SANTA MONICA (August 16, 2013) – Two tourists visiting Los Angeles from Virginia were injured on Friday when they were struck by a car inside a parking structure in Downtown Santa Monica, close to the Third Street Promenade. The man and the woman were waiting for the elevator in Parking Structure 7, at Broadway and 4th Street, when a Toyota Camry, driven by a woman, accelerated her car past the automated ticket booth, and struck them, pinning them against the structure wall.
The accident victims, preliminaryily identified as Brittany Boltinghouse and Richard Soltis from Virginia, suffered serious injuries to their legs and were transported by paramedics to a nearby hospital for surgery.
Richard Soltis and Brittany Boltinghouse are soon to be father-in-law and daughter-in-law, as Brittany planned to marry Richard’s son, Stephen Soltis on October 12, 2013.
Witnesses to the tragic accident include other family members who were waiting with the pair.
Santa Monica police are still investigating the cause of the collision and are waiting for toxicology test results from the driver, although it appears that alcohol did not play a factor. Santa Monica Police are also reviewing security camera footage and will investigate whether distracted driving played a role in the collision. The parking structure was closed most of the day while police investigated.
Richard Soltis is 67 and Brittany Boltinghouse is 24.
As a result of the collision, they both have claims for personal injury against the driver of the Toyota Camry and her insurance company. The claims include damages for medical bills, permanent injuries, future medical bills and pain and suffering.
Attorney Edmond El Dabe states “This is a tragic accident and frequently there seems too little insurance coverage to compensate the victims. California only requires drivers to have $15,000 in coverage per injured individual. While many drivers possess more than the minimum, the majority of California drivers only carry minimum coverage.”
Regardless of the limits of coverage held by the Camry driver, the Camry driver is responsible. There may also be a claim against the City of Santa Monica if there have been prior similar incidents or of the collision was foreseeable. The human error by the Camry driver may have been foreseeable to city traffic engineers.
“Cars and pedestrians don’t mix. We know these collisions occur so why not invest in simple safety bollards to prevent human suffering,” El Dabe further stated.
Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy was killed on the weekend of August 3, 2013 when a car drove on to the Venice Boardwalk striking several pedestrians, just a few miles from Santa Monica. 16 others were injured. Nathan Lewis Campbell, the driver of the car in that incident was arrested and is still in custody pending the resolution of his criminal charges.
As a result of that collision, the City placed temporary safety bollards to protect pedestrians.
In 2003, George Weller drove through a Santa Monica Farmers Markets killing 10 people and injuring 63. All parties in that case, including the City of Santa Monica paid $21 million to settle dozens of claims. Safety bollards have been placed in the area of the Farmer’s market as well.
Cities should not wait for people to be injured until they decide to do what is right. It is clear that an area is highly trafficked by cars and pedestrians alike, install safety features, El Dabe added.
Edmond El Dabe has litigated hundreds of serious injury claims on behalf of victims of pedestrian accidents. Insurance companies use numerous tactics in order to blame victims, or to reduce the value of their claims. If you or a loved one need help or advice regarding a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to call for a free consultation at 888-333-8882.