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UPDATE: Kelly Dean Injured, Benjamin Dean Killed In San Francisco Car Accident With Tesla At Taylor Street and O’Farrell Street Near Union Square


Jul 23, 2019

Kelly Dean San Francisco: Kelly Dean Injured, Benjamin Dean Killed In San Francisco Car Accident With Tesla At Taylor Street and O’Farrell Street Near Union Square

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (July 23, 2019) – A wife and husband from Clovis identified as Kelly Dean  and Benjamin Dean were involved in a car accident with a speeding Tesla Model 3 near the intersection of Taylor Street and O’Farrell Street.

San Francisco police are saying that the driver of the Tesla was going 40 – 50 mph in a 25-30 mph zone when it ran a red light. The Tesla collided with a Mini Cooper that was then pushed into Kelly Dean and Benjamin Dean.

Both pedestrians were critically injured by the force of the accident. Kelly Dean was taken to the hospital with serious injuries where she remains. Despite life-saving efforts  Benjamin Dean was later pronounced dead due to his injuries. 

Authorities believe that the couple were visiting San Francisco  for their third anniversary. Police are also looking into whether or not the Tesla Model 3 may have been in autopilot when the accident occurred. 

Autopilot is a partially autonomous driving system that allows the Tesla to operate of the freeway. The software built in the car currently does not allow it to read stop signs and stop lights. But these features are expected to come out within the next year or so. 

Liability In Tesla Car Accidents

All drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles according to the speed limit and yield the right of way to pedestrians that are in lawfully marked crosswalks. According to California Vehicle Code 21950, “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.” If a driver was speeding at the time of an accident they may face criminal as well as civil liability. 

But driver error is not the only potential source of negligence in an accident. A number of accidents are caused by errors or defects with a vehicle. Most cases like this would fall under product liability law. Generally speaking, there are three types of defects that may result in liability on a car manufacturer or supplier:

  1. Design Defects – These are inherent to a product before it is even manufactured. 
  2. Manufacturing Defects – These occur as a product is being constructed.
  3. Marketing Defects – These occur when improper instructions are given or a company fails to warn about the non-obvious dangers of a product.

Tesla has had it’s share of controversy and lawsuits after several crashes involving its autopilot system. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have argued that the public may not be fully aware of the dangers posed by semi-autonomous systems. There have also been concerns that the autopilot is giving consumers a false sense of security. Tesla drivers are supposed to be vigilant and monitor the car while in autopilot, but this doesn’t always happen. There are numerous videos online of people falling asleep in their Tesla. 

Any person that is involved in a car accident with a Tesla vehicle may have legal recourse through either a wrongful death action or a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, car companies will often fight hard to deny liability after an accident. A car accident attorney can conduct a free, independent investigation into your case and get to the bottom of what went wrong. 

Investigating A Tesla Car Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend out deepest condolences to the family of Kelly Dean and Benjamin Dean. There needs to be a thorough investigation int what happened for the sake of all of those involved. It is our sincere hope that Tesla will continue to refine and make their vehicles safer. People need to be aware that autopilot in 2019 is absolutely not safe for city streets or anywhere near capable of full self-driving.

If you or someone that you care about has been involved in a car accident with a Tesla you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you need a free police report after an accident or just have questions about the law we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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