Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Over the past decade, the number of railroad riders in America has increased markedly, according to the Federal Transit Authority Rail Safety Statistics Report. Indeed, toward the end of the last decade, the FTA counted more than 18.5 billion passenger miles. Rail safety is one of the safest ways to travel in the United States, but the railroad industry still faces significant safety concerns. Indeed, personal injury claims arise frequently when victims are injured in the vicinity of railroad tracks.


In order to make sure that rail travel remains safe and free of injuries in California, transportation officials recently announced that they’d be kicking off a year-long rail safety campaign. It’s called “Be Track Smart,” and it’s intended to “cut down on death or injury on the tracks in California,” according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

Rail safety is a serious concern across the United States. Every year, rail transit systems experience hundreds of injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured on a railway or by an accident on railroad tracks, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced injury attorneys at the Walton Law Firm to discuss your case.

After the family of a former San Diego Chargers linebacker filed a brain injury lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL) earlier this year, we’ve been keeping you up to date on the status of a massive NFL concussion lawsuit involving more than 4,500 former players and their families. As of just last week, the players and the NFL reached a settlement for $765 million in medical costs and related research, according to an article in Forbes.

But is the payout really sufficient when we think about the brain injuries suffered by so many former players? Or does the payout indicate that the league did in fact have a duty to warn players about the dangers of multiple concussions and the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury?


History of the Lawsuit

When we wake up and leave for work in the morning, most of us expect that we’ll be safe while we’re on the job and that we won’t be exposed to unnecessary risks. However, construction workers and others who operate heavy machinery face special risks when they reach their jobsites. Just last week, a brewery worker was killed when the forklift he had been operating overturned and pinned him, according to U-T San Diego



This news comes shortly after another forklift accident in southern California in June, when a forklift driver died from injuries sustained on the job in Riverside County. Unfortunately, accidental deaths occur more often than we’d like to think. Indeed, they’re among the leading causes of death in America today. What’s worse is that many of these accidents are preventable. When a loved one is killed in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation by filing wrongful death law claim. An experienced injury lawyer can discuss your case with you today.

As congregants of the Church of the Resurrection in Escondido gathered for a service several children were playing around a golf cart used by church staff. One of those children was a 4-year-old boy. For reasons currently unknown, the cart accelerated forward and onto the young boy, who became trapped. Several nearby adults ran to the cart and removed the child, who was in medical distress.

The parents of the child put him in their car and began driving to the hospital when they passed the Escondido police and fire station on Centre City Parkway. Instead of continuing to drive, the parents chose to pull over and seek help from police and fire, who took over the car. The boy was transported to Palomar Hospital before being taken to Rady’s Children’s Hospital where he later died.


The circumstances surrounding the accident and unclear, but there is likely civil liability for the church, assuming it owns the golf cart. Negligence law requires that all people and business (including churches) act reasonably, and do not create any dangerous circumstances. That duty is very likely heightened when there are children at play, where items like golf carts can become an attraction.

Earlier this month, a diver died after being pinned against a sea wall at La Jolla Shores. He was found unconscious, and lifeguards were unable to revive him. This recent drowning accident should raise awareness about the dangers of diving in California.

Drowning is a serious concern in southern California, especially as the weather grows warmer and people flock to the beaches. Drowning cases have a statute of limitations in California. Since you only have two years from the date of the accident to file an accidental death claim, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options for filing a lawsuit.

Dangerous Waters in La Jolla


A tour bus carrying 43 passengers rolled over yesterday on Highway 38, just north of Yucaipa in San Bernardino County. According to reports, the bus, registered to a company called Scapadas Magicas LLC in National City, was traveling down a slight grade when the driver stated he was having difficulty braking. At around 6:30 p.m. it rear-ended a Saturn, and then rolled over.

News accounts state that seven people were killed in the accident, and at least 17 suffered serious injuries.

Both the coroner and the California Highway Patrol’s multidisciplinary accident team was on the scene throughout the night in what some law enforcement officers are calling the worst crash they have ever seen.

The family of Jose Lucero, a Rosamond man, who they contend was beaten to death by four Kern County Sheriff’s deputies in 2010, was awarded a $4.5 million judgment in their civil lawsuit against the deputies, the sheriff’s department, and Kern County. The jury found that the defendants acted negligently, causing the death of Mr. Lucero and serious emotional distress to his parents, who witnessed the confrontation. Mr. Lucero’s official cause of death was cardiac arrest following police restraint in association with methamphetamine intoxication, the coroner’s office reported in March 2011.

On December 18, 2010, sheriff’s deputies went to Mr. Lucero’s home, because he had been repeatedly making calls to the 911 emergency center, saying that a friend in Lancaster was being assaulted and murdered. Mr. Lucero had mental health issues and was a recovering drug addict, with the coroner reporting methamphetamine discovered in Mr. Lucero’s system.

Originally, three deputies responded to the situation, with a fourth arriving later. The entire incident took approximately six minutes. It is estimated that Mr. Lucero was shocked with a Taser twenty-nine times. One of the deputies also used pepper spray in the closed environment of the home, causing the deputies to suffer the pepper spray’s symptoms, which made the situation worse. Mr. Lucero’s parents were repeatedly told to leave the home during the altercation, but kept returning to see what was happening. Unfortunately, the fact that Mr. Lucero’s parents kept returning meant they witnessed the deputies beating him to death.

