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9/25/2014 Victim of Police Misconduct Settles Lawsuit With City for $115,000
The victim of a wrongful arrest and excessive force has settled his case against the responsible City for a total of $115,000.
6/2/2014 Bicycle Accident Case Settles for Driver's Policy Limits
The victim in an automobile versus bicycle accident has settled his claim for the $100,000.00 policy limits available.
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.

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Fatal Hit-and-Run in Koreatown After Two Vehicles Collide

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/28/2014
A pedestrian was run over and killed and two others badly injured when two vehicles collided early this morning in Koreatown. According to KTLA News, the accident happened when a white pickup truck and grey sedan collided at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Normandie Aveune in Los Angeles at about 6:45 a.m.

Early Morning Hit-and-Run in Costa Mesa Leaves Girl in Serious Condition

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/14/2014
A 15-year-old girl running across the street was struck and seriously by a hit-and-run driver early this morning in Costa Mesa. According to KTLA News, the girl ran across the intersection at Baker Street and Fairview Road against a red light when she was struck by a Saturn SUV.

Orange Hit-and-Run Accident Leaves One Dead, One Injured

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 05/28/2014
A hit-and-run collision in the City of Orange last night left one victim dead and another hospitalized in stable condition. According to Fox News, the crash happened at about 9:40 p.m. at the intersection of Tustin and Taft when a when a dark-colored pickup truck and the victims' Ford Explorer collided. The SUV overturned as a result of the impact, but the truck drove away northbound on Tustin.

OC Hit-and-Run in Stanton - No Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 05/09/2014
The Orange County Sheriff's Department is still looking for the driver of a truck who struck and then dragged a 24-year-old pedestrian in Stanton on April 23rd. According to KTLA News, investigators have just released a surveillance video which shows the victim, Jeff Bell, being dragged westbound down Chapman Avenue, perhaps 100 feet, near the intersection with Beach Boulevard.

Toddler in Grave Condition After Hit-and-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 05/05/2014
A hit-and-run collision on Sunday has left a 3-year-old toddler in grave condition. According to KNBC News, the incident happened in San Bernardino in the 2400 block of North Mountain View Avenue. The child had been playing in a bounce house and apparently wandered into the street before being struck by the unidentified vehicle.

Pedestrian Rescued After Hit-and-Run in Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/06/2014
Late Saturday night, a Good Samaritan came to the rescue of a pedestrian struck and badly injured by a hit-and-run driver in the City of Placentia. According to KABC News and the rescuer, Alec Ralph, the pedestrian stumbled into a dark street just before a white sedan, traveling perhaps 35-40 miles per hour, struck the victim, leaving him severely injured. Ralph rushed to the man's side and prevented other motorists from striking the fallen man a second time.

Orange County Hit-and-Run - What to Do After the Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/18/2013
Early Sunday a hit-and-run driver caused a head-on crash in Newport Beach that injured six people, three of them critically. According to ABC News, the collision happened on Pacific Coast Highway and Newport Boulevard around midnight when a vehicle traveling northbound on PCH reportedly crossed over the center line and crashed head-on into a car coming the opposite direction.

OC Hit-and-Run Leaves Bicyclist Fatally Injured

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/30/2013
A hit-and-run driver struck a bicyclist in Anaheim early this morning, resulting in the rider's death. According to KTLA News, the accident happened on Orangethorpe Avenue near the intersection with Lemon Street at about 5:40 a.m.

Assistant Baseball Coach Killed in Hit-and-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/28/2013
Early this morning an assistant baseball coach for Corona's Santiago High School was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles. According to the Press Enterprise, the assistant coach, 54 year-old Ken Hamilton, was killed when the driver of a grey Honda Civic DX changed lanes into him, causing Hamilton to veer off the road and strike a traffic pole.

Orange County Hit-and-Run Results in Fatality - Driver Caught

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/26/2013
Friday night at about 9:00 p.m. one pedestrian was killed and another was hospitalized after being struck by a Cadillac in La Habra. According to KABC News, the incident occurred at the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Koopmans Way while both victims were crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.

