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Three more critically injured in Long Beach multi-vehicle truck accident.

Three big rigs were involved in a double fatality accident on the 710 Freeway (Long Beach Freeway) Monday afternoon according to the Los Angeles Times. The accident included a two-axle box truck and a red Nissan compact carrying four passengers. The two fatalities were in the Nissan. Three others were critically injured.

According to the spokesman for the California Highway Patrol in East Los Angeles, Bill Preciado, investigators determined late Monday that the crash was caused by a speeding Ford pickup and a Mustang convertible.

The driver of the Mustang is being sought by authorities. Armando Casares, 35, of Long Beach, the driver of the pickup truck, was arrested and being held on two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and hit-and-run, all felonies, Preciado said.

This may turn out to be one of those situations where the “at fault” drivers are not found and/or not insured. So what do you do if you one of the injured or the family of one of the deceased and the at fault drivers are either not found and/or not insured? These are my suggestions in a situation like this:
(1) If the involved truck drivers were some how at fault, they could be looked to for compensation. If any of the truck drivers are partially or arguably, at fault, a skilled personal injury attorney will be able to recovery compensation for the injured parties and the families of the deceased victims from the employers of the truck drivers.
(2) If the truck drivers have zero responsibility, then the attorneys for the injured parties will look for uninsured/underinsured coverage either on the vehicle the killed or injured were in or on their own auto insurance policy (even if their vehicle was not involved). This is another area where a skilled personal injury attorney will know where to find insurance coverage.
(3) Another area of possible compensation is an analysis of the accident itself. Was there any freeway design or maintenance issues that contributed to the accident. If so, there may be a case against CalTrans or a CalTrans contractor. Not many law firms are experienced in highway design, defect or maintenance issues but there are a few (of course we are one of them). Keep in mind that such a claim must be properly filed within 180 days of the accident.
(4) Lastly, the victims of this accident may very well have a claim against the California Victims of Violent Crime Fund.

If the involved truck drivers are not at fault and the driver of the Nissan, the pickup or the Mustang are either at fault, partially at fault or arguably at fault, then the drivers will have a claim against those drivers and their employers, if they were on the job at the time. The truck drivers will also have a claim against their workers’ compensation insurance regardless of who is at fault. Again, skilled attorneys will be best to advise the injured of their rights both for a workers compensation claim and/or a third party claim.

Call me for assistance if you have been involved in an accident. Consultations are free.

This accident shows the need to maintain relatively high “uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage” on your auto insurance policy. Discuss this subject with your auto insurance broker. I suggest carrying a very high limit. It isn’t very expensive. You never know when a negligent driver is going to put your life and income in jeopardy.

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