The nation was shocked this week by a senseless act of unimaginable terror in Aurora, Colorado. Our Southern California wrongful death attorneys were incredibly saddened to hear the ABC 8 News report that 24 year old graduate student, James Eagan Holmes, has been accused of killing 12 people and wounding 59 others in a shooting rampage at a midnight showing of the film “The Dark Knight Rises”. Holmes is accused of setting off either smoke or chemical bombs in the theater before beginning to shoot into the packed theater. He was arrested behind the theater, dressed in all black tactical equipment on, including a riot helmet, gas mask, and bulletproof vest. He was allegedly in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, and two .40 Glock pistols at the time of surrender. In addition to the shooting rampage, his apartment was booby trapped with apparent explosive devices. police-tape.jpg

Holmes grew up in Ranch Penasquitos, California, where his parents still live. He graduated in 2006 from Westview High School, and in 2010 graduated with honors from University of California – Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. In 2011 he began a phD program at the University of Colorado. The University reported that as of last week Holmes was in the process of completing voluntary withdrawal paperwork from the program. San Diego Police are devoting extra attention to the neighborhood that Holmes grew up in to preserve the peace of the neighborhood and provide protection for the Holmes Family after media swarmed in upon confirmation that his family lived there. Neighbors were shocked to learn that the quiet, science genius they knew as a child was being accused of such horrific acts.

In extreme cases like this one, prosecutors will act swiftly to bring the accused to justice. However, civil action can also be taken in order to help victims and their families through the healing process, as well as financially. An example of such a civil action is a wrongful death action. These cases are generally brought by surviving spouses, children of the victim, or the victim’s dependent parents. Damages are meant to compensate the survivor for what they lost due to the victim’s death. This can include economic support for loss of wages, funeral expenses, etc. Wrongful death suits must be brought within statutory time limits so it is vital for family members to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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A Border Patrol agent was the party at fault in a car collision this past Tuesday. According to an article in U-T San Diego, the agent collided with a car driven by a woman at an Imperial County intersection. The woman was traveling on Heber Road while the Border Patrol agent was heading northbound on Bowker Road. According to a report by the California Highway Patrol, the agent had a stop sign and failed to come to a complete stop at the intersection, striking the woman’s vehicle and sending her car into a nearby canal. The woman suffered a fractured neck and was treated at the El Centro hospital. Our San Diego automobile accident attorney recognizes that anyone, even law enforcement authorities such as Border Patrol agents, can exercise unsafe driving behavior at times, causing serious injuries to others on the roadways.

History of Accidents
A similar accident occurred at the same intersection three years ago in December 2009 where an on-duty federal agent struck a car, causing the deaths of three women. Journalistic reports explained that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent was chasing a suspected drug smuggler and was traveling at a speed of 100 mph just before the collision. The agent was charged with vehicular manslaughter by the Imperial County district attorney, but due to his position as a federal agent, a federal San Diego judge deemed Dotson immune from the criminal charges since he was acting in the line of duty at the time of the incident. However, his status as a federal agent does not provide immunity from civil lawsuits brought against him. The family members of the three women killed in the accident brought suit – likely a wrongful death suit – against Dotson and was awarded a settlement in the amount of $11 million.

stop%20sign%20%28Peter%20Kominski%29.jpgInvestigations do not state whether the Border Patrol agent in this particular accident was acting while in the line of duty at the time the incident occurred. However, in regards to criminal proceedings, this detail is irrelevant since criminal charges have not been brought against the agent. Whether the agent was acting in the scope of employment at the time of the accident may affect who can be named a party in a civil suit. Regardless of whether he was acting in the line of duty, the agent was nonetheless negligent in his failure to make a complete stop at the stop sign. Therefore, his failure to exercise reasonable care ultimately caused the woman in the other vehicle to sustain serious injuries, allowing her to seek compensation for her recovery.

Unfortunately, failure to obey simple rules on the roadways creates a hazard for all other law-abiding drivers. Simply failing to stop at a stop sign can cause serious accidents such as the particular collision in this case. In the event that you are the victim of an automobile accident or any other accident causing personal injury, please contact our San Diego personal injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm.

See Related Blog Posts:

Teenage Street Racing Crash Kills Two and Seriously Injures Two

San Diego County Truck Accident Kills Two On Interstate 10

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officer%20silhouette.jpgMemorial Day weekend is a time to honor and show appreciation to all who selflessly serve our country. Of course, unofficially it marks the beginning of the summer season and a time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. Traditional Memorial Day weekend festivities involve a lot of food and drink. The three-day hiatus compels the masses to overindulge on these amenities – sometimes alcohol – often creating dangerous situations that cause serious accidents on our roadways. Our San Diego automobile accident attorney recognizes the increased risk of car accidents during this time.

This year there was a bit of good news locally.

During this past Memorial Day weekend, according to an article in, the California Highway Patrol arrested 68 motorists on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in the San Diego area. As reported by the California Highway Patrol, this number was 15 fewer than last year. Even more encouraging news is that no fatalities occurred on the local roads in the San Diego area during the Memorial Day weekend.

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