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UPDATE: Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr Involved In Car Accident That Injured LAPD Motorcycle Officer Near USC Campus On Exposition Boulevard


May 2, 2019

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr Involved In Left-Turn Car Accident That Seriously Injured LAPD Motorcycle Officer By USC On Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (May 2, 2019) – An LAPD motorcycle officer has been seriously injured after he was involved in a car accident involving Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr.

Surveillance video showed Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr’s  car traveling down Exposition Boulevard and attempting to make a left turn into the USC campus. The driver of a sedan was heading down the road at the same time and hit the mayor’s car. 

The force of the impact caused Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr’s car  to spin out and strike a LAPD motorcycle officer positioned next to a fountain.The police sergeant was thrown from the motorcycle and forced into the fountain. 

A woman in the sedan got out of the car along with her young child. She was visibly shaken. She told police officers that she had a green light as Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr was making a left turn

Sources familiar with the situation are saying that the LAPD motorcycle officer suffered several broken bones after being hit by the SUV. An investigation into the accident remains ongoing. 

No citations have been issued at this time. 

Liability In Left-Turn Accidents

According to ASIRT, over 37,000 people die every year in car accidents across the United States. Another 2.35 million become injured or disabled. Human error accounts for nearly 94% of all accidents. This is especially true with respect to left-turn collisions. In most situations, a driver making a left-turn will be held at fault for an accident unless they had a green arrow. In short, a driver making a left hand turn must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and may only proceed when it is safe to do so. 

According to California Vehicle code 21801, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.” Drivers that make left turns are often distracted because they are watching for cross traffic and oncoming vehicles. 

If the at fault driver of an accident is a public official the city or county that they work for may bear civil liability. Based on Mary M., supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 209., “The doctrine of respondeat superior applies equally to public and private employers.” In short, public and private entities are generally responsible for the negligence of their employees when those employees are working within the course and scope of their employment. If the victim of a car accident was also a public employee they will likely be entitled to worker’s compensation. 

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations Workers Compensation Guidebook, “If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.” Any worker that is injured in an accident may be able to hold the negligent driver accountable through a bodily injury claim. A car accident attorney can investigate all of the facts of your case and let you know what your options are. It doesn’t cost anything to hire an attorney and they can help ensure that you get the medical and financial support you need. 

Getting Help After A Car Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our thoughts and prayers to all of those that have been affected by this accident. There needs to be some accountability for what has happened. Someone could have easily been killed. It is our sincere hope that anyone with knowledge about what may have happened will reach out to police as they continue to investigate. 

Have you or someone that you love been injured in a car accident with a driver making a left-turn? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We can take steps to make sure that your rights are being protected and that key pieces of evidence are being preserved. Whether you just have questions about your rights or need more information about an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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