Bakersfield Residents Killed in Merced County Accident
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death lawyer. A Patterson man was reportedly found responsible for a drunk driving accident that claimed the lives of two Bakersfield residents in Merced County on June 20, 2018. At approximately 11:30 in the night, a 34-year-old Patterson man was driving his 2008 Nissan northbound along the southbound lanes of Henry Miller Avenue near Los Banos. At the same time, a 2018 Toyota was traveling southbound in the same lane as the wrong-way driver and both vehicles collided head-on. The Toyota came to a rest along the No. 2 lane of the highway where it was later struck by an oncoming 2016 Freightliner. Unfortunately, the two occupants of the Toyota were pronounced deceased at the scene.
My heartfelt sympathies are with those grieving the loss of their loved ones during this difficult time.
Identity of Victims
Officials partially identified the victims as a 26-year-old man and 36-year-old woman, both residents of Bakersfield. Their names have not yet been released to the public due to the pending notification of family members.
Wrong Way Accidents
Among the most devastating types of traffic accidents are those involving wrong-way drivers. These accidents frequently result in serious injuries or even death due in part to the area of impact and rate of speed traveled by each vehicle involved in the collision. In fact, a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that wrong way driving accidents have resulted in the deaths of 300 to 400 individuals each year on average, accounting as one percent of overall traffic fatalities. Wrong-way driving accidents are often caused by factors like reckless driving, cell phone use while behind the wheel, speeding and driving while intoxicated.
Watch YouTube Video – What is a Wrongful Death Claim? by Attorney Ed Smith ~ Learn who can file this type of claim and what type of financial compensation can be recovered through this type of lawsuit.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death in California is defined as the death of an individual due to a wrongful act or negligence of another person or entity. In these types of cases, negligence must be proven for a wrongful death claim to be considered. The basic elements that must be satisfied in these cases include:
- Duty of Care: The defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent in avoiding any action that could lead to serious harm. In the case of an accident caused by drunk driving, the defendant would owe the decedent the duty of not driving under the influence of alcohol;
- Breach of Duty of Care: The defendant breached or broke their duty of care owed to the decedent. Evidence proving that the defendant was driving drunk at the time of the incident would show records of the infraction;
- Causation: The action of the defendant led to the death of the decedent such that driving while intoxicated was responsible for the accident.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Wrongful death claims are often misunderstood. There are specific elements and timelines which must be met to recover any damages. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Merced can explain what guidelines must be fulfilled in these types of claims and guide a family through the process of filing for wrongful death. Additionally, an attorney can investigate further into the accident and consider any other facts to build a strong case for fair compensation of a loved one’s death.
Merced Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death lawyer. Losing someone you love is devastating, especially when that loss was the result of wrongful death. If this has happened in your family, I am truly sorry for your loss. Please feel free to contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my compassionate, free and friendly case advice.
Since 1982, I have helped families of Merced and Northern California to obtain fair compensation in areas from personal injury to wrongful death.
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I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates, a national forum comprised of trial lawyers who have won million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of a client.
Browse our Verdicts and Settlements here to learn more on my past cases and their outcomes.
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