Elderly Pedestrian Struck and Killed in Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 08/28/2013
An elderly pedestrian was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Tuesday morning on Euclid Street in Santa Ana. According to KABC News, the accident happened just after 5:00 a.m. in the 500 block of Euclid when the 85-year-old victim, Joseph Rudolph, was jaywalking

Hit-and-Run in Studio City Leaves Pedestrian Fatally Injured

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 08/18/2013
Late Saturday night a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Studio City after being struck by a white Mercedes whose driver fled the scene. According to the report by KTLA News, the incident happened when the victim was walking across Ventura Boulevard at the intersection with Fairway Avenue at approximately 11:45 p.m.

Hit-and-Run Takes the Life of 18-Year-Old

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/21/2013
A teenaged boy was killed on Saturday evening after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in South Los Angeles. According to KTLA news, the 18-year-old boy was one of four teenagers crossing Crenshaw Boulevard near 77th Street at about 6:15 p.m. when the incident occurred. The driver who simply sped away from the scene is believed to have been driving a black Mercedes Benz.

Gardena Hit-and-Run Suspect Identified as Daughter of LAPD Officer

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/05/2013
The suspect arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter in connection to a fatal hit-and-run in Gardena has been identified as the daughter of a veteran LAPD officer. According to KTLA News, the suspect, 22-year-old Vanessa Yanez, was taken into custody on Wednesday and booked for vehicular manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit and run.

Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Hit-And-Run Driver in Compton

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/03/2013
An elderly pedestrian was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver last night in the City of Compton. According to KABC News, the 65-year-old victim was struck and dragged approximately 75 feet by a white sedan. The accident reportedly happened about 9:00 p.m. on North Alameda Street near East Oaks Street.

Orange County College Teacher Killed in Hit-And-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 05/17/2013
A math teacher at an Orange County community college was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Wednesday morning. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the victim of the accident has been identified as 47-year-old Elane Logay, a part-time instructor at Santa Ana City College. The accident happened at about 11:15 a.m. at the intersection of Carson Street and Clark Avenue near Long Beach City College.

Two Fatalities in Riverside Hit-and-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/29/2013
Very early Monday morning a hit-and-run driver ran a red light in Riverside, striking a car and killing both of its occupants. According to the Press Enterprise, the accident happened at about 12:30 a.m. when a truck heading west on 14th Street ran the stoplight at Sedgwick Avenue.

Woman Seriously Injured While Walking Along Perris Road

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/08/2013
A woman in her early 50s was struck by a hit-and-run driver while she was walking along the shoulder of a roadway in Perris. According to the Press Enterprise, the victim was walking on the shoulder of Marshall Street near the intersection with Fisher Street when a white vehicle suddenly swerved into the pedestrian. The impact was severe, and the pedestrian suffered major injuries.

Bicyclist Loses Leg In Hit-And-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 02/26/2013
bicyclist riding in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles was struck by a minivan and dragged onto the freeway on Sunday morning, resulting in life-threatening injuries. According to ABC news, the victim, Damian Kevitt, was riding his bike by a freeway onramp near Griffith Park when he was struck. The impact was severe and Kevitt was sent flying up onto the hood and windshield, before falling to the ground and being dragged for almost a quarter of a mile.

Shocking Hit-and-Run In Santa Ana Seriously Injures 7-Year-Old

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/06/2012

Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck a 7-year-old girl in Santa Ana on Tuesday evening, according to KTLA news.  This horrific, Orange County accident was captured on security cameras near the scene, and police are currently looking for the driver of what they believe is a black Toyota 4Runner.  The little girl was with her mother and was running across the street to get to her home, an apartment complex on the opposite side of the street.  She is still in the hospital following surgery to relieve the swelling on her brain and is expected to survive.

Anyone with information about this tragedy should call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-245-8665

DUTIES OF DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS

In general, a driver no right of way superior to that of a pedestrian, and each has equal and reciprocal rights, although driver, being in control of dangerous instrumentality capable of inflicting fatal injuries, is charged with a greater amount of care than pedestrian in order to be bound to same standards of ordinary care.  Pedestrians who cross in the middle of a block do not have an equal right to be in path of oncoming motorist, but they are not fair game for a driver who operates his vehicle without regard for what may unexpectedly appear in street.  

ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION AND LIABILITY

Here, from the videotape, it appears the driver is traveling faster than 25 miles per hour but is using the headlights on the vehicle.   Given the apparent speed, the driver was likely in violation of the California Vehicle Code since the accident scene was within a residential area, with a speed limit of 25 mph.  In addition to the speed, the distance at which the victim could be seen and the time the driver had to react play a role in assessing liability.  If it can be shown the driver should have seen the little girl for more than 1 1/2 to 2 seconds prior to the impact and failed to take sufficient, evasive action, the bulk of the liability would likely rest with the driver.

Any personal injury case brought on behalf of the little girl in the accident above will require careful, detailed consideration of the facts and circumstances that will ultimately be necessary to reconstruct this serious accident.  An experienced Orange County car accident attorney can be of help in assessing this type of injury case.  If you or a family member is an accident victim, you should make an informed decision about your rights and whether compensation is available for injuries and damages sustained.

SOURCE:  7-year-old Girl Hospitalized in Santa Ana Hit-and-Run, KTLA News, December 6, 2012

Three Teens Injured in Santa Ana Hit-And-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/12/2012

A hit-and-run accident in Santa Ana on Friday evening left three teenage boys in serious condition.  According to KTLA news, the three pedestrians, ages 15, 16 and 18, were struck by a motorist at the intersection of 5th and Susan Streets.  The driver swerved around a car stopped for the boys, struck the victims and then fled the scene.  Citing official sources, KTLA reported the boys were stuck, rolled up on the car and then fell to the ground.  The driver's vehicle, a gray Honda, was found abandoned and with a damaged hood some distance away.  At last report, the teens were still hospitalized.  The suspect is described as a male Latino in his 20s wearing a baseball cap.

Pedestrian Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008, 4,378 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States, and another 69,000 pedestrians were injured.  This averages out to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes.  Pedestrians are 1 1/2 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.  These numbers are shockingly high, and it is easy to see how a reckless driver can take a pedestrian's life.  In the case above, the impatience of the Honda driver has left an immeasurable impact on the lives of three young boys and their families.  While not all of the details are known yet, it sounds like the driver simply did not want to wait for stopped traffic, without considering the possibility that traffic was stopped for pedestrians.  A reasonably prudent driver would know better than to swerve around stopped traffic at an intersection.

Compensation For Victims

Victims of hit-and-run accidents and their families may recover for both economic and noneconomic damages caused by such tragedies.  Under California law, if the driver (once apprehended) is convicted of a crime the victims may rely on that conviction to prove the liability of the driver in any civil case.  However, if the driver is never identified then the victims may be able to seek compensation from their own insurance carrier(s) pursuant to the underinsured motorist provision of their automobile insurance policy.  

Legal Representation

In nearly every accident of any complexity, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your rights.  Every civil case is subject to a statute of limitations and other rules regarding the prosecution of the case, depending on the type.  Understanding the time limitations, exceptions to those limitations and the impact certain factors may have (such as the age of the victim) is critically important.  There are few things more disappointing than learning a perfectly valid, valuable case has been lost because of an avoidable delay in taking action.  

Source:  KTLA News, 3 Teens Struck by Hit and Run Driver in Santa Ana, November 9, 2012


 

 

 

Halloween Hit-And-Run Accident Causes Major Injury

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/02/2012

According to KTLA news, a hit-and-run driver in Florence struck a 10-year-old boy and a 46-year-old woman who were out trick-or-treating Wednesday night.  The accident happened at approximately 9:00 p.m. at the intersection of  92nd Street and Beach Street.  The suspect reportedly made a right turn onto northbound Beach from 92nd, but failed to yield to the pedestrians, who were crossing the street legally.  The woman suffered a major head injury and was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the boy was taken to the same hospital as a precautionary measure.  The suspect vehicle was abandoned by three black males near the scene of the accident, and it is registered out of Kent Washington.  

Why This Accident Occurred

It would appear from witness statements reported in the media that this accident was likely the result of driver inattention.  The hit-and-run driver apparently struck two pedestrians who, although it was dark, could have been scene.  From a street view on Google Maps, it can be seen that this accident occurred near a corner on which there is a business and a number of streetlights.  The general area is a blend of residential and commercial buildings.  It is hard to imagine anyone driving through this area without anticipating pedestrians crossing the road, particularly on Halloween.  According to government statistics covering a 21-year period, children are four times more likely to be killed in a vehicle versus pedestrian accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Liability Analysis

While liability would appear to be fairly clear, there is nearly always some argument the defense can raise in a vehicle versus pedestrian accident.  Typically, the driver will argue that the pedestrian who is hit crossing the street simply "darted out" so quickly there was no time to react.  Additionally, with a nighttime accident like the one above, the driver will often contend the pedestrian could not be seen because of dark clothing or a lack of artificial lighting in the area.  These defenses have some superficial appeal, but they are often overwhelmed by a careful accident reconstruction.

