Man Killed in Tracy Pedestrian Accident
A 59-year-old man was killed in a recent Tracy pedestrian accident. The crash occurred around 4:00 a.m. along the westbound lanes of Interstate 205, just west of MacArthur Drive. For unknown reasons, a Chevrolet Malibu crashed into a man who was walking near the center divider. Sadly, emergency crews pronounced him deceased at the scene. The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office has withheld the man’s name until his family has been notified.
Loss of a Loved One in a Tracy Pedestrian Accident
Few things are as devastating as losing a family member in a fatal accident that could have been prevented in the first place. To make matters worse, families who have lost loved ones are often contacted by insurers shortly after a pedestrian accident. Insurance claims adjusters may extend low settlement offers that may seem substantial to grieving family members. However, these offers may not take into account the financial and emotional hardships your family has suffered. Conversely, insurance companies may pinpoint liability on a loved one for an accident. This is their way of devaluing or denying a claim. In times like these, you need an experienced Tracy wrongful death attorney to protect your best interests. An attorney can handle the legal complexities of your claim. This way, you and your family can take the time you all need to grieve and recover from your loved one’s untimely death.
Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death for a Tracy Pedestrian Accident?
When a pedestrian accident results in wrongful death, a third-party claim must be filed with the negligent driver’s insurance company. In situations where the motorist has little to no liability insurance, a case may need to be filed against a deceased pedestrian’s car insurance policy. This is a viable option so long as the decedent has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance benefit may also extend to those pedestrians killed in a hit and run accident. Conversely, if the decedent does not have insurance but lived with a family member who does, a claim may be filed through that policy. This may be done so long as the deceased was not listed as an excluded driver.
How is Wrongful Death Proven?
In a wrongful death claim, the burden is on the family to show that the negligent party was responsible for their loved one’s untimely passing. In other words, survivors must collect and present sufficient evidence to prove the four elements of negligence. These include:
- Duty of Care: It must be established that the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to the deceased.
- Breach of Duty: It must be shown that the responsible party breached their duty of care owed to the decedent. For instance, if a loved one was a pedestrian who was hit by an oncoming vehicle, that may be considered a breach of duty. This is due to the expectations placed on drivers to operate their cars in a reasonably safe manner.
- Causation: It must be proven that the negligent person’s actions were the direct cause of a family member’s death.
- Damages: A family must be able to submit evidence of actual losses they have suffered. Satisfying this element is usually straightforward since there are tremendous harms related to losing a loved one.
What is a Wrongful Death Settlement?
Compensation from a wrongful death case is intended to make a family whole again for the financial and intangible hardships they have faced. Two types of damages are available through these types of cases, economic and noneconomic. They include:
- Any mental anguish or emotional suffering that a survivor has experienced due to the unexpected loss of a loved one
- Costs associated with a loved one’s funeral and burial services
- Loss of affection, love, care, companionship, and moral support
- Loss of guidance and mentorship provided to children by a deceased parent
- Lost household services and benefits that the loved one would have contributed to the family
- Medical expenses related to the wrongful death car accident
- Supplement of lost future income provided by the decedent
To learn more on what can be recovered in a wrongful death case, watch the below video.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
Specific relatives may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on the decedent’s behalf. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60, surviving children, domestic partners, and spouses are generally entitled to wrongful death benefits. Those who were dependent on the deceased for financial support may also be able to file for wrongful death. These include surviving stepchildren, putative spouses, or parents. If you are not sure if you are eligible to pursue a wrongful death case, reach out to an experienced attorney.
Wrongful Death Attorneys in Tracy
I’m Ed Smith, a Tracy wrongful death attorney. The loss of a loved one in a preventable accident may leave surviving family members grieving and searching for answers. In such situations, a family may benefit from the insight of an experienced attorney. If you have lost a family member to a fatal pedestrian accident, I am genuinely sorry for your loss. You are welcome to give me a call anytime to receive my compassionate, free, and friendly advice. Dial me at (209) 227-1931 in the Tracy area or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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As a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, I join other lawyers in this group who have been recognized for providing high standards of legal excellence to their clients. Another legal organization I belong to is the Million Dollar Advocates. This forum limits membership to trial attorneys who have helped their clients garner over $1 million in their cases.
Visit our Verdicts and Settlements page to find out more about how we have resolved past cases for our clients.
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