Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is currently representing the family of a 15-year-old boy who was killed when a suspected drunk driver lost control of their vehicle, rolled over, and struck the teen in a Lancaster intersection.
The crash, which took place on the evening of May 20, 2017, involved a vehicle that swerved around two cars stopped for pedestrians at the intersection of Avenue L West and 32nd Street West. According to authorities, the vehicles had come to a stop at the intersection in order to allow pedestrians, including the victim and his family, to cross the street.
As the third vehicle swerved to narrowly avoid colliding with the two stopped cars, it collided into an embankment, rolled over, and struck the young boy. He died as a result of his injuries at a nearby hospital. Officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department suspect that the driver involved in the collision may have been intoxicated at the time.
This incident was a tragedy for all those involved, and our firm intends to provide the support and representation our clients need as they navigate these difficult times and the legal journey ahead. Although investigations are continuing into whether alcohol played a role in the crash, the driver had been reportedly traveling at high speeds, and failed to stop at the intersection where pedestrians were crossing the street. This failure to safely operate their vehicle is a clear indication of negligence, and an act for which the driver can be held fully accountable.
Regardless of whether the driver in this case faces criminal charges in connection to the accident, such as driving under the influence and / or vehicular manslaughter, the family still has a right to pursue justice and financial compensation in our civil justice system. This is because criminal and civil cases are conducted independently of one another – with criminal cases concerning whether an individual is guilty of a crime, and civil cases concerning whether that individual can be held liable for injuries, death, and victims’ damages.
With extensive experience as both criminal defense and personal injury attorneys, our legal team is prepared to fight aggressively on behalf of our clients in their wrongful death case. We believe in the power of our civil laws, and intend to prove this tragedy could and should have been prevented. Doing so will not only allow our clients to secure a sense of justice and the financial compensation they deserve, but also send a clear message that negligence behind the wheel will never be tolerated.