What To Do

When a driver in a pedestrian accident attempts to blame the victim, it is important for the pedestrian to seek legal counsel in order to protect their rights.  This is particularly true when the injured party has never been exposed to the claims process or been involved in civil litigation.  An Orange County injury attorney can provide the experience and insight necessary to fairly evaluate these cases and obtain compensation for the victim and their family.

SOURCE:  KTLA  News, Trick-or-Treaters Struck by Hit-and-Run Driver in Florence, November 1, 2012

Hit-And-Run in Long Beach Proves Fatal

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/24/2012

A hit-and-run accident in Long Beach early this morning has left a 27-year-old victim dead.  According to KTLA news, the hit-and-run driver first smashed his vehicle into a parked car, setting in motion the fatal chain of events.  The unidentified driver of a green Dodge pick-up ran into and dragged the victim, Yon Chreng, who had been trying to flag him down.  The incident reportedly happened at about 1:00 a.m. in the 1100 block of Stanley Avenue.   The driver drug Chreng for a short distance before colliding with three more vehicles, dumping his truck and fleeing the scene.  Sadly, Chreng,, who lived in Long Beach, was pronounced dead at the scene.  The case is being investigated by the Long Beach Police Department as a murder, and anyone with information is asked to call Long Beach Police at (562) 570-7244.  Additionally, anonymous tips may be submitted via text or web by visiting www.tipsoft.com.

See the KTLA news story HERE.  

The senseless tragedy described above is likely the product of a reckless driver not wanting to be identified for hitting a parked car.  The area of the accident is generally residential with a number of homes and apartment buildings.  It goes without saying that any driver causing an accident in that area could reasonably expect to be identified.  The streets are narrow, and it seems likely (even at this hour of the morning) someone would see and/or hear a motor vehicle accident.  As for civil liability, the driver of the green Dodge pick-up is now not only facing all of the property damage claims he would otherwise have faced, he is likely to be found liable in a wrongful death suit.  Under California law, Cheung's heirs are entitled to be compensated for the loss of the society, care comfort, affection, love and support taken from them by the actions of this hit-and-run driver.  

Compensation for the victims of hit-and-run accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in a reckless manner causing a serious or fatal accident and then flees the scene, every effort should be made to identify them and hold them accountable for all of the injuries and damages they cause.  An attorney with experience at handling hit-and-run accidents can make a fair assessment of these claims.   Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years years of experience handling auto and hit-and-run 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 hit-and-run 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.

Teen Girl Critically Hurt By Hit-And-Run Motorcyclist

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/14/2012

 KTLA news has reported a hit-and-run accident that occurred in San Bernardino on Tuesday night.  A 17-year-old girl crossing the street on her skateboard was was struck by a speeding motorcycle.  Citing official sources, KTLA has reported the motorcyclist was traveling approximately 75 miles per hour, more than twice the speed limit at the intersection of 31st and E streets, where the girl was struck.  The victim was taken by ambulance to Loma Linda University Medical Center where she was listed in critical condition.  The police are still searching for the rider of the Japanese sports bike involved in the accident.

See the KTLA news story and photographs HERE.

This tragic accident would appear to be one that could easily have been prevented.  The motorcyclist, assuming the speed above is accurate, was traveling much too fast for the conditions.  At 7:30 p.m., it was dark outside, and the area of the accident is essentially residential.  At a speed of 75 miles per hour, the motorcycle was traveling over 110 feet per second, leaving no margin for error and almost no time to take evasive action in the event there was a pedestrian or skateboarder who suddenly appeared in the roadway.  The motorcyclist flight from the accident scene is strong evidence of consciousness of guilt, and the rider (when and if caught) could easily face felony hit-and-run charges.  Beyond that, this young girl is entitled to be compensated for the injuries and damages she sustained in the accident.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by a reckless driver or motorcycle rider should  be an important concern for all Californians.   When a driver or rider operates their vehicle at an excessive speed and causes a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable.   An Orange injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years years of experience handling auto and motorcycle 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 excessive speed?

