The weekend's tragic Stockton Tunnel accident has raised numerous questions concerning pedestrian safety and liability.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Stockton and Sacramento streets when a car failed to yield to a pedestrian, fatally striking her. As a result of the accident, the tunnel was closed for several hours. The driver was arrested and book into San Francisco county jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and failing to yield to a pedestrian.
In addition to the potential criminal charges facing the driver, civil charges may also follow. In many accidents involving deaths or serious personal injuries both civil and criminal components may exist. For example, where a wrongful death occurs a driver may face reckless driving charges and potential jail time, and also be required to pay damages to the surviving family members based on civil negligence.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury, or you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, consulting with an experienced San Francisco wrongful death attorney right away is important to ensure you understand your rights and your next steps.
Here, several questions concerning liability – that of the driver and potential municipal or other entity – have been raised. A police officer investigating the accident notes, "We're going to make a determination as to what signal lights were green and if there was a red hand up …On some of the blocks on Stockton street, the light may be green, but the hand is red." Further, witnesses have commented that the intersection is notorious for "congestion, speeding and impatient drivers." Where roadway conditions cause or contribute to an accident's occurrence, a family may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death claim asserting "roadway negligence." These types of claims may provide a family the opportunity to recover greater compensation than suits against individuals.
This accident remains under investigation.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a serious personal injury accident, please contact the top San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.