A 24-year-old Perris man was killed, and his three passengers were seriously injured late last week in a 1:15 a.m. car crash that occurred when he lost control of an Infiniti G-37 that he was driving. He entered northbound Interstate 215 at a high speed from State Route 74 near Lake Elsinore. Nobody in the vehicle was seat belted, and everybody in it was ejected when it overturned. There is no indication yet as to whether the driver’s insurer intends to compensate the accident victims for their injuries and damages.
A Cause of Action Continues to Exist
Whether or not a careless and negligent driver survives an accident is legally irrelevant for purposes of personal injury law. A personal injury cause of action for the driver’s passengers who were injured in the crash doesn’t die with the driver. It continues until such time as the statute of limitations for personal injury runs.
The California Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Even if you make an injury claim with the driver’s insurance company and the claim is denied, you still have the remainder of the period prescribed by the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit. The general rule in California is that the statute of limitations for personal injury is two years from the date of the accident. Should an alleged injury victim fail to file a personal injury lawsuit within that two-year period, he or she will be forever barred from proceeding further. If a lawsuit is timely filed, it can be brought against the deceased driver’s estate. That legal rule would apply even if the driver lived through the accident and died from unrelated causes during the two-year period after the accident.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Today
Recollections of events can get fuzzy, and witnesses or evidence can disappear into thin air. After suffering injuries in any Los Angeles area motor vehicle crash, you’ll want to speak with a dedicated Los Angeles car accident lawyer at your earliest opportunity. Contact us for a free confidential consultation and case review.