Acosta family for their loss.  This is particularly true if Acosta was providing any financial support to her family, as that economic loss should not be suffered by the family.

Compensation for victims of fatal automobile accidents, caused by an intoxicated driver's  unlawful conduct, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes a fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident caused by an intoxicated driver?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

Woman Killed in Orange While Walking Dog

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a story in the Orange County Register, a woman was struck and killed by a car while crossing the street in the City of Orange, late last night.  The 28 year-old woman, Amelia Shields, was reportedly walking with a male companion and her dog and was crossing the street in the crosswalk when she was struck by a car on Chapman Avenue between Main and Batavia streets.  Citing the City News Service, the Register reported the woman was attended to by paramedics and pronounced dead at the scene at 11:04 p.m. The driver reportedly stopped and was being questioned by police.

Read the full story HERE.

While the precise circumstances of this tragic accident have yet to be reported, it is a fair statement that the driver of the vehicle likely has considerable responsibility for the accident.  It appears the victim was lawfully where pedestrians are expected to be found at intersections.  Normally, a pedestrian is entitled to believe their right of way will be respected, and it is not negligent for a pedestrian to act on the basis of that belief.  From the little known about the accident thus far, there does not appear to be any reason to believe this victim had any warning of the impending danger until it was too late or that something occurred to place her on notice that the driver was about to violate the law designed for her protection.  Once more details are known, then additional factors such as the lighting, clothing worn and relative safety of the intersection and crosswalk may be taken into account.

Compensation for pedestrian victims of traffic accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly and strikes a pedestrian, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County personal injury attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Assistant Coach and Family From Moreno Valley Killed In Crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

An assistant coach from Moreno Valley and his family were killed in a traffic accident on Saturday, February 12th.  Ryan Villalpando, 32-year-old assistant football coach, was killed in a crash on the 15 Freeway along with his 29-year-old wife Veronica, their 4-year-old son Mateo and infant, Bella Rose.

The collision, which happened around 12:35 p.m. Saturday in Ontario, involved three tractor-trailers, a U-Haul truck, and two passenger vehicles, south of Jurupa Avenue.  Villalpando's car was reportedly sandwiched between two tractor-trailers and was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on scene.

See the full story HERE

The responsibility for this horrific accident will likely be determined by accident reconstruction experts.  Based on the physical evidence and photographs taken at the scene (as well as eyewitness accounts), investigators will have to piece together the accident sequence.  The analysis of an accident like this often requires examination of the mechanical components of the vehicles involved to determine whether a defect caused or contributed to the happening of the accident.  Skid marks, metal deformation and paint transfers will likely play some role in determining how and why the collision occurred.

Compensation for victims of chain reaction traffic accidents, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly and causes an accident with a number of other vehicles, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a chain reaction automobile accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

77 Year-Old Woman Killed in Irvine Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a report in the Orange County Register, a 77-year-old woman was killed after police say a car was broadsided by a van in an Irvine intersection on Tuesday afternoon.  Patricia Thompson-Yates of Irvine was the driver of one of two vehicles that collided in the Culver Drive and Farwell Avenue intersection at about 1:20 p.m., authorities said.  Thompson-Yates was driving a Toyota passenger vehicle eastbound on Farwell, while the van was going southbound on Culver, Irvine police Cmdr. Mike Hamel said.  It wasn't immediately clear which vehicle had the right of way.

Thompson-Yates was taken to Hoag Hospital, where she was pronounced dead just after 2 p.m., Orange County Coroner's Office officials said.

The two drivers were the only occupants of the vehicles, according to Hamel.  No other injuries or arrests were reported.  Authorities are asking anyone who witnessed the collision to call Sgt. Dennis Maisano at 949-724-7023.

See the full story and photographs at: http://www.ocregister.com/news/hamel-284633-woman-police.html

It is likely the fault for this tragic accident will require significant investigation and accident reconstruction.  Additionally, there may well be witnesses to the accident who will be able to shed light on the cause.  It is therefore imperative that appropriate investigators and experts be consulted when necessary to the determination of responsibility.  A seasoned personal injury attorney with experience in the litigation of this tyoe of case can help ensure the victim, or their family, is compensated for any injuries and damages sustained.

Compensation for the victims of motor vehicle accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently operates their vehicle, they should be held accountable for the injuries, damages and devastation they leave behind.  An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family been injured by a negligent driver?

  •  Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Three People Killed in Multiple-Vehicle Accident in Newport Beach

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

On Saturday, January 15th, three people were tragically killed in a multiple-car crash in Newport Beach.  According to news reports, nine vehicles and one motorcycle were involved in the 2:45 p.m. collision at the intersection of Riverside and West Coast Highway.  Two cars were found lying on their sides when the local fire department arrived and some people were trapped inside their cars.

Julie Allen, 27, of Newport Beach, was identified as one of the dead, according to City News Service.  Her vehicle, reportedly a tan Ford Taurus, collided with a Toyota Tacoma pickup and other vehicles, according to police and the coroner's office.  Killed in the pickup were Christopher De La Cruz, 49, of Laguna Niguel, and Linda Burnett, 69, of Santa Ana, according to City News Service.  One person was taken to Western Medical Center in critical condition and is said to be "improving," according to a police department representative. Two people were taken to the hospital with possible broken bones and minor injuries.   All of the injured were adults.

