Former Modesto City Councilman Dies After Highway 120 Crash

Former Modesto City Councilman Killed in Manteca Crash

A former Modesto City Councilman was killed in a crash near Manteca on the afternoon of December 16, 2019. The truck accident occurred shortly after 12:00 p.m. on eastbound Highway 120 just west of Highway 99. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Stockton-Area office reported that a man driving a Freightliner tractor-trailer reportedly failed to slow for traffic conditions and rear-ended a Chevrolet pickup and a Dodge SUV. The driver of the Dodge and two passengers riding in that SUV were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The Freightliner driver also suffered minor injuries but declined medical transport. The driver of the Chevrolet was transported to San Joaquin General Hospital with serious injuries. Sadly, he was later pronounced deceased during hospitalization. The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office has identified the decedent as 53-year-old Dave Lopez, a former councilman for the city of Modesto.

Former Modesto City Councilman Forever Remembered

Dave Lopez was a beloved member of his family and community. He served from 2007 to 2015 for the Modesto City Council. Those who knew and loved Mr. Lopez said he was a great man who worked hard to serve his community. A donation account has been established in memory of Mr. Lopez. Anyone interested in making a donation can call Love Modesto at (209) 566-9343. This local organization promotes volunteerism throughout the city and is accepting donations on its website or checks by mail to the Love Modesto office at 1401 F Street, Modesto, CA 95354. Services for Mr. Lopez will be open to the public. A funeral mass will be held at 12:00 p.m. on December 21st at the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church off 1200 Maze Boulevard in Modesto. The reception will follow at the McHenry Museum off 1402 I Street in Modesto.

Loss of a Loved One in a Manteca Truck Accident

When a loved one is suddenly killed in a truck accident, his or her family are often left to deal with the financial and emotional aftermath. This is why California law allows survivors to seek recovery of their economic and intangible losses through a wrongful death claim. These types of cases are generally covered by the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company. However, seeking recovery from trucking companies and their insurers is not always straightforward. Motor carriers are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in bodily injury liability insurance when delivering non-hazardous materials, under standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Since truck companies have high policy limits and may have more than one active policy, this means their insurers may face substantial stakes. This is why insurance claims adjusters use tactics to dispute the value or validity of a truck accident claim. In situations like these, it is best to have an experienced Manteca truck accident lawyer at your side. An experienced attorney knows how to overcome these tactics to ensure you and your family are fairly compensated for your loved one’s wrongful death. To learn more about wrongful death cases, watch the below video.

Can I File a Truck Accident Lawsuit for Wrongful Death?

Specific relatives are entitled to wrongful death damages in a truck accident case, including the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. Others who depended on the decedent for financial support may also be able to file if the previously mentioned parties are no longer alive. This includes the decedent’s stepchildren, parents, and putative spouse (including his or her children). To determine your qualification for a wrongful death action, speak to a seasoned wrongful death lawyer in Manteca.

What is the Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

California sets specific time limits for filing a wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a family has a two-year deadline for filing a wrongful death action. If a claim is filed after the statute has passed, the court is likely to dismiss the case.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

When you and your family need assistance in obtaining fair compensation following a wrongful death truck accident, you and your family need a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of cases. An experienced attorney is familiar with truck driver fatigue, lack of truck maintenance, and other issues that lead to such catastrophic crashes. A lawyer can help identify and obtain driving logs, maintenance records, and other evidence to help build a strong case for fair compensation. This way, you and your family can focus on recovering and grieving your loss without legal or financial stress.

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Manteca

I’m Ed Smith, a Manteca wrongful death lawyer. The loss of a loved one in a truck accident is a tragedy no family should ever have to face. In times like these, you will want answers and compensation for the harm you and your family have experienced. As you move forward, you may turn to an experienced attorney for the assistance and guidance you need. If you have lost someone you love in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucker, please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice on what your options may be for recovery.

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Since 1982, our law office has helped Northern California residents injured in truck accidents as well as families who have lost loved ones. If you are interested in seeing how we have helped others with their personal injury and wrongful death cases, please go to our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Picture Source: By “Myriams-Fotos” via Pixabay

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