Just after midnight on a Sunday morning in March, the driver of a rented Tesla raced up a leafy stretch of Baxter Street in Los Angeles’s Echo Park neighborhood. Hitting the crest of the hill propelled the car into the air for a few seconds, sending it an estimated 50 feet or more before crash landing on its front bumper and careening into two parked cars and several garbage cans. The driver and his passengers, including a cat, abandoned the 2018 Tesla S-BLM and fled the scene, said witnesses. One of them includes the owner of a Subaru damaged in the crash–who video-recorded the aftermath on his phone.
Although it’s been called a stunt by numerous commentators on Twitter and other social media platforms, it was a hit-and-run incident. Moreover, it will get the driver slapped with hit-and-run misdemeanor charges, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
California is an at-fault insurance state
California is an at-fault insurance state. The person found to be responsible for causing the wreck and their insurance provider must pay for the costs of any property damage and personal injuries caused by the accident. However, it’s still necessary for the plaintiffs’ car accident lawyers to prove the driver’s liability to be compensated for their losses.
In the Echo Park crash, video of the entire incident, including the speeding ascent of the hill, went viral. That, compounded by witnesses’ statements of seeing the driver and passengers in the rented Tesla flee the scene, should provide sufficient evidence to support negligence claims.
In addition, there was a coordinated meetup of Tesla drivers that the rental driver attended before the wreck. This was reported by the meetup’s host, car aficionado Alex Choi, in a video post to his own YouTube channel. If the meetup is found to have played a part in motivating the stunt, it could potentially drag Choi and others into the web of liability for the accident.
With negligence claims, a plaintiff’s lawyer needs to show:
• The driver had a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely.
• The other driver breached this duty of care.
• The actions of the other driver caused the accident.
• The accident directly caused injuries or financial losses.
Further, anyone who sustains injuries in a car crash has two years to file a personal injury claim. Owners of cars and other property damaged in an accident have three years to file a property damage lawsuit–to recover economic costs such as car repairs, car rental expenses, and other expenses.
Contact Us at Salamati Law for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in an accident involving a rental car or have had your property damaged due to the reckless conduct of a rental car driver, the attorneys at Salamati Law can help you build your claim for compensation.
We have years of experience helping clients in Los Angeles County and Southern California determine liability issues around rental car accidents. Our team will help you recover the money you deserve to cover car repairs, medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses resulting from the accident. For a free consultation, contact our Los Angeles offices right away.