Run-Off-Road Accident on I-80 Causes Fatality
A driver died in Auburn on March 4 in a run-off-road accident after striking a tree around 10:50 a.m. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported the collision as occurring along west I-80 after a motorist drove off the shoulder on the right near Douglas Boulevard. The driver was declared deceased at the scene. Officers are uncertain what speed the vehicle traveled at when it exited the roadway. However, the collision is under investigation to determine how the fatal accident happened.
Causes of a Run-Off-Road Accident
Run-off-road crashes can occur due to several causes. Common reasons include the following:
- Driver errors are one of the leading causes of a run-off-road accident; these may include distracted driving, impairment from drugs or alcohol, falling asleep at the wheel, inadequate vehicle maintenance, illegal maneuvers (such as sudden lane changes) and excessive speed.
- Hazardous road conditions can also cause a vehicle to leave the road. These may include potholes, loose gravel shoulders on a roadway, debris on the roadway (such as tree branches), poor visibility due to fog or darkness, lack of warning signs or guardrails near curves or steep drops and wet surfaces. The government entity in charge of maintenance may be liable for a wrongful death or injury. The time limit to file a government claim is only six months, so enlisting the help of a lawyer is a good idea.
- A defective auto part in a vehicle can cause a run-off-road accident. Examples of defective auto parts are malfunctioning brakes, worn tires or faulty steering. Retaining the vehicle is vital, so it can be examined for a defective part. If one is found, an auto product liability claim may be placed against the maker, manufacturer and others.
- An aggressive driver can cause an accident by weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating or even forcing another motorist off the road.
Recovery of Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
When a person dies as the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, their family may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death claim. In these cases, recovery can include loss of future wages and income as well as benefits, funeral costs, loss of consortium and companionship and lost household assistance. Punitive damages may be available in certain cases.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death in California
A deceased’s next of kin (spouse or child) can bring a claim for wrongful death in California. Additional relatives may be allowed to pursue compensation depending on the circumstances. These claims may be brought against a person or persons, as well as corporations and other entities that are found responsible for wrongful death.
Auburn Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, and I am an Auburn personal injury lawyer. An attorney can determine what happened in a run-off-road collision, so your family might be able to file a claim for wrongful death. Our compassionate, friendly and free advice is just a phone call away at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. One of our accident attorneys can discuss your case, explain your options to recover damages, and answer any questions you may have during a free consultation either virtually or in person. Our online contact form is also available if you prefer.
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Photo attribution: Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay
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