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Brain-Injured San Francisco Bay Area Teen Still in a Coma


A 15-year-old girl remains in a coma after she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a San Francisco Bay Area pedestrian-car accident that happened at the street intersection of Healdsburg Avenue and Florence Avenue on July 3, 2009. According to The Santa Rosa Press Democrat news report, the girl was crossing the downtown Sebastopol street in a crosswalk when she was struck by a car driven by 65-year-old Linda Chilvers. Doctors are now saying that the teenager could be in the hospital for six to eight months at least.

My heart goes out to the family of this teenager, especially her parents. I wish this young girl the very best for a quick and complete recovery, although she probably has a long road ahead. Please keep her in your prayers.

Car Accident Investigation

According to news reports, the girl’s family is working on getting her long-term treatment. The news report stated that police were investigating this California car accident. But Chilvers’ attorney, David Rouda, reports to us that the police report in this case indicated that there will be no criminal charges against Chilvers. Rouda also reports that this accident occurred at a non-signaled crosswalk.

California law states that motorists should yield to pedestrians walking in crosswalks. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”

Contacting a California Personal Injury Lawyer

In car accident cases where a victim has suffered serious personal injury such as a traumatic brain injury, the victim or his/her family would be well-advised to consult an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer who will look into who or what caused the crash and whether there was any negligence involved. A skilled car accident attorney will also look into whether a dangerous intersection may have caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the governmental agency in charge of maintaining that roadway could be held liable. Please remember that in California, any such claim against a governmental agency must be filed with six months of the accident or injury. Victims and their families would be well-advised to choose a personal injury law firm that also has a successful track record representing brain-injured clients and standing up against government agencies and entities.

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