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Drunk Driver Held Accountable After Leaving Injured Passenger To Die In Fire

February 2015 – Sacramento County – $2,474,854.94

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After two years of litigation, the defendant, AMCO and Truck Insurance Exchange agreed to meet our demand and pay $2,474,854.94 to settle Brynne Arakelian’s personal injury case arising out of a horrific single car crash that occurred on Old Auburn Road in Placer County.

On July 19, 2012, 23-year-old Brynne Arakelian was riding as a passenger in the defendant’s vehicle when he decided to show off and reach a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour while traveling down Old Auburn Road. Due to his speed and state of intoxication, he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a power pole which resulted in a grass fire being ignited around his car. The impact was on the passenger side where Ms. Arakelian was seated, and the power pole caused her to be trapped in the car. The defendant, fearing arrest for DUI, fled the scene, leaving Ms. Arakelian trapped which was about to be engulfed in flames. Several people from the nearby homes came to her aid and rescued her from the fire. Ultimately, the defendant was arrested by the CHP after a several-hour manhunt. Several months later, the defendant pleaded nolo contendere to violations of Vehicle Code § 23153(a) (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs causing injury, a serious felony pursuant to §1192.7(c)(8) of the Penal Code) and Vehicle Code § 20001(a) (leaving the scene of an accident, a felony). Mr. Boyles also admitted a special allegation within the meaning of Penal Code § 12022.7(a) (personal infliction of great bodily harm).

Attorney Joseph Babich represented Ms. Arakelian in the civil lawsuit against the defendant that was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court. Ms. Arakelian sustained multiple fractures to her right leg, hip and back as well as a head injury. The insurance company for the defendant hired their own doctors in an attempt to minimize Ms. Arakelian’s injuries, but with the support of the treating physicians and Mr. Babich’s representation, the defendant, AMCO and Truck Insurance Exchange agreed to meet Mr. Babich’s demand and pay $2,474,854.94 to settle the civil case.

About The Attorney

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Joseph Babich

Joseph Babich has been practicing law since 1980, and exclusively representing injured injury victims since 1982. He is a past president for the Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, recipient of numerous awards for his trial work, an AV Preeminent peer-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell*, a member of the American Board of Trail Advocates, board-certified in civil trial advocacy, selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in American, and selected by his peers to be included in Super Lawyers.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.