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.

 

Hit-And-Run Driver Involved in Three Vehicle Crash in Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/19/2011

A woman was injured and transported to a local hospital this morning after a hit-and-run accident in the city of Anaheim.  According to a report by the Orange County Register, the male driver of a Chevrolet Cavalier apparently made a left turn into the path of an oncoming Honda Civic just before 11:00 a.m. today.  The accident happened on Euclid Street near its intersection with Catherine Drive in Anaheim.  As a result of the impact, the Civic struck a parked car.  Fortunately, a 1 -year-old  in the Civic was uninjured.  The driver of the Cavalier fled the scene of the accident on foot and has yet to be located.

See the Orange County Register article HERE.

The law in California is clear, a left turning driver may only make and continue their turn so long as it is reasonably safe to do so.  Under the California Vehicle Code, "The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left at an intersection or into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles which have approached or are approaching from the opposite direction and which are so close as to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to such approaching vehicles until such time as the left turn can be made with reasonable safety.."  From the fact the collision occurred and the driver of the Cavalier fled the scene (possibly demonstrating consciousness of guilt), it would appear the Vehicle Code was violated and hit-and-run driver would be liable for the injuries and damages he sustained.  Beyond that, he may well have committed a crime in that he left the scene of an injury accident without properly identifying himself or attempting to render aid to the other driver.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by negligent drivers should be an important concern for all Californians. When a driver operates their vehicle in violation of the law, they should be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause.  An Orange County auto accident lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling Orange County automobile accident cases, including those involving drivers making illegal turns.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


Have you or a loved one been injured or killed by a left-turning 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.

Fatal Hit-And-Run Accident in Gardena

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 08/22/2011

A driver traveling westbound on Rosecrans Avenue in Gardena struck a pedestrian crossing the street on Sunday night.  According to KTLA news, the pedestrian, a woman who has yet to be identified, was hit by a grey, 4-door  Honda Civic that did not stop.  The victim was taken to a local hospital following the accident, but she later succumbed to her injuries.  The accident happened around 9 p.m. Saturday night on Rosecrans, between Budlong and Normandie avenues.

The vehicle involved may have front end damage and the driver's door is missing.  The Civic is believed to have been occupied by two passengers at the time of the accident.  The police have asked that anyone with information call them at (310) 217-6183 or (310) 217-6135.

See the KTLA news story and video HERE.

This type of accident is both tragic and frustrating.  The driver of the Civic had an obligation, regardless of fault, to stop at the scene of the accident and render assistance to the pedestrian.  It is entirely possible that if the driver had complied with their legal obligation, the pedestrian might have survived.  Under California law, the driver of a car involved in a collision must render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by any injured person.

Compensation for the victims of hit and run accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently or recklessly causes an injury or fatal accident and then flees the scene, they should be held criminally and civilly accountable.  An Orange County personal injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  The first step in recovering compensation for the victim is to seek appropriate legal representation.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death 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 hit-and-run 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 Auto Accidents in Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/25/2011

A hit-and-run accident in Huntington Beach left a young woman dead from her injuries early Friday morning.  According to a story in the Huntington Beach Independent, the 24 year-old woman, Oriana Millan, was struck along with her companion, Harlan Coffman, while at the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Atlanta Avenue.  Millan was pronounced dead at the scene, and Coffman was taken to a local hospital with what were described as non-life threatening injuries.  Anyone with further information is asked to please contact the Huntington Beach Police Department, 714-536-5666.

See the Independent story HERE.

In another tragic accident, a female passenger was killed when the reportedly intoxicated driver of the car in which she was riding crashed into a tree and a retaining wall.  According to a story in the Orange County Register, the accident happened when the driver, Justin Drake, was apparently speeding on Malvern westbound near Woods Avenue in the City of Fullerton.  The female passenger was in critical condition at the scene and was transported emergently to the hospital, where she later died of her injuries.  Drake was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.  Anyone with further information is asked to please contact the Fullerton Police Department, 714-738-6716.

See the Register story HERE.

