Police officer seriously injured in crash Patrol vehicle hit by suspected drunken driver (Sam Spital)

Commentary by Sam Spital, San Diego Personal Injury Attorney:

“A patrol car driven by a San Diego Police Department officer at approximately 2:30 a.m. was struck by a pick-up truck whose driver admitted he was driving under the influence (DUI). The UT News on December 30, 2012 reported the police officer was badly hurt with broken bones and internal injuries requiring surgery. The crash occurred a little over an hour after another collision in which it is believed the driver was also under the influence and killed another individual in a head on accident.

It strains credulity to believe anyone would risk the life of another and/or themself by driving after drinking an alcoholic beverage, albeit the male driver of the pick-up truck in the above collision reportedly had no injuries. Unfortunately, at this time of the year in celebrating the New Year holiday far too many individuals stay out late at night and may not realize they are fatigued and possibly drowsy, they drink at a party or gathering but fail to use a designated driver or take a taxi cab when they are ready to go home.

It seems likely in the not too distant future there will be ignition interlock devices (IID) in not only those automobiles in which the driver has been convicted and the Judge has ordered the installation of the device http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl31.htm, but in all vehicles to prevent the huge number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by DUI drivers. Remembering back several years ago, there were objections to seat belts being placed in automobiles and laws that soon were enacted that required they be used or it was deemed a violation of law. This historical perspective may be used to justify the IID since it too can prevent DUI related auto accidents.”

–Sam Spital

Woman dies after Alpine crash into tree (Sam Spital)

COMMENTARY BY SAN DIEGO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY SAM SPITAL:

“On December 16, 2012, the UT San Diego online edition printed an article regarding a 53 year old woman who died as a result of her crash into the flatbed of a semi-truck as she changed lanes on Highway 8, and then ran off the road and crashed into a tree.

The family and/or one of the heirs may seek advice from a personal injury lawyer to evaluate whether to bring a wrongful death case. Even though one is primarily responsible for operating his/her vehicle in the proper way to avoid accidents, the potential defendants and theories of liability in such a lawsuit would be for any dangerous condition as a result of the design and maintenance of roads and highways by the city, county and state government respectively. In addition, the overall safety, as well as design and manufacturing defects of the vehicle the woman was driving can be the principal or actual cause or a contributing cause of her death. As reported by the Centers of Disease Control and Preventing, accidents sadly remain the fifth leading cause of deaths in the United States, coming after heart disease (#1), cancer (#2), chronic lower respiratory diseases (#3) and strokes (#4). See http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm and the CDC website in general for a wealth of information related to public health issues and problems.”

–Sam Spital