Los Angeles has a well-established illegal street racing culture and may even be where drag racing started in North America. Every year, victims become injured in car accidents from reckless street races. Illegal street racing frequently involves driving at extremely high speeds in unfamiliar places. Street racing is dangerous because it can cause injuries to street racing drivers, spectators, and other innocent victims.
If you or your loved one have been injured or killed in a Los Angeles car street racing accident, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages. The attorneys at Saeedian Law Group are prepared to investigate your case and leverage our legal experience to pursue the total compensation you need and deserve. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation. Contact Saeedian Law Group to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you.
The Dangers of Illegal Street Racing
Illegal street racing competitions lack the type of professional standards and safety equipment that professional racing venues employ. Safety features such as roll cages, racing fuel cells, and fire suits are not utilized during illegal drag racing competitions. Also, street racers aren’t trained to handle high-performance vehicles while racing safely. Other drivers on the road who aren’t involved in the streets can be at risk of being involved in a series of accidents.
When street racers veer off the road, they can collide with pedestrians and cause serious injuries or death. Most street races occur on public roads with significant traffic that are designed for something other than vehicle racing. Street racing can also damage property, including street signs torn up and fences, and gates being destroyed on private property.
Street Racing Accidents Can Cause Severe Injuries
Anytime vehicles are using excessive speeds. Collisions will involve excessive force, and victims will be more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. Between 2000 and 2017, over 178 people died in Los Angeles County car accidents associated with illegal straight racing. Drivers can more easily lose control of their vehicles at high speeds and collide with other vehicles.
High-speed collisions are more likely to cause explosive fires that can lead to severe burn injuries. The force of impact can also cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, internal bleeding, and other disabling injuries. Victims can also suffer nerve damage, head and neck injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Criminal Liability in Street Racing Crashes
Street racing is illegal in California, and the penalties are serious. Still, the severe penalties don’t stop people from violating the law and engaging in street races. Under California, street racers can be charged with manslaughter if the race caused a collision that resulted in the death of one or more people. If you’ve been seriously injured or your loved one has died in a street race, you will likely experience a sense of justice if a criminal court convicts the at-fault driver.
In addition to criminal liability, street drivers can be held accountable in civil courts. Regardless of whether the at-fault driver in your case has been convicted, you can still pursue compensation from the driver through a personal injury lawsuit. The purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to provide victims with the compensation they need and deserve after being injured in an accident.
Proving Liability in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you’ve been injured in a street racing accident, you can pursue compensation for your medical expenses and other damages through a civil lawsuit. Recovering compensation through a civil lawsuit requires you to prove that the at-fault party who caused the accident is liable for your injuries. Under California law, plaintiffs must prove multiple elements to succeed in a personal injury law. First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. Every driver on California roads, including street racers, owes everyone else on the roads a duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances.
Plaintiffs need to prove that the at-fault driver breached his or her duty of care. Driving in a street race is illegal and extremely dangerous. For those reasons, victims can generally prove negligence through the doctrine of negligence per se. Street racers violate a traffic law intended to protect others on the road. As long as you prove that the driver was street racing, you can prove that they were driving negligently. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the driver’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in their injuries.
Obtaining Compensation for a Street Racing Accident
Due to the excessive speed and reckless nature of street driving, many victims suffer catastrophic injuries that require significant medical treatment. Serious injuries like traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries can result in over a million dollars of medical treatment throughout a person’s lifetime. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can help victims obtain all of the damages they’ve incurred because of the street racing accident, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Loss of household support
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of marital relationship with a spouse
- Loss of moral support
- Loss of training and guidance
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
Punitive Damages May Be Available
When the defendant has engaged in egregious conduct, the court can award the victim with additional punitive damages. Illegal street racing is considered grossly reckless. Courts may be willing to award victims punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others who may engage in similarly reckless behavior.
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Saeedian Law Group Is a trusted Los Angeles-area law firm dedicated to helping victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our team of experienced litigators has a proven track record of recovering favorable settlements for car accident victims. We will use our experience and resources to thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Contact Saeedian Law Group to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.