One Killed in Fresno County DUI Crash
One person was killed, and three others were injured in a Fresno County DUI crash on the afternoon of July 29, 2019. The car accident occurred shortly after 12:40 p.m. along Highway 180 and Rio Vista Avenue, just west of Minkler. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV veered over the center median and collided head-on with a 2011 Ford Explorer. The Chevrolet driver, a 40-year-old Selma man, was taken to the hospital where he was booked on charges of driving under the influence. Three of the four passengers in the Ford were transported via air ambulance to the hospital for treatment of major injuries. Sadly, the fourth passenger succumbed to their injuries at the scene. The decedent has been identified by officials as 47-year-old Rosario Montalvo of Fresno. I would like to send my healing thoughts and prayers to the family of Ms. Montalvo during this difficult time.
Loss of a Loved One in a Fresno County DUI Crash
Losing someone you love in an auto accident is devastating. If the death was caused by the negligence of another, the last thing you would want right now is to deal with insurance companies while you are grieving. However, you do not have to go through this alone. Having a Fresno wrongful death attorney at your side is critical to ensure you and your family receive fair compensation for your loss. Although no amount of money can bring a family member back or change what happened, it may help bring a sense of closure to the situation. It may also ensure that financial needs are met, especially if the deceased was the primary provider of the household.
What Are Wrongful Death Damages?
California law allows those who have lost a loved one in a wrongful death car accident to recover compensation for their loss. Damages in a Fresno wrongful death claim are intended to offset the emotional and financial hardships a family may face after a tragic loss. These include:
- Costs of funeral and burial services
- Household services that the deceased would have provided had they lived to a full life expectancy
- Loss of love, affection, comfort, society, and companionship
- Loss of parental advice and training for surviving children
- Lost future financial support, benefits, and anticipated inheritances from the decedent
- Medical expenses that were incurred by the loved one due to the fatal accident
- Mental anguish and emotional pain suffered by surviving family members
- Punitive damages may be recovered in cases involving egregious misconduct such as drunk driving
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
Specific parties are allowed to file a claim for wrongful death. This includes the decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children. This is by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. If such parties are nonexistent, others who were financially dependent on the deceased may also be eligible to file. This includes the decedent’s parents, stepchildren, putative spouse, and children of the putative spouse. Watch the below video for more details on who may be able to bring a wrongful death claim in California.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Suit?
There is a limited amount of time for which a family has to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1 allows up to two years, this can be shorter in government entity cases and other circumstances. For more information, reach out to an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Fresno.
Fresno Wrongful Death Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno wrongful death attorney. Losing someone you love in a car wreck is a painful, life-changing experience. This can be compounded if the loss was caused by the negligence of another driver or entity. If you have lost a family member in an accident caused by the negligent acts of someone else, please call me at (559) 377-7676 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my compassionate, free and friendly advice.
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I am a proud member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates. The first group only allows membership to attorneys who provide high standards of legal excellence to their clients. The other forum is composed of lawyers who have won $1 million or more for a client.
Since 1982, I have helped families in Fresno and surrounding areas recover the compensation they need and deserve for their wrongful death cases. View a selection of cases our law firm has handled at our Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Source: By “StockSnap” via Pixabay
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