Both of theses accidents appear to have been the product of careless, if not reckless, driving.  In the first story, the driver left the scene of the collision and then reported to police he thought he had struck an animal in the road.   The flight and the seemingly ridiculous story of running over an animal tend to demonstrate consciousness of guilt.  In the Fullerton accident, the driver apparently exhibited signs of intoxication at the scene and was consequently arrested for felony DUI.  In both instances, these drivers will face not only the prospect of serious criminal charges, but the very real possibility of civil lawsuits for wrongful death, which may include a claim for punitive damages.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by a driver’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently or recklessly causes a traffic accident and death results, the driver should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those for wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Has a loved one been killed in an automobile accident involving an impaired or reckless 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.

Hit-And-Run Driver Badly Injures Orange County Family

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/11/2011

An accident that occurred on June 20th in Orange County has left a family devastated and trying desperately to identify the responsible hit-and-run driver.  According to KTLA news, the accident happened while three members of the Argo family were heading northbound on the 405 freeway near Laguna Canyon Road.  At about 12:30 p.m., a black GMC Suburban reportedly ran into the vehicle being driven by 40 year-old Annette Argo, with two of her children on board, causing the Argo vehicle to crash into a ditch.  The SUV driver apparently fled the scene without rendering aid or calling for assistance.  Ava Argo, just 4 years old, suffered severe injuries and was admitted to the intensive care unit  of a local hospital.  Last week, doctors spent nine hours operating on her to fix her jaw, upper palette, eye sockets and nose.  She also underwent a tracheotomy, but it will be another week before doctors can un-wire her jaw.  Ava’s 9 year-old brother, Gaven, suffered a broken clavicle but has been released from the hospital.  Annette sustained very serious injuries to her right leg, and she remains hospitalized.

Ava’s father, Robert O’Connor, and his wife, Erica, are now offering a $10,000.00 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run driver.

See the KTLA news story and photographs HERE.

While the precise circumstances of how the accident occurred were not released in this news story, the actions of the hit-and-run driver would seem to reflect consciousness of guilt.  Why would anyone flee the scene after being involved in such a horrific accident unless they were trying to avoid criminal and civil responsibility?  Simply stated, under California law the flight of a person immediately after the commission of a crime is not sufficient in itself to establish guilt, but it is a fact which, if proved, the jury may consider in deciding a defendant’s guilt or innocence.   Here, evidence of the SUV driver’s flight would seem particularly compelling evidence since he would have had at least two reasons not to leave the scene: (1) to comply with the law requiring he stay, and (2) to render aid to those in the Argo vehicle who could easily have been, and actually were, badly injured.  In the context of a civil case, the hit-and-run driver’s responsibility would not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but only established by a preponderance of the evidence, that featherweight of evidence tending to prove negligence.

Compensation for the victims of  hit and run accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently or intentionally causes a serious injury accident and then flees the scene, they should be held criminally and civilly responsible.  An Orange County personal injury attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  The first step in recovering compensation for the victim is to seek appropriate representation.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury and automobile accident 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 hit-and-run 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.

Hit-and-Run Driver Causes Three Accidents - Killing One

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/09/2011

According to a KTLA news story, a hit-and-run driver struck three bicyclists, killing one of them, before being arrested by police at his home in Ventura last night.  KTLA has reported that authorities identified the suspect as 49-year-old Satnam Singh.  In addition to bicyclists, Singh reportedly struck occupied motor vehicles while behind the wheel of his Hummer.  The victim kiled was 20-year-old Nick Haverland.  Singh was reportedly booked on felony drunk driving, hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, officials said.

See the KTLA news story and video HERE.

Given his alleged conduct behind the wheel, Singh could be facing significant convictions in criminal court.  For example, in California a conviction of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated can carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.  Beyond the criminal penalties Singh may face, he could also be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages he caused while behind the wheel.  This would include the potential for being found liabile for the wrongful death of Haverland.  An action for wrongful death by the Haverland family could potentially include a claim for puntive damages, in addition to compensation for the loss of the society, care, love and affection of the victim.

Compensation for the victims of  hit and run accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When an intoxicated and reckless driver causes an injury or fatal accident and then flees the scene, they should be held criminally and civilly 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 and wrongful death 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  hit-and-run 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.

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