Police have arrested a 46-year-old man in connection with a hit-and-run car accident in San Diego, which killed 47-year-old James Steven Swarzman the morning of April 11, 2011. According to a news report in The San Diego Union-Tribune, the fatal bicycle accident occurred on North Highway 101 in Encinitas when a Dodge Ram 1500 truck rear-ended Swarzman’s bicycle. He sustained fatal injuries and died from his injuries. Shortly after the deadly collision, Joseph Ricardo Fernandez, 46, informed authorities that he may have been involved and had left the scene of the crash. Investigators linked Fernandez to the fatal accident based on debris at the scene and arrested him on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Authorities are also looking into whether alcohol was a factor in this fatal car accident.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of James Steven Swarzman. My thoughts and prayers are with them following this tragic San Diego car accident.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 20 injuries reported as a result of bicycle accidents in Encinitas. In San Diego County as a whole, bicycle accidents claimed seven lives and injured 959 people during that same year.
Violation of Laws
California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” Not only is leaving the scene of an injury car accident illegal, but it is also an inhumane and irresponsible act.
In addition, officials are looking into whether Fernandez was under the influence at the time. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
Victims’ Claim for Compensation
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of companionship and other related damages. A knowledgeable San Diego personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims’ families about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured.
Lost a family member in a San Diego County car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a fatal Encinitas bicycle accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys San Diego wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.