I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death attorney. A local woman lost her life in a single vehicle accident north of Los Banos on July 8, 2018. At approximately 8:30 in the morning, a woman was driving her 2008 Honda sedan southbound along Highway 165 in the vicinity of Salt Slough when her vehicle veered towards the northbound lane of the roadway. The woman reportedly attempted to correct the car. However, her efforts were unsuccessful as the Honda drifted off the west side of the highway. The Honda crashed through a road sign, overturned and came to a rest on its wheels along the side of the roadway. Unfortunately, the Honda driver was pronounced deceased at the scene due to the severity of her sustained injuries. The Merced County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as 27-year-old Renee Echard-Lopez McCoy of Los Banos.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving the loss of their loved one during this difficult time.
A cause of the accident has not yet been determined due to the ongoing investigation by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Officials reported that neither alcohol nor drugs played as factors in the collision.
Loved One Forever Remembered
Renee Echard-Lopez McCoy was a beloved member of her family. She touched the hearts of those who surrounded her with her kind and loving soul. A GoFundMe account has been created for the family of Ms. Echard-Lopez McCoy to help bring her to her final resting place.
Single Vehicle Accidents
This type of car accident is not always the result of driver error and may be caused by a wide array of factors outside of a motorist’s control. These factors may include:
- Defective Vehicle Equipment: Consumers have the right to expect safe products when purchased, including motor vehicles and auto parts. When that expectation is not met, a products liability claim may be filed by a consumer against an automaker or manufacturer to recover losses incurred in an accident as these entities have a legal obligation to design and manufacture vehicles that provide adequate safety for vehicle occupants. Some examples of defective vehicle equipment may include inadequate roof strength in case of a rollover accident, faulty accelerator pedals, defective airbags, etc.
- Phantom Vehicle Accidents: A “phantom vehicle” is a term used for traffic accidents. This can refer to a vehicle that causes property damage, injury or death to other vehicle occupants without ever making physical contact. Some examples of a phantom vehicle accident may include an unidentified driver swerving into another lane or cutting off another motorist, causing that motorist to lose control and crash. When this happens, victims may fall back on their own automobile insurance policy so long as they have Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM).
- Road Defects: Two percent of traffic accident fatalities are caused by environmental factors, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These factors may include poor roadway design, lack of road maintenance, or problems with traffic signs or signals. In these instances, a claim can be brought against a government entity for a road defect that caused a traumatic injury or wrongful death. Keep in mind that these claims must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is six months or 180 days from the date of the accident.
Watch YouTube Video – By Attorney Ed Smith – What is a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death in California is defined as the loss of life due to the negligent actions of another party or entity. Certain individuals under California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60 may bring a wrongful death claim to recover damages resulting from the death of their loved one. Financial loss associated with a loved one’s death may include:
- Costs of a funeral and burial can be recovered.
- Lost income, including bonuses, pension, healthcare coverage for the decedent’s family and other related expenses.
- Household services provided by the decedent are taken into consideration and may include automobile maintenance, childcare, cooking, lawn upkeep and bill paying.
- Loss of affection, companionship, guidance, and love provided by the decedent.
- The amount of income the decedent would have contributed to his or her family through future earnings.
- Loss of inheritance.
- Mental anguish and emotional distress caused by the loss.
- Medical expenses before the victim’s passing can be recovered in a survival action.
- Loss of consortium, in the case of a partner or spouse.
How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Of the 3,623 motor vehicle accident deaths in California in 2016, approximately 2,063 were due to single vehicle accidents. While these accidents are usually caused by driver error, others may not, and a family that has lost a loved one due to another’s negligence may be able to obtain financial compensation. Often, individuals or entities may take quick action to escape liability for death, which can be emotionally disturbing for the family of the decedent. It is critical to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Merced to investigate the facts and evidence of an accident to obtain fair compensation for your loved one’s untimely death.
Merced Wrongful Death Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Merced wrongful death attorney. The loss of a loved one in the family is devastating, especially when that loss was the result of wrongful death. If you have lost someone you love due to the negligence of another party or entity, I am here to provide you with compassionate, free and friendly advice. Contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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