While reading the news this morning one story caught my attention as a Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury lawyer. This story concerned a homeowner in Los Altos, California, who is being sued by the city due because they claim that a tree adjacent to his home obstructed visibility which contributed to a car wreck which seriously injured two pedestrians.
The police report for the auto accident says that two pedestrians were waiting at a crosswalk outside the home of Mark Choo. A car stopped to allow them to cross the road. However, a second car failed to stop and crashed into the back of the shopped vehicle, which was then knocked forward hitting the two pedestrians who were crossing the street. Both suffered what are being described as permanent and progressive in nature. This is not uncommon in traffic collisions which involve pedestrians. As a Fort Worth personal injury attorney I know that blunt force trauma, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries and paralysis are all common in pedestrian-car accidents.
While Texas law does allow for injury victims to make a claim against the local authority if it is determined that unsafe roads could have contributed to a multi-vehicle collision, it is not common for such a claim to be leveled against an individual homeowner. In this particular case, it appears the plaintiff's lawyer actually blamed the Los Altos city management, who in turn decided to pass the buck to Choo despite the fact the tree is not actually on his property. Choo says that he has never maintained the tree because power lines run between the branches. “PG&E comes out every 18 months or so and trims the tree. They told us not to touch it,” he said.
Although the city of Los Altos is making an indemnity claim against Mr. Choo they do not believe that the location of the crash is a dangerous intersection and report that there have been no previous collisions at that particular intersection.
Sadly, this is yet another one of those cases which gives car accident attorneys a bad name, despite the fact that it is the city of Los Altos who has brought Mr. Choo into the legal proceedings. It will be interesting to learn whether a jury ultimately places the blame solely with the driver of the second vehicle for failing to stop. One wonders if the reason why she didn't brake is because she was texting while driving. In my experience, distracted driving is frequently the reason for such wrecks.
Naturally, my sympathies lie most of all with the victims of this terrible accident and their families. It sounds like their lives will be permanently changed by this crash and I hope that their attorney is able to recover the full and fair compensation that they deserve so that the rest of their lives can be made as comfortable as possible.