Three teen boys were recently injured in Garden Grove when an SUV ran a red light. According to police, the boys were in a marked crosswalk and making their way across a popular intersection when they were struck by the SUV. Fortunately, none of the boys died in the accident. However, they were transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.
The boys’ families may seriously consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the SUV driver when they get their hospital bills. Accident-related injuries can generate tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. If any of the boys were severely injured in the accident, they may be faced with a lifelong disability. A lawsuit can allow the boys to recover compensation for those (and other) costs.
Red Light Accidents in Los Angeles
Intersections in Los Angeles are incredibly dangerous. More than 37 percent of all fatal car accidents in Los Angeles involve an intersection. Most injury-causing and fatal pedestrian accidents happen where two roads meet. As area roads continue to get more congested, it does not seem likely that intersection accidents will stop happening anytime soon.
Causes of Intersection Accidents in Los Angeles
Why are intersections so dangerous? There are many different factors that contribute to these types of accidents.
Distracted Drivers: Drivers are more distracted than ever. In fact, most drivers admit to using their cell phone while in a moving vehicle. Since drivers are more concerned with texts and social media, they are unable to pay attention to their surroundings. Intersections are used by everyone. When one person isn’t paying attention, accidents happen.
Distracted Pedestrians: Pedestrians are also more distracted than ever. In fact, many pedestrians are so distracted that they simply forget they are sharing the road with dangerous vehicles. Instead of paying attention, pedestrians wander into traffic and get hurt. Many pedestrians are entering intersections before it is safe.
Improper Turns: Intersections are often used to make turns. When turning at an intersection, you have a duty to make sure you will not impede the flow of traffic or put anyone in harm’s way. Many drivers are simply in a rush and do not make safe turns.
Trying to Beat the Light: When traffic is congested, drivers will do whatever they can to cut their commute short. This includes sailing through an intersection when the traffic signal turns yellow. Instead of slowing down and playing it safe, drivers try to “beat” the red light. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly dangerous for anyone presently in the intersection or crosswalk.
Can Teens File Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Three teenage boys were injured in the Garden Grove accident. Can they each file a personal injury lawsuit against te SUV driver?
Guardian Ad Litem
In California, you have the legal capacity to file a civil lawsuit. Anyone under the age of 18 does not have this legal capacity. However, this does not mean that teens cannot get the money they deserve.
The state simply requires the teens to request a guardian ad litem. This guardian, which is usually a parent, is given the legal authority to handle the lawsuit on the teen’s behalf. This allows the teen to pursue compensation immediately with the assistance of a parent.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations
In California, accident victims have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for damages. Specifically, victims have two years from the date of the accident. However, there are certain times when the statute of limitations can be extended. One such circumstance is when the accident victim is under the age of 18.
The statute of limitations can be tolled (paused) until the victim’s 18th birthday. This would allow the injured teen to file a lawsuit up until their 20th birthday. Waiting to file a lawsuit can help to determine the full extent of any accident-related injuries. It can also allow the teens to recover compensation without the help of a guardian.
Get Help Today
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles accident? Contact Glotzer & Leib, LLP for help. Our attorneys know that an unexpected accident can be devastating. We will fight to get you the money you deserve. Call our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free case assessment.