According to Newport Beach police Lt. Bill Hartford, the tan Ford Taurus sedan and Toyota Tacoma truck collided first. The initial crash then triggered eight other collisions. A motorcycle, convertible, truck and Volkswagen bug were among the other vehicles involved.   Three fire engines, three medic units, one truck and one battalion chief from the Newport Beach Fire Department responded to the accident.  The initial investigation by police suggests Allen's vehicle crossed over the center line on Coast Highway, striking at least four other vehicles.

See the full story and photographs at www.ocregister.com/news/crash-284316-truck-involved.html

It remains to be seen what the final determination will be in terms of the cause of this tragic accident.  At least now, it appears the Allen vehicle crossed into opposing lanes of traffic, but it is not clear why this occurred.  Assuming this was indeed the cause of the accident, a violation of the California Vehicle Code, then Allen's estate would be liable for the horrific damages caused.  It may some period of time and likely require extensive accident reconstruction in order to determine the primary cause of this fatal collision.

Compensation for the victims of motor vehicle accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently operates their vehicle, they should be held accountable for the injuries, damages and devastation they leave behind after an accident.  An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family been injured by a negligent driver?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Man Receives Life Sentence After Crash Kills Family

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

Earlier this week a 33-year-old man who killed a French Valley family of three in a 2008 crash was sentenced by the court to life in prison.  Chad Isaac Huber, who was convicted of three counts of murder, lived in the Inland Empire at the time of the fatal accident.  He had been drinking and was speeding down a road near Lake Skinner when his truck struck the family's oncoming car.

The crash obliterated one side of the family's Malibu, killing Andres San Agustin, 48, a Camp Pendleton-based serviceman, his wife, Maribeth San Agustin, and their 4-year-old son, Angelo.  The judge found that Huber's conduct reflected a conscious and callous attitude toward others.  Because Huber fled the scene after the collision, the police were unable to measure his blood alcohol level, but the fact of his drinking before the accident was conceded by the defense at trial.  

See the full story at http://blogs.pe.com/news/digest/2011/01/french-valley-life-in-prison-f.html

In California, a number of appellate cases have upheld drunk driving murder convictions. Generally, those convictions are based on some or all of the following factors: (1) blood-alcohol level above the .08 percent legal limit; (2) a predrinking intent to drive; (3) knowledge of the hazards of driving while intoxicated; and (4) highly dangerous driving.  In the case above, the defendant had been drinking, was speeding and apparently crossed a lane line and struck the Agustin family vehicle head on.

Aside from his criminal culpability, Huber would be liable in a civil court for the wrongful death of the family.  The surviving family members (likely the parents of the Andres and Maribeth) would be entitled under California law to bring an action for loss of the love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support of their loved ones.  Additionally, if the decedents provided their parents with financial support this too would be recoverable in a wrongful death action.

Compensation for the victims of drunk driving accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver chooses to drink before getting behind the wheel, especially when they know they are compromised, they should be held accountable for the injuries, damages and devastation they leave behind after an accident.  An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family been injured by a drunk driver?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Woman in Desert Hot Springs Killed By Loose Trailer

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a story in the Press Enterprise, a 47-year-old Desert Hot Springs woman was killed Wednesday when the car she was driving was hit by a flat bed trailer that had broken loose from its tow vehicle in Palm Springs.  Riverside County coroner's officials identified the victim as Maria Herminia Quinones-Medrano.  She reportedly died at the scene of the 7:06 a.m. wreck along North Indian Canyon Drive, 680 feet south of Train Station Road.

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_webtrailer.10d220b.

As a matter of California law, any operator of a motor vehicle towing a trailer or another vehicle has an obligation to make sure the tow is done safely.  This requirement generally requires that the driver perform a safety inspection before each trip, ensuring that:

  • The pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact.
  • The hitch coupler is secured.
  • Spring bar hinges are tight with the safety clips in place (load equalizer or weight distributing hitches).
  • Safety chains are properly attached.
  • The electrical plug is properly installed.

The specific requirements for towing particular trailers varies according to the type of trailer, conventional, cargo, fifth wheel, etc..  The general guidelines can be found at the California Department of Motor Vehicles website. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl648/dl648pt12.htm Logically, a violation of these guidelines may be presumed to be negligence on the part of the motor vehicle operator.  In addition, absent very unusual circumstances, the fact that a trailer comes loose during normal operation may create a legal inference of negligence, a doctrine known as res ipsa loquitur.  Assuming there were no unusual circumstances involved in the case above, it may be presumed the vehicle operator either failed to comply with the DMV guidelines or there may have been a defect in one of the trailer or motor vehicle components intended to secure the trailer.  For example, a coupling or chain could have failed (through no fault of the vehicle operator) because of a design or manufacturing defect.

 

Compensation for pedestrian victims of traffic accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence or a product defect, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly or a safety product fails to perform as expected, the responsible party should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a trailer accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Multiple Fatalities in 210 Freeway Collision

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to news reports, at least two people were killed and several others injured in a traffic collision that shut down the 210 Freeway on Thursday night.  Emergency personnel responded to the scene at about 6 p.m., and the incident reportedly occurred in the eastbound lanes at Mountain Avenue.  At least nine vehicles and a tractor-trailer combination were involved in the fiery collision.

One person was apparently declared dead at the scene of the accident, prompting call and response by the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office.   The cab of the big rig was completely blackened by fire, and several other vehicles were also destroyed by fire.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation, and initial reports seem to rule out the possibility of drugs or alcohol being a factor. http://www.dailybulletin.com/rss/ci_16653819?source=rss

When horrific collisions like this occur on California freeways, it is a reminder to all of us who get behind the wheel that nothing should be taken for granted.  Through no fault of a driver, a cascade of unfortunate circumstances can unfold in just a second, causing serious, permanent injury and even death.  While negligence likely played a role in the happening of this accident, it was probably the fault of no more than one or two of the drivers involved.  Consequently, in all likelihood there are at least seven innocent victims in this tragedy, not to mention their friends and families who will have to deal with the aftermath.   While perfect justice cannot be achieved (since we cannot undo all of the harm and loss of life), it is important that the victims in a situation like this are compensated and the responsible party or parties held accountable.  Our civil justice system is premised on these ideas compensation and accountability, intended to bring about a fundamental fairness necessary to maintain the civility we have all come to expect.

Compensation for victims of auto/truck accidents, caused by someone’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle recklessly and/or recklessly and causes a serious traffic collision and injuries or death, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a freeway collision caused by another’s neglect?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Two Pedestrians Killed in the Inland Empire

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

Earlier this week an Apple Valley man, Paul G. Robinson, passed away from injuries sustained about 8 weeks ago when he was struck by a pick up truck in Apple Valley.  The accident happened on August 27th at about 6:30 a.m. while the victim was apparently walking in the roadway.   The accident remains under investigation.

www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_webdeath.49a4728.html

According to news reports, a 50-year-old Desert Hot Springs man will be prosecuted for gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run driving stemming from last week's death of a pedestrian in that city.  That accident happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. on October 20th, and the victim was 49-year-old Roger Pace of Cornelius, Oregon.  He died two days later at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.  The detectives investigating the case have found that the driver was operating his vehicle on a suspended license, is nearly 100% blind in one eye and may have been traveling at an excessive speed.

http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_webfatal.1.e221d4.html

In general, both drivers and pedestrians must use reasonable care to avoid accidents.  However, that duty to use reasonable care does not require the same amount of caution from drivers and pedestrians.  While both drivers and pedestrians must be aware that motor vehicles can cause serious injuries, drivers must use more care than pedestrians.  A greater amount of care is required of the vehicle operator because of the fact that the driver is behind the wheel of an automobile, which is an instrumentality capable of inflicting serious and often fatal injuries upon others using the highway.

 

In accidents such as those described above, the driver of the automobile has an obligation to keep his eyes on the roadway to ensure collisions are avoided, if they can be.  Pedestrians are likewise obligated to keep a reaonable lookout for vehicles coming into their path.  Since it is the vehicle operator who is in the best position to avoid the collision and the one in control of the dangerous instrumentality, the duty of care is heightened for the driver.  Accordingly, when a driver approaches an area known for high pedestrian traffic (a downtown shopping area or near a school for example), caution must be used when traveling down that roadway.  If a driver can see a pedestrian in time to slow and avoid an accident, he may be held liable if he fails to do so.

Compensation for pedestrian victims of traffic accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly and strikes a pedestrian, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Does the California law imposing a heightened duty on drivers, when compared to pedestrians, seem fair?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Orange County Accident Kills Two

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

An elderly woman from Long Beach and an unidentified man were killed late Monday night on the 91 freeway in Anaheim.  The accident reportedly occurred in the westbound lanes near Brookhurst Street when a Nissan Murano struck a disabled, convertible BMW.  The BMW had been involved in an earlier accident and was apparently stranded in the carpool lane.  The driver of the BMW was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Long Beach woman was taken to Anaheim Regional Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.  The driver and front seat passenger in the Murano were taken to UCI Medical Center for treatment of what were described as major injuries.

Although it remains to be seen, it is possible this accident was caused by inattention and/or excessive speed on the part of the SUV driver.  Even though a vehicle has stopped in a travel lane and therefore interrupts the flow of traffic (because of mechanical failure or related to an accident), those proceeding in that same lane are not excused from keeping a reasonable lookout.  The illumination of the roadway with headlights should be sufficient to enable a driver to see, perceive and react to a danger in sufficient time to avoid such an accident.  Additionally, California law  prohibits drivers from traveling "upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."  (California Vehicle Code § 22350)  Assuming a driver travels too fast to brake in time for a disabled vehicle in the roadway, they may well have violated this section.

Compensation for the victims of traffic accidents, caused by another's negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in a manner unsafe for the prevailing conditions, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident like the one above?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

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