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Families of bicyclists killed in car accidents sue Newport Beach

Fatal car accidents frequently generate lawsuits by the victims' surviving family members. Most often, these lawsuits will name the drivers of the other vehicles as defendants. But in some cases, the plaintiffs and their attorneys conclude that other parties are at fault as well, and the litigation expands.

Such has been the case in the city of Newport Beach,  which has recently been sued in two wrongful death lawsuits that involved bicyclists struck by cars at intersections.

In the first case, the family of a deceased bicyclist filed a claim alleging negligence in the maintenance of traffic signals, roads and street lighting, thereby creating dangerous conditions.

The second case involves the husband of a woman who was killed when she was struck by a minivan. The driver of the vehicle is being prosecuted by the Orange County district attorney for vehicular manslaughter. Newport Beach has denied any liability in both of the auto accidents and, in fact, is attempting to pass the buck to Caltrans in the second case.

Part of the work of a plaintiff’s attorney before filing a lawsuit is to investigate the underlying facts to determine what other individuals or entities may have created conditions or engaged in behaviors that led to the injury or death.

While “fighting city hall” may have difficulties that are not involved in suing an individual, a governmental unit that has contributed to a tragedy through its negligence or lack of action may be as liable for compensating the parties for losses as any other defendant.

Source: The Daily Pilot, "Newport fights wrongful-death claims," Jeremiah Dobruck, June 10, 2014

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505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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