Four Killed in Crash in Northwest Fresno
Four people were killed in a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Bullard Avenue and Palm Avenue in northwest Fresno on the night of Saturday, December 26, 2020. The fatal traffic collision occurred at approximately 11:40 p.m. and involved a black Ford Mustang, a silver Mini Cooper, and a white Toyota Tacoma pickup. The Fresno Police Department (Fresno PD) responded to the scene to locate an engine for one of the vehicles along the wall of a business, tires in the parking lot nearby, and debris was strewn throughout the roadway. Local law enforcement has not yet determined an exact cause of the Fresno car accident but suspects the Ford driver may have been speeding westbound on Bullard Avenue and ran a red light at the intersection at Palm Avenue, and struck at least one of the two other cars.
Sadly, two of the five occupants inside the Toyota succumbed to their injuries at the scene. A third was transported to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and later passed away. The Ford driver was pinned inside the vehicle and extricated by the Fresno Fire Department. He was also transported to CRMC and died during hospitalization. None of those killed in the fatal motor vehicle accident have been identified due to pending notifications of family members.
The Mini Cooper driver, a 17-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The two remaining occupants of the Toyota were transported to the hospital and were in critical and stable condition, Fresno PD reported. The Fresno County Coroner’s Office has recently identified the decedent as a 17-year-old girl, 18-year-old Irvin Villarreal, 21-year-old Linda Chang, and 27-year-old Christopher Vang. A GoFundMe page has been created on behalf of Irvin Villarreal and his family to help cover final resting expenses. A separate GoFundMe page has been created on behalf of Linda Chang and Christopher Vang to help cover funeral expenses and provide support for their families.
What Types of Wrongful Death Damages Can Surviving Family Members Receive?
When a close relative loses their life in a fatal motor vehicle accident, no amount of money can undo the pain or ever replace them. However, some things may be replaceable. For instance, if a family member passed away, survivors may be able to seek recovery of these economic and non-economic damages through a Fresno wrongful death claim:
- End of life medical treatment related to the fatal car accident (this may be recovered through a survival action filed on behalf of surviving family members)
- Final resting expenses for funeral and burial services
- Lost benefits (e.g., medical insurance), wages, and inheritances the loved one would have provided to the family if not for the wrongful death car accident
- Loss of a loved one’s guidance, advice, care, protection, companionship, and moral support
- Mental anguish and emotional suffering
These are some of the damages suffered by surviving family members of the decedent, and they may also be claimed in a wrongful death case. To learn more about the claims process, watch the video below by our Fresno wrongful death attorneys.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim and What is the Filing Deadline?
In California, the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased person have priority when it comes to bringing a claim for wrongful death. This means that stepchildren, putative spouses, children of the putative spouses, and parents may also bring a claim if there is no surviving spouse, child, or domestic partner, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60.
It is also critical to note that most wrongful death cases must be filed with the court within two years of the fatal motor vehicle collision. For some cases of wrongful death due to government entity negligence, the deadline may be shorter. Always check with a skilled wrongful death attorney in Fresno about your right to bring a wrongful death claim and your legal options for recovery to ensure your family’s best interests and future are protected from difficult insurance companies.
Wrongful Death Attorney in Fresno
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno wrongful death attorney. The unexpected death of a close relative may cause unimaginable grief for survivors, especially if it was caused by the negligence of someone else. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident and believe that someone else is responsible for their death, you should consult an experienced attorney immediately. At our law firm, we have the experience, skills, resources, and compassion to ensure that justice is obtained on behalf of surviving family members. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for free, friendly case advice at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.
Learn more about our law firm by visiting the links provided below:
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/love-gold-rose-cemetery-grave-dead-4814488/
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