(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury/auto accident case and its proceedings.)
Several witnesses, observing that Archie was underneath the SUV screamed at defendant to stop. Defendant, completely oblivious as to what was happening, continued on and did not stop until more than 20 feet later. Archie was pummeled against the asphalt as his body was propelled underneath the SUV all the way from the bike lane to the second lane of eastbound traffic on San Vicente Boulevard. When defendant’s SUV finally came to rest, the rear wheel pinned Archie to the ground. Again oblivious, witnesses had to get the defendant’s attention to reverse the SUV so that they could attend to Archie. (See deposition testimony of Cathy and Frank Bennett below.) Archie suffered massive injuries, including traumatic brain injury.
The Santa Monica Police Department determined that defendant caused the accident by failing to yield to Archie who was lawfully traveling in the bike lane at the time of the incident in contravention of Vehicle Code Section 21802 (a).
Defendants do not dispute liability.
PLAINTIFF WAS NOT COMPARATIVELY AT FAULT, THEREFORE DEFENDANTS ARE 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CATASTROPHIC INJURIES AND DAMAGES
Although it may be negligence where the injured party fails to discover the danger by neglecting to look or by looking ahead without glancing to either side, the rule does not apply in situations where there is reasonable reliance on another’s duty of care.
The general rule is that one to whom a duty of care is owing by another has the right to assume that the person who owes such duty will perform it; and in the absence of reasonable ground to think otherwise, it is not negligence on the part of the one to whom the duty is owing to assume that he will not be exposed to a danger which can come to him only through a violation of that duty by the person owing it. (See generally Witkin, Summary of California Law, Ninth Edition, Torts, Vol. 6 section 1066; Gornstein v. Priver (1923) 64 Cal. App. 249, 259.) (See Part 3 of 4.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.