Body Recovered Days after Alleged DUI Accident on Highway 50
A body was found along Highway 50 following a recent alleged DUI accident after officers with the CHP were notified of a deceased person on the opposite side of a guardrail in the bushes. The accident involved a Mercedes and Toyota Prius in the westbound lanes of the highway on November 11. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers placed the driver of the Mercedes under arrest for suspected drunk driving.
Officers Discover There Was a Passenger in the Vehicle
The motorist placed under arrest in the incident did not tell officers there was a passenger in the vehicle. Officers stated that the woman under arrest for suspected DUI was asked whether she was the only person in the vehicle and she responded affirmatively. The Placer County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as 34-year-old Mason Visman of Camino.
Female Driver Flees Alleged DUI Accident
The woman suspected of DUI was also a Camino resident, age 35. She had fled the accident scene and was found a short time later with the assistance of officers with the Placerville Police Department. The driver of the Prius, a Shingle Springs resident, age 35, suffered minor injuries in the crash and was alone in his vehicle at the time of the incident.
Information About the Reported DUI Accident Sought
The Mercedes driver was booked into jail on November 11. Those who have information about the fatal accident are asked to contact the CHP office in Placerville by calling (530) 748-2450.
Can a Wrongful Death Claim Be Placed if the At-Fault Party Was Driving?
Absolutely. The driver of a vehicle is responsible for the safety of their passengers. The immediate family members of the deceased passenger have the right to file a wrongful death claim if the negligent driver of the vehicle they were in caused the accident. Family members who can file include the spouse and children of the deceased or others the decedent supported. If no immediate family exists, then parents and siblings may file.
Recovering Punitive Damages After a DUI Accident
Punitive damages in a court case are awarded if the death of the individual was egregious or intentional. This rarely occurs. However, if the driver was intoxicated at the time of the collision and then fled the scene, there may be a possibility of recovering these damages. They are not meant to compensate the family for their loss but represent the personal injury claim the decedent could have filed if they had lived.
Punitive damages are often much higher than those that would be recovered in a wrongful death claim, and they are awarded in addition, not instead of compensation. This award is also to discourage this type of behavior in the future. If your family thinks they may be entitled to ask for punitive damages, they should discuss this with their accident attorney.
Placerville Personal Injury Lawyer
I am Ed Smith, a Placerville personal injury lawyer. When the death of a family member was the result of someone else’s negligence, you might be able to file a claim for wrongful death to recover damages. If you would like free and friendly advice from our injury lawyers, please call us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. For your convenience, we offer an online message form as well.
You can learn more about our El Dorado County injury lawyer team below, and we have helped many residents obtain fair compensation over the years.
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