Jul 13, 2021
The streets and roadways around Los Angeles County and throughout California are dangerous as-is. A recent National Safety Council (NSC) report found that the estimated mileage death rate for the year 2020 was 1.49 deaths per 100 vehicle miles traveled – a staggering 24% increase from 2019. Many of those fatal car crashes occurred right here in Southern California, with 94 confirmed deaths recorded in the Antelope Valley region throughout 2020. As of June 7, 2021, there were already at least 44 confirmed fatal motor vehicle crashes in that area of Southern California.
“Our fatality numbers throughout the Antelope Valley are out of control,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Investigator, Matthew Davis, recently told ABC 7.
As we noted in a recent blog, high-speed street racing is a serious danger to residents of Southern California. And illegal street racing has become increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic when roads are often empty. As KTLA reported, “Experts say TV shows and movies glorifying street racing had already fueled interest in recent years. Then shutdowns associated with the pandemic cleared normally clogged highways as commuters worked from home.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Street racing led to two tragic fatalities in Orange County. In January, Eugene Harbrecht, a longtime editor with the Orange County Register, was killed when a car that was street racing hit his truck. A month prior to Harbrecht’s death, a Huntington Beach videographer – Daniel “Dano” Patten – was killed while filming an illegal street race in Carson. Patten was reportedly known for filming car shows and other events around the city.
Illegal street racing has become so popular in Southern California that many news outlets have visited the region to cover stories. ABC News recently interviewed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant, Michael Downing, a 17-year veteran who knows the risk of illegal street racing “all too well.”
“It seems lately, almost every weekend or every couple of weeks, we have a fatality somewhere in the county that’s related to street racing,” Sergeant Downing told ABC. “You see on the freeway, all the time, the high speeds and they crash into somebody who’s going slower or [an] innocent party on the freeway gets killed.”
As illegal street racing has surged, authorities have taken steps to combat such activity and crack down on offenders. CBS 2 reported that the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division set up a sting with the California Highway Patrol this past Sunday to “stop street racers in their tracks.”
According to CBS, the operation included 54 officers who gathered for a briefing and then set out across the valley on a mission to find and arrest anyone engaging in illegal street racing.
“We wanna solve the problem,” LAPD Valley Traffic Sergeant, Jodie McGee, said to CBS, adding that “…the only way to solve the problem is arresting these guys and hitting them where it counts and that’s where it cost[s] them money.”
Sergeant McGee reportedly headed up the operation, and told CBS that while it’s never hard to see where the racers have already been, actually catching them in the act is a far more difficult task.
“They’ll be under-covers in the area. They keep us posted on what’s going on. If they leave, then they’ll follow them and let us know exactly where they’re going,” McGee told CBS.
As we noted in our previous blog, many street racing events garner thousands of social media followers online for livestreams across various platforms and channels.
When CBS tagged along for Sunday’s LAPD sting operation, officers were reportedly aware of social media reports mentioning a gathering of street racers in Sylmar by around 8 p.m. However, as CBS reported, while police met nearby and awaited an exact location, the group of racers took to the freeway and were able to successfully flee the undercover officers tailing them.
Despite the getaway, some of the vehicles suspected of being involved in illegal racing were spotted by authorities, CBS reported. Officers “swooped in, rounding up about a dozen vehicles in Shadow Hills and detaining the drivers.”
CBS released exclusive video of the illegal street racing sting operation.
Laws have been changed recently to keep up with the popularity of illegal street racing. In May, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Santa Ana City Council provided initial approval for an ordinance allowing police to target spectators who knowingly attend a street race within 200 feet of the event. However, although a street racing spectator violation may include a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the city must first provide a written warning to any accused spectator.
California law also makes it illegal to engage in street racing, drag racing, or speed contests on public roads, streets, and highways. Such offenses are punishable under Vehicle Code 23109 VC (speed contests) and Vehicle Code 23103 VC (reckless driving). An illegal street racing conviction – typically a misdemeanor – may carry jail time, probation, and fines.
CBS 2 reported that both the LAPD and several local residents have indicated that they would like to see fines for street racing increased. The report suggested the idea of potentially instituting a type of mandatory community service for anyone convicted of illegal street racing.
Whether you’re injured in a street racing accident as a driver or pedestrian, the at-fault party should be responsible for any economic or non-economic losses suffered as a result of the incident. A personal injury lawsuit is a means of recovering financial compensation for such losses (known as damages in legalese).
Common damages that may be recovered through an illegal street racing personal injury lawsuit include:
In the event of a tragic illegal street racing fatality, the surviving family members of the decedent may file a wrongful death claim to recover financial compensation. Some common damages recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit include:
If you’ve been injured in an illegal street racing accident, don’t put your all-too-important claim in the hands of just any law firm. Choose the absolute best, most experienced, and consistently proven California car accident lawyers at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) who will fight to recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
At DLG, we have over two decades of experience assisting injured car accident victims with successful personal injury claims. Led by a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County – Sam Dordulian – DLG provides an unparalleled level of expertise and dedication that other firms simply can’t match.
With over 100 jury trial victories, Dordulian gives injured car accident victims the added advantage of real courtroom experience and proven results, providing the peace of mind they need when navigating the sometimes difficult and stressful legal process. We’re here to help you make a complete recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially.
With more than $100,000,000 recovered in settlements and verdicts for injured victims like you, and a 98% success record indicating our sincere devotion and personalized commitment to each and every case we handle, DLG is truly the best choice you can make when searching for a qualified, experienced, and proven car accident lawyer in the Los Angeles, California-area.
Contact us today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 to learn more about the many advantages DLG offers to car accident victims. When you choose DLG, you never have to worry about having to accept a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company or at-fault party.
With Sam Dordulian’s courtroom expertise and experience, we prepare every case for trial, ensuring you’re never forced to accept minimized compensation (like at other settlement mill firms) for your car accident claim. At DLG, we fight aggressively to recover the maximum financial compensation you deserve – working diligently to reach a settlement or obtain a verdict that takes into account all applicable losses, including any future medical care you may require.
DLG’s Car Accident Division features two skilled attorneys who previously worked as defense counsel for major auto insurance corporations. Now, these proven and highly-experienced car accident lawyers fight on behalf of our clients, ensuring they’re never taken advantage of by the major auto insurers and their high-powered legal teams.
Furthermore, DLG employs an in-house Chief Investigator – retired LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective Moses Castillo – to uncover critical evidence in car accident cases. Such evidence can help prove your claim and increase your damages award. In car accident claims, the slightest piece of evidence can be the difference between a significant sum of money. At DLG, we understand the importance of recovering crucial evidence for our clients, and we work with a dedicated in-house professional to do so.
With DLG, your car accident claim is in the best possible hands – a proven team of attorneys with the experience and past success you need to ensure your case reaches a successful conclusion. When you’re injured in a car accident or illegal street racing collision, don’t settle for just any attorney. Be selective and conduct thorough research to determine which attorney will not only give you the best chance at success, but also treat you and your claim with the respect, personalized attention, and discretion it deserves.
For a car accident or street racing injury, contact the expert attorneys at DLG.
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