Man Killed in Fresno County Pedestrian Accident
A man was killed in a Fresno County pedestrian accident on the night of April 13, 2019. The incident occurred shortly before 10:00 p.m. near De Wolf Avenue and Nebraska Avenue in Selma. A man was walking along the roadway when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle, whose driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital where he was later declared deceased. His identity has been withheld pending notification of his family members. I would like to take this time to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the friends and family of the deceased while they are grieving through this tragic loss.
What to Do After a Fresno County Pedestrian Accident
After a pedestrian accident, specific steps should be taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to protect your legal rights. These include:
- Stay at the scene of the incident. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit and run, which can result in a misdemeanor if property damage occurred or a felony if injuries are sustained.
- Document the details of the accident. Depending upon the severity of trauma suffered, this may be difficult to accomplish when someone is rushed to the hospital. However, it is essential to take images of the damage to yourself and the vehicle involved. The last thing you want to happen is someone trying to minimize the damages that occurred in the collision.
- Contact authorities and ask for a traffic collision report to be taken. Having a report that states that the other party was to blame for the crash will be a substantial help when filing a claim with the insurance company.
- Speak with any witnesses and ask them to stay to provide a statement to police. This is crucial for proving the nature, extent, and causation of trauma as well as determining the liability of the negligent driver.
- Seek medical attention promptly and report any symptoms you have. This is critical for a personal injury case. If you fail to document your injuries, you may be denied a substantial amount of compensation you would be entitled to otherwise.
- Follow up with your medical providers and do not frequently reschedule or miss any appointments. Allowing gaps in treatment can cause an insurance adjuster to question or deny your claim altogether.
- Report the details of the collision with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and your own. Do not make any statements to the insurance company or anyone else about the car wreck until you have contacted a Fresno personal injury attorney.
Proving Negligence in a Fresno County Pedestrian Accident
Negligence must be shown in a pedestrian accident case to recover damages. Specific elements must be established. These include the duty of care that was owed to the pedestrian, the negligent party failed to fulfill that duty through their actions, the incident was caused by their actions, and the pedestrian was injured or killed due to their negligence leading up to the crash.
Wrongful Death in a Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian accident claims the life of a loved one, this can cause financial and emotional hardships for the family they left behind. A family can protect themselves by filing a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for their loved one’s death. These types of cases will take the following into account when evaluating economic and noneconomic damages:
- Medical Expenses: This includes reimbursement for medical bills that were the result of the fatal crash.
- Loss of Consortium: The surviving domestic partner or spouse of the deceased may seek damages for the deprivation of the intimacy and companionship.
- Lost Wages: This includes the amounts the decedent would have earned as income in the future and provided for the family had the wrongful death car accident not occurred.
- Pain and Suffering: This compensates the family for the sorrow and grief caused by their loved one’s death.
- Punitive Damages: These are available if the deceased was killed due to felony homicide for which the negligent party was convicted for such as drunk driving.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
In California, only certain people are allowed to file for wrongful death. These include the surviving children, domestic partner or spouse of the deceased. If none of these parties exist, the deceased person’s parents, stepchildren, putative spouse, and children of the putative spouse may be eligible to file. These parties must show they were financially dependent on the decedent by at least 50 percent. To learn more on who can bring a wrongful death claim, watch the below video.
Do I Need an Attorney?
After the death of a loved one in a pedestrian accident, taking legal action may not seem like a high priority in a time like this. However, it is essential that the family of the decedent consider contacting an experienced Fresno wrongful death attorney promptly. A lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies on a family’s behalf to ensure they receive the compensation they need and deserve for their loss.
Fresno Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno personal injury lawyer. Getting hit by a vehicle can be catastrophic for a pedestrian. Many often suffer debilitating injuries necessitating weeks or months of treatment. In other cases, some may lose their lives due to the injuries sustained. If you or a loved one has suffered traumatic injuries or was killed in a pedestrian accident caused by the fault of a negligent driver, I am here to provide you with free, friendly case advice. Please phone me at (559) 377